(podzol) A type of zonal acid infertile *soil
) found in regions of heavy rainfall and long cool or cold winters. The soils of the northern coniferous forest zone of North America and Eurasia are typical examples. The soil is heavily leached by the sudden snow-melt in the spring that washes out lime and iron compounds. Thus beneath the humus layer in the A horizon there is a bleached horizon composed of quartz sand. Iron compounds accumulate in the Β horizon, which stains brown and has a clayey texture. These compounds may form an impermeable hard pan that, if developed sufficiently, can stop water percolating from above, resulting in the A horizon becoming waterlogged. Such soils may be termed gley podsols. The leaf litter is such regions also tends to be highly acid and maintains the acidity of the soil.