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Soil Systems

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Soil Systems

  1. 1. Topic 3: Human population, carrying capacity and resource use 3.4: Soil System Soil More than just dirt
  2. 2. Topic 3: Human population, carrying capacity and resource use 3.4: Soil System Soils are: • The part of the lithosphere where life processes and soil forming processes both take place.
  3. 3. Topic 3: Human population, carrying capacity and resource use 3.4: Soil System What is soil made from? Soils can be thought of as being made up of four main components. • Mineral particles mainly from the underlying rock • Organic remains that have come from the plants and animals • Water within spaces between soil grains • Air within the soils grains
  4. 4. Topic 3: Human population, carrying capacity and resource use 3.4: Soil System Soil profile
  5. 5. Topic 3: Human population, carrying capacity and resource use 3.4: Soil System The soil profile can be divided into HORIZONS O - newly added organic material such as leaf litter A - where in many soils humus builds up. Humus forms from partially decomposed organic matter and often mixed with fine mineral particles B - the layer where soluble minerals and organic matter tends to be deposited from the layer above by leaching. In particular clay and iron salts can be deposited in this horizon C - This layer is mainly unaltered rock from which the soil forms
  6. 6. Topic 3: Human population, carrying capacity and resource use 3.4: Soil System How do soils form? • S = ƒ cl. o. r. p. t. . . . • S = soil, cl = climate, o = organisms, r = relief (land shape, topography), p = parent material, t = time (Jenny: 1941)

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