Soil formation and composition
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Soil Formation and Composition. Biotic (living) Abiotic (nonliving) . 1. Make a table and list 5 examples of each. Soil Formation. Soil is the loose, weathered material on Earth’s surface in which plants can grow. It is formed wherever bedrock is exposed.

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Soil Formation and Composition

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Soil formation and composition

Soil Formation and Composition


Biotic living abiotic nonliving

Biotic (living) Abiotic(nonliving)

1. Make a table and list 5 examples of each


Soil formation

Soil Formation

  • Soil is the loose, weathered material on Earth’s surface in which plants can grow. It is formed wherever bedrock is exposed.

  • Bedrock is the solid layer of rock beneath the soil. It weathers when it is exposed at the surface.


Soil composition

Soil Composition

Soil is more than just weathered rock.

Soil is a mixture of rock particles, minerals, decayed organic materials, air, and water.

All soil is NOT the same - it depends on the bedrock that it was weathered from and the type of weathering.

The dead organic material is broken down by decomposers to form humus by decomposition.

Humus helps create spaces in soil for air and water.


Soil formation and composition

Soil Formation and Composition

2. Draw the flowchart and fill it in as you go through it.

Water Oxygen

Acid Carbon dioxide

Living organisms

Wind Heat

Rain Cold

Hail

ice

Mechanical

weathering

Smaller rock particles

Rock

Chemical weathering

Particles with different mineral make up

Mix with other materials on the surface

Soil


Soil texture

Soil Texture

Soil texture depends on the size of the individual soil particles.

Soil particles range in size from gravel to clay particles too small to be seen by the unaided eye.

The sand, silt, and clay shown here have been enlarged.


Soil texture and plant growth

Soil Texture and Plant Growth

  • Soil that is mostly clay is heavy and dense which allows them to hold a lot of water. Is this good? No, plants may “drown” from a lack of air.

  • Sandy soil has a coarse texture and water will drain quickly. Is this good? No, plants may die from a lack of water.

  • Loam - The perfect soil.


Permeable is porous but porous may not be permeable

“Permeable” is “Porous,” but “Porous” May Not Be “Permeable”

  • A pore is a space in rock, soil, or sediment that is not occupied by mineral matter and that allows the passage or absorption of fluids.

  • The word comes from Latin porus, Greekporos, where it means “passage.” A thing that is porous is having pores, and porosity is the condition of being porous.


Soil formation and composition

Permeability is a measure of the ease with which fluids will flow though a porous rock, sediment, or soil.

Although a rock may be highly porous, if the voids are not interconnected, then fluids within the closed, isolated pores cannot move.

Porosity is the ratio of the volume of openings (voids) to the total volume of material. Consists of the spaces between the grains

The larger the pore space or the greater their number, the higher the porosity.

The more tightly packed the grains are, the lower the porosity.


Soil horizons

Soil Horizons

A soil horizon is a layer of soil that differs in color and texture from the layers above or below it.

They form over long periods of time. Think centuries not decades.

It can take a hundred years for just a few centimeters of soil to form.


Soil horizons c

Soil Horizons - C

The C horizon forms 1st as bedrock weathers and rock breaks up into soil particles.


Soil horizons a topsoil

Soil Horizons - A - Topsoil

The A horizon

develops from theChorizon

when plant roots weather the rock mechanically and chemically.

Plants also add dark, organic material to the soil that is a mixture of humus, clay, and other minerals


Soil horizons b subsoil

Soil Horizons - B - Subsoil

The B horizon develops as rainwater washes clay and minerals from the A horizon to the Bhorizon. Contains little humus.


Rate of soil formation

Rate of Soil Formation

  • Depends on the climate and type of rock.

  • Occurs most rapidly in warm, wet climates.

  • Limestone weathers more quickly than granite in warm, wet climates.


Soil horizons1

Soil Horizons

3. As the topsoil and subsoil develop, what happens to the bedrock?

4. Make a sketch of the three horizons and label each.


Life in soil

The leaves, roots, and stems of plants are a major source of humus.

5. Which living things contribute most ofthe organic materials that form humus?

Life in Soil

6.How do decomposers contribute to the formation of soil?

7. What role do earthworms play in the formation of soil?

8. Which organisms break up hard, compacted soil and mix humus through it?


Life in soil1

Life in Soil

Main Decomposers

Fungi - molds & mushrooms, grow on and digest plant remains

Bacteria - microscopic, attack dead organisms and their waste

Protists

Earthworms - mix humus to aerate the soil. They also eat soil and eliminate it as waste that are enriched in nutrients.

  • Fertile soil is rich in nutrients that plants need, such as nitrogen and phosphorus.

  • As plants shed leaves they form a loose layer of litter on the ground. Dead plants add to litter and over time decay to form humus.

  • Burrowing animals break up hard, compacted soil and add nitrogen when they excrete waste.


Soil formation and composition

Soil Formation and Composition

9. Draw the flowchart in your notebook and fill in the blanks.

consists of

is made of

above the

is made of

above the

is made of

above the


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