Basic Soils

Understanding soils requires many scientific disciplines including physics, chemistry and biology.

A soil is:

  1. a three dimensional,
  2. dynamic,
  3. natural body,
  4. a product of the environment under which it is developing.

Uses for soils include:

  1. A medium for plant (crops, range and forest) growth:
    1. support
    2. oxygen for roots
    3. adequate temperature
    4. water and nutrients
  2. Environmental - water quality, retaining pollutants.

Three Components of a Typical Soil:

  1. 45% Inorganics (minerals)
  2. 5% Organics
  3. 50% Pore space for air and water

Factors In Soil Formation (PCOTT):

  1. Parent materials - residual (rock weathered by physical and chemical processes), transported and organic materials.
  2. Climate - moisture and temperature.
  3. Organisms - animals and vegetation.
  4. Time - duration, intensity of processes.
  5. Topography - affects water distribution, adjustment of parent materials, temperature (exposure).