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- Created 2012-02-26
is composed of
s, mixed with some
, which differ from its
s in terms of its
, consistency, color, chemical, biological and other characteristics. Colloquially, soil is viewed as the loose covering of mineral particles that thinly overlie the earth's surface. Soil is the end product of the influence of the
(elevation, orientation, and slope of terrain), biotic activities (organisms), and parent materials (original minerals) acting over periods of time. In horticulture, the term 'soil' is defined as the layer that contains organic material that influences and has been influenced by plant roots, and may range in depth from centimeters to many meters.
Soil continually undergoes development by way of numerous physical, chemical and biological processes, which include
. Soil is considered the "skin of the earth" with interfaces between the
. Soil consists of a solid phase (minerals & organic matter) as well as a
phase that holds gases and water. Accordingly, soils are often treated as a three-
system. Most soils have a density between 1 and 2 g/cm
. Little of the soil of planet
is older than the
and none is older than the
are preserved from as far back as the
Soil science has two main branches of study:
, "soil"; and
, "study"). Pedology is focused on the formation, morphology, and classification of soils in their natural environment., whereas Edaphology is concerned with the influence of soils on organisms. In engineering terms, soil is referred to as
, or loose rock material that lies above the 'solid geology'. Soil is commonly referred to as "earth" or "
"; technically, the term "dirt" should be restricted to displaced soil.
from Wikipedia (last updated: 12 December), licensed under
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World Reference Base for Soil Resources
ISRIC - World Soil Information (ICSU World Data Centre for Soils)
World Soil Library and Maps
Wossac the world soil survey archive and catalogue
Soil Science Society of America
USDA-NRCS Web Soil Survey
National Soil Resources Institute UK
Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary
Soil and Soil Testing
Estimating Soil Texture By Feel
Salt and water balance of the soil