Understanding soils requires many scientific disciplines including physics, chemistry and biology.
A soil is:
- a three dimensional,
- natural body,
- a product of the environment under which it is developing.
Uses for soils include:
- A medium for plant (crops, range and forest) growth:
- oxygen for roots
- adequate temperature
- water and nutrients
- Environmental - water quality, retaining pollutants.
Three Components of a Typical Soil:
- 45% Inorganics (minerals)
- 5% Organics
- 50% Pore space for air and water
Factors In Soil Formation (PCOTT):
- Parent materials - residual (rock weathered by physical and chemical processes), transported and organic materials.
- Climate - moisture and temperature.
- Organisms - animals and vegetation.
- Time - duration, intensity of processes.
- Topography - affects water distribution, adjustment of parent materials, temperature (exposure).