Soil forms from a parent material deposited at the surface of the Earth, such as weathered bedrock or small materials carried by blowing winds, moving glaciers and flooding rivers. The parent material transforms or changes into soil over time. The major factors that affect soil formation are parent material, climate, landscape, living organisms and time.Continue Reading
Soil is made of layers, which are sometimes termed horizons. When put together, these layers form a soil profile. Soil is dynamic, and it gradually looks different from its parent material as it ages. It comprises various materials, such as water, air, minerals, organisms and organic matter. These components constantly change. As time passes, some of these components are lost, and new ones are added. Some also transform into other forms, and some others move into different layers within the soil.
Parent material is the most significant factor that affects soil texture. The parent material of most soils is either sediment or solid rock. Climate, which encompasses temperature, rainfall and snow, plays an important role in breaking down rocks and determining the type of soil. Landscape significantly influences the thickness and development of soil. Steep slopes like hillsides often have thin soil because the rain washes down the soil. Animals, vegetation and fauna work together to develop soil structure. Humans have also had a considerable influence on soil formation through farming and other land activities. Lastly, soil needs plenty of time to form. Decades are needed to develop only a centimeter of soil in soft sediments.Learn more about Soil
Silt is found in floodplains, which are areas by streams or rivers that have experienced repeated flooding. It is the component of soil that makes up mud.Full Answer >
There are four principal contributors to acidic soil: rainfall and leaching, the decomposition of organic materials, the introduction of high-acidity materials into the soil and the harvest of abundantly yielding crops. The more time that passes, the more likely a soil becomes acidic and the less easily plants grow. One way the acidity of soil can be neutralized is to add lime to the soil.Full Answer >
Clay is one of the most common minerals and is mainly found on or near the surface of the Earth. Nearly all civilizations have used it to make pots, bricks and tablets.Full Answer >
Contour plowing conserves soil by following the lay of the land and creating ridges that form a water break to prevent soil erosion. Furrows that do not follow the lay of the land cause rapid runoff during rainfall by forming a convenient channel for the water to flow downhill.Full Answer >