Regosols occur mainly in polar and desert regions, occupying about two percent of the continental land area on earth, principally in northern China, Greenland, Antarctica, north-central Africa, the Middle East, and northwest Australia.
They are usually found under their original natural vegetation or under limited dryland cropping.
Regosols often show accumulations of calcium carbonate or gypsum in hot, dry climatic zones and in very cold climatic zones they contain permafrost within two meters (about six feet) of the land surface.
Regosols are similar to the soils in the Entisol order of the U.S. Soil Taxonomy that occur in either very cold or very dry and hot climatic zones.
They differ from the FAO soil groups Andosols, Arenosols, and Vertisols in parent materials, from Gleysols which has lower water content, and from Leptosols that has greater soil profile depth.2. From the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO system.
3. Etymology: from Greek rhegos, "blanket".