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3.4 The Soil System Your tasks. Match these up with the correct letter Bedrock. Leaf litter and dead organics . Layer where soluble minerals and organic matter from above ends up .

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Match these up with the correct letter


Leaf litter and dead organics.

Layer where soluble minerals and organic matter from above ends up.

Layer with a mix of humus from above and minerals from below with many living organisms eg fungi, bacteria, worms…

Weathered bed rock, breaking into smaller and smaller particles. Region where minerals and organic matter have been leached leaving silica behind.

O –

A –

E –

B –

C –

R -


structure of a soil
Structure of a soil

What are these?

Why are they important?

What are these? Insoluble rock particles

Where do they come from?

Why are they important?

What is it? Humus

Where does it come from?

Why is it important?

What are these?

What job do they do?

Why are they important?

What is it? Water

How does it get here?

Where does it go from here?

Why is it important?



True? False? Correct the false ones. Read pages 224-225

  • The soil layer forms at the border between the biosphere and the lithosphere.
  • The pedosphere is influenced by the hydrosphere and the atmosphere.
  • Soil is made up of abiotic components.
  • Its main components are: mineral particles from the atmosphere, organic remains from dead plants and animals, water in the soil particles and air in the spaces between soil particles.
  • It is a habitat for plants and animals.
  • Soil is non-porous.
soil processes translocation
Soil Processes - Translocation

Means: The movement of water within the soil - it can be either ………… or ………………..



soil processes salinization
Soil Processes - Salinization

In (wet / dry) climates, where …………………… is higher than precipitation, water moves ……. the soil taking dissolved minerals with it and depositing them on the surface.

Salinization is (bad / good) for plants.



soil processes leaching
Soil Processes - Leaching
  • In (dry / wet)regions, where there more …………………………. than evaporation, the water moves ……………………. towards the bedrock taking dissolved minerals away from the surface. This leaves the soil (less / more) fertile.




Soil Processes - Podsolization

  • In very wet regions, where there is lots more
  • ……………………………………
  • than …………………………………, and there is extreme leaching of the minerals to make the soil acidic with a nutrient poor bleached ‘A horizon’ and a very red ‘B horizon’ full of Iron oxide



soil processes gleying
Soil Processes - Gleying
  • When the water cannot …………………………… the soil becomes waterlogged and the air spaces in the soil fill and so become (rich/poor) in oxygen making a very blue/grey soil– eg a rice paddy. Tends to become nitrate poor due to nitrifying bacteria needing oxygen to create nitrates.

Microsoft Clip art


‘Draw’ a systems diagram to show the movement of nutrients coming from water, organic matter and minerals through the soil system. Boxes and arrows

  • Show the transfers and transformations and label the processes and stores..

Jill Rutherford - Environmental Systems and Societies Course Companion (Page 230)– Oxford University Press

different types of soil
Different types of soil
  • Clay particles <0.002mm diameter
  • Silt particles

0.002 – 0.005mm diam.

  • Sand particles

0.005mm + diameter

Think colours!




IB question: Compare AND contrast the structure and properties of sand, clay and loam soils, including their effect on primary productivity.

soil degradation overgrazing
Soil Degradation - Overgrazing



Microsoft Clip art


Soil Degradation - Deforestation



Microsoft Clip art


Soil Degradation – unsustainable agriculture

Monoculture means…

Negative effects on soil:

Empty fields:

Negative effects:

Up and down ploughing:

Negative effects:


Negative effects:

Burning stubble:

Negative effects:

Microsoft Clip art


Soil Degradation - Irrigation

Problems for soil:

Microsoft Clip art


Soil Degradation – Toxifi_ _ _ _ _ _

The build up of toxic / poisonous chemicals in the soils can kill beneficial organisms in the soil eg. earthworms, bacteria and fungi.

Microsoft Clip art

soil degradation at its worst desertification
Soil degradation at its worst: Desertification

Causes and effects in The Sahel

Map of Sahel:



solution terracing
Solution- Terracing


solutions contour ploughing


Solutions: Contour ploughing



solution trees as a windbreak
Solution: Trees as a windbreak

Image and explanation needed

solution drip irrigation
Solution: Drip irrigation

Image and explanation needed

solutions set aside
Solutions : Set-aside

A set aside strip between two fields.

Image by - Walter Baxter http://www.yourlocalweb.co.uk/images/pictures/24/48/a-set-aside-strip-between-two-fields-241790.jpg

solutions multi cropping


Also known as poly-culture

Image needed and explanation

Solutions: Multi Cropping

what is a soil conditioner
What is a soil conditioner?

Solution: Soil Conditioning

Soil Remediation – Conditioning -

  • A material added to soil to enhance plant growth.

Solution – Hydroponics



Solution: Crop Rotation


solution biological pest control
Solution - Biological Pest Control


solution reforestation
Solution- Reforestation




Challenge: IB question: without using the previous slides to help, Outline the processes and consequences of soil degradation and possible soil conservation measures.

named commercial farming system north american prairies cereal farming
Named commercial farming system: North American prairies cereal farming

Soil management techniques:

named subsistence farming system burkina faso subsistencefarming
Named subsistence farming system: Burkina Faso subsistencefarming

Soil management techniques: