What is Soil?
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What is Soil?. “a living, dynamic system with organic and inorganic components. Soil is a product of its environment and parent material”. components. By volume: 45% mineral 5% organic material 50% space (air/water) By mass? 0% air 18% water 80% mineral 2% organic material.

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What is Soil?

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What is soil

What is Soil?


What is soil

“a living, dynamic system with organic and inorganic components. Soil is a product of its environment and parent material”.


Components

components

By volume:

  • 45% mineral

  • 5% organic material

  • 50% space (air/water)

    By mass?

  • 0% air

  • 18% water

  • 80% mineral

  • 2% organic material


1 the mineral component

1. The mineral component

  • inorganic

  • “mineral”: definition?

    • Primary: original components of earth crust

    • Secondary: new minerals made by weathering of earth’s crust

  • divided by particle size:

    • Sand, silt, clay


What is soil

  • mineral make-up due to:

    a. Parent Material

    b. How resistant minerals are

    c. Climate

    d. “Age”


A parent material

a. parent material

material on and in which soil develops


Examples of soil developing in rather than on parent material 1 apostle islands

Examples of soil developing IN rather than ON parent material: 1. Apostle Islands


2 boundary waters

2. Boundary Waters


What is soil

  • 11 different parent materials …..


Regolith bedrock weathered rock

Regolith/bedrock:weathered rock


Alluvium deposits on a flood plain from a river

Alluvium:deposits on a flood plain from a river


Marine deposits shell reef and other bits formerly at bottom of ocean that have been uplifted

Marine deposits:shell, reef and other “bits” formerly at bottom of ocean that have been uplifted


What is soil

Lacustrine deposits: clay deposits originally laid down at the bottom of a lake; lake is no longer there


Example glacial lakes in mn

Example: glacial lakes in MN


Till unconsolidated material deposited by glacial ice

Till:unconsolidated material deposited by glacial ice


Outwash unconsolidated sorted material deposited by meltwater from a glacier

Outwash:unconsolidated, sorted material deposited by meltwater from a glacier


Organic sediments peat

Organic sediments: peat


Volcanic ash

Volcanic ash


Loess deep deposits of silt that have been deposited by wind

Loess:deep deposits of silt that have been deposited by wind


Sand beach sand dune sand

Sand:beach sand, dune sand


Colluvium material that moved downslope as in a landslide

Colluvium;material that moved downslope, as in a landslide


What is soil

  • mineral make-up due to:

    a. Parent Material

    b. How resistant minerals are

    c. Climate

    d. Age


B resistance of minerals

b. resistance of minerals

  • Soluble minerals are readily LEACHED from soil profile (Ca,Mg,Na)

  • Certain minerals tend to accumulate in soil

    • (oxides of Fe, Al, Si)


What is soil

  • mineral make-up due to:

    a. Parent Material

    b. How resistant minerals are

    c. Climate

    d. Age


C climate

c. Climate

  • Amount of leaching

  • Rate of weathering


What is soil

  • mineral make-up due to:

    a. Parent Material

    b. How resistant minerals are

    c. Climate

    d. Age


D age

d. Age

  • Parent material is (usually) less influential in “older” (more highly developed) soil


2 organic component

2. Organic Component

  • Living (primarily decomposers)

  • Non-living (dead and all in-between stages of decomposition)


About decomposers

…about decomposers:

  • Nutrient recycling

  • Respiration


Decomposer activity depends on

decomposer activity depends on:

climate

soil moisture conditions

Micro-environmental factors (relief, drainage)


Decomposers and climate

decomposers and climate:

1) climate vegetation, litter (amount, type)

2) rate of decomposition

hot,wet >> cold, dry


Soil moisture conditions

soil moisture conditions

  • Hot, wet preference of decomposers


Micro environmental factors relief drainage

micro-environmental factors (relief, drainage)

  • Slope aspect affects temperature

  • Drainage affects anaerobic/aerobic decomposition


3 the space component

3. The Space component

  • Soil pores

    • filled with air and/or water


A soil air

A. soil air

O2 CO2 N2 H 2O vapor (per cents by volume)(rh)

Above-ground atm. 20.97 0.03 79.0 <100%

Soil (grassland) atm. 18.4 1.6 79.2 100 %


B soil water

B. soil water

  • Functions?

  • Polar molecule


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