Espm 120 soil characteristics
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ESPM 120 Soil Characteristics. Fall 2005. History of Pedology. mid 19th Century: no scientific study of soils Soil science followed closely behind development of geology (early 19th century) and biology (Origin of Species). Two key contributors to development of Pedology

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ESPM 120 Soil Characteristics

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Espm 120 soil characteristics

ESPM 120Soil Characteristics

Fall 2005


History of pedology

History of Pedology

  • mid 19th Century: no scientific study of soils

  • Soil science followed closely behind development of geology (early 19th century) and biology (Origin of Species).

  • Two key contributors to development of Pedology

    • Vasili Dochuchaev (Russian geographer/mineralogist)

    • Eugene Hilgard (American geologist/chemist)


Dokuchaev and the founders of russian pedology

Dokuchaev and the founders of Russian pedology


Eugene hilgard and soil science at berkeley

Eugene Hilgard and Soil Science at Berkeley

Born in Germany

Raised in American frontier (Illinois) in intellectually oriented family

Received PhD at University of Heidelberg

Agricultural chemistry and geology

Accepted position as Assistant State Geology of Mississippi in 1855


Hilgard in mississippi

Hilgard in Mississippi

Not a glamorous job

Recognized his future with state lie not with geology but agriculture and soils

Produced a landmark document (next slide) with half geology and half soils


The mississippi report

The Mississippi Report

Detailed discussion of soil formation and soil chemistry

“soil” map of state….


Hilgard s agricultural map

Hilgard’s Agricultural Map

analogous to modern generalized soil map

Map units based on geology and vegetation


Hilgard moves to california

Hilgard Moves to California

Recruited by UC president in 1874

Replaced first chair of agriculture (who was fired)


Berkeley when hilgard arrived

Berkeley when Hilgard arrived….

Despite cultural isolation Hilgard seized opportunty to expand College of Agriculture (now CNR) and make soils a national issue


Hilgard and john wesley powell usgs

Hilgard and John Wesley Powell (USGS)

Prodded JW Powell to start a national soil survey program (later adopted by USDA)


Hilgard and his legacy

Hilgard and his legacy….

Mountains, lakes, streets, buildings, journals are all named after Hilgard

His influence was international, inspiring the next generation of scientists, particularly Hans Jenny……


Hans jenny and soil formation

Hans Jenny and Soil Formation

soils form predictably in response to environmental factors (Dokuchaev ~ 1880)

Hans Jenny (1920’s to 1930’s) transformed conceptual model to a more quantitative theory following tenets of physical chemistry


State factor equation

State Factor Equation

Soils = f (climate, biota, topography, parent material, time, …. )

Soil = f (initial conditions, external conditions, time)

or, based on field observation


Key concepts of state factor theory

Key Concepts of State Factor Theory

Factors are independent of system

System is small relative to surroundings

A change in variables defines a new system

there are essentially an infinite number of soils


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