1Earth’s Surface Chapter 4 Section 2 Learning Targets:1) I can explain what soil consists of2) I can describe how climate and landformsaffect a soil’s characteristics3) I can recognize how the activities oforganisms affect a soil’s characteristics4) I can observe how the properties of soildiffer.
2SOIL COMPOSITIONSoil is a mixture of four materials: Weathered rock particles, organic matter, water and airWeathered rock particles are the main ingredient of soil.Water and air make up about 20 to 30 percent of a soil’s volume.Organic matter makes up about 5 percentOrganic matter in soil comes from the remains and waste products of plants, animals, and other living organisms.The decayed organic matter in soil is called humus.All soils are not the same
3SOIL COMPOSITIONDifferent soils are made up of different ingredients and different amounts of each ingredientThe kind of soil that forms in an area depends on a numerous factors:1. Kind of rock in an area The area’sclimate3. The landforms in the area The plant cover The animals and other org. 6. TimeThe composition of a soil determines what you can grow in it, what you can build on it, and what happens when rainwater falls on it.
4SOIL HORIZONSAs you dig a deep hole in the ground, you will notice that the deeper soil looks different.The deeper you go, you will find larger rock particles that are less weathered.There is also less organic matter in deeper soilA soil horizon is a layer of soil with properties that differ from those of the layer above or below it.There are three main layers of soil: A Horizon, B Horizon, C HorizonD Horizon is the Bedrock layer
6A HORIZONThe A horizon is the upper layer of soil and is commonly called topsoilIt contains the most organic matter of the three layersBecause of the humus it is often dark in color.
7B HORIZON The B horizon lies just below the A horizon. It has little organic matter and is usually brownish or reddish in colorIt contains clay and other materials that have washed down from the A horizon
8C HORIZON The C horizon is the deepest layer of soil. It contains the largest and least weathered rock particles.Its color is typically light yellowish brown.The soil horizons in a specific area make up what geologists call a soil profile.Different locations can have very different soil profiles.Ex. – The A horizons can be very thick in some places and thin in others.In some areas, one or more horizons might be missing from the profile.
10CLIMATE AND LANDFORMS AFFECT SOIL Different kinds of soil form in different climatesClimate also influences the characteristics and thickness of the soil that develops from weathered rock.Tropical, desert, temperate, and arctic soils are four types of soil that form in different climate regions.The shape of the land also affects the development of soilMountains soils are very different from soils in nearby valleys.
12THE ACTIVITIES OF ORGANISMS AFFECT SOIL The living organisms in a soil have a huge impact on the soil’s characteristics.Without them, soil would not be able to support the wide variety of plants the people depend on to live.There are three main types of organisms that affect the characteristics of soil:1) Plants2) Microorganisms3) Animals
14PLANTSPlants such as trees and grasses provide most of the organic matter that breaks down to form humus.Ex. – Trees add organic matter in soil when they lose their branches and leavesAlso add to humus when tree and other plants die and decompose
15MICROORGANISMSMicroorgansims include decomposers such as bacteria and fungiA spoonful of soil may contain more than a million microorganismsMicroorganisms decompose dead plants and animals and produce nutrients that plants need to grow.The cycling of nutirents through the soil and through the plants is a continuous process
16ANIMALSAnimals such as earthworms, ants, termites, mice, gophers, moles and prairie dogs all make their home in the soilAll of these animals loosen and mix the soil as they tunnel through itThey create spaces in the soil, adding to its air content and improving its ability to absorb and drain water.Burrowing animals also bring partly weathered rock to the surface.Animals return nutrients to the soil when their bodies decompose after death
17PROPERTIES OF SOIL CAN BE OBSERVED AND MEASURED Observations and tests of soil samples reveal what nutrients the soils contain and what kind of plants will grow best in them.Farmers use this information to improve the growth of crops and other plants.Scientists study many properties including texture, color, pore space, chemistry.
18TEXTUREThe texture of a soil is determined by the size of the weathered rock particles it containsScientists classify the rock particles in soils into three categories: sand, silt, claySand particles are the largest and can be seen without a microscopeSilt particles are smaller than sand particles and need a microscope to be seen.Clay particles are the smallestMost soils contain a mixture of sand, silt, and clay
19COLOR The color of soil is a clue to its other properties. Soil colors include red, brown, yellow, green, black and even white.Most soil color comes from iron compounds and humusIron gives soils a reddish colorSoils with a high humus content are usually black or brown.Bright colored soils will drain well.
20PORE SPACE Pore space refers to the spaces between soil particles Water and air move through the pore spaces in soilPlant roots need both water and air to growSoils range from about 25 to 60 percent pore space.An ideal soil for growing plants has 50 percent of its volume as pore space, with half of its pore space occupied by air and half by water.
21CHEMISTRY Plants absorb nutrients they need from the water in soil These nutrients may come from the minerals or organic matter in the soilThe nutrients must be dissolved in water in order for plant roots to use themFarmers may apply lime to make soil less acidic.