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The Nature of Soil Chapter 7, Section 2. The Formation of Soil What is Soil? Mixture of weathered rock, decayed organic matter, mineral fragments, water,

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Presentation on theme: "The Nature of Soil Chapter 7, Section 2. The Formation of Soil What is Soil? Mixture of weathered rock, decayed organic matter, mineral fragments, water,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Nature of Soil Chapter 7, Section 2

2 The Formation of Soil What is Soil? Mixture of weathered rock, decayed organic matter, mineral fragments, water, and air.

3 Formation of Soil How does soil form? Weathering breaks down rocks and minerals into fragments. Plants and animals add organic material to the soil. May take thousands of years to form. May range in thickness from a few centimeters to 60 meters thick.

4 Composition of Soil Rock and Mineral Fragments Mostly small particles of sediment such as clay, silt, and sand. Some larger rocks can be present.

5 Composition of Soil Organic Material Dead and Decaying Plants Make up the majority of organic material. Leaves, stems, roots, etc. Dead and decaying animals and microorganisms

6 Composition of Soil Organic Material Humus Dark colored material formed from decayed plants and animals. Decay process is due to bacteria and fungi in the soil. Serves as a nutrient source for plants. Mixed with other components of soil by burrowing rodents, worms, and insects. Good-quality surface soil has about 50% humus.

7 Composition of Soil Water and Air Fill the spaces between the particles of soil.

8 Soil Profile Horizons Different layers of soil. Typical soils have an A, B, and C horizon. All the horizons form a soil profile.

9 Soil Profile A Horizon Top layer of soil. Also known as topsoil. Contains a higher percentage of humus. Generally dark and fertile. May be covered with litter. Litter consists of leaves, twigs, and other organic material. Helps prevent erosion and holds water.

10 Soil Profile B Horizon Contains material moved down from the A horizon through leaching. Leaching is the removal of minerals that have been dissolved in water.

11 Soil Profile C Horizon Consists of partially weathered rock. Coarser than other horizons. Contains less humus. Similar to the parent rock found beneath the horizon.

12 Soil Types What affects formation of soil and soil type? Glaciation Climate Type of parent rock Type of vegetation Slope Time

13 Soil Types Glacial Deposits Unsorted mass of clay, silt, sand, and boulders. Creates very fertile soil.

14 Soil Types Climate Desert soils Contain little organic material. Thinner than soils in wet climates Prairie soils Thick, dark A horizons due to the large number of grasses. Temperate Forest soils Thinner A and B horizons enriched in minerals due to leaching.

15 Soil Types Parent rock Affects the type of soil that develops. Can also affect the vegetation that grows in the area.

16 Soil Types Slope Steep slopes Soil horizons are often poorly developed. Bottomland Soils are often thick, dark, and full of organic material.

17 Soil Types Time At first, soil characteristics are determined by the characteristics of the parent rock. Over time, soil resembles the parent rock less and less.


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