Soil 101 Everything you need to know!

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Soil 101 Everything you need to know!. Ms. Brown. Part 2: Understanding Soil Formation . Identify five factors involved in soil formation. Parent material: Type of rock material the soil is formed from. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Soil 101 Everything you need to know!

Soil 101Everything you need to know!Ms. BrownPart 2: Understanding Soil Formation Identify five factors involved in soil formation.Parent material: Type of rock material the soil is formed from.Climate: Temperature and moisture characteristics of the area in which the soil was formed.Living organisms: The organisms, including plant material, that live within the soil.Topography: Slope characteristics of the soilTime or weathering: Age of the soil and its climate.

Types of Parent MaterialParent materials are formed by the disintegration and decomposition of rock. They are classified according to the way they were moved and scattered.

Types of Parent MaterialGlacial OriginsLoess


Glacial Till

Alluviumoccurred from the blowing of the soil after the glaciers melted and dried. well-balanced mineral content, medium texture, and excellent water-holding capacity, Most Desirable Parent Material

occurred when the glaciers melted.The melt waters carried the gravelly materials away to be deposited below the glacial ridges. Sandy outwash was carried further downstream and the finer materials, silt and clay, were deposited in lakebeds or slow moving water along streams.

variety of sizes of soil particles.These soil particles have not been layered from the effects of wind or water

recent sediments deposited by streams as they flood.Alluvium is generally a water-borne material deposited on bottomlandsBed RockBedrock most of the shale, sandstone, or limestone bedrock is buried by loess, glacial till, outwash, or alluvium.However, in the unglaciated areas weathered bedrock has provided soil parent material.

Organic MatterOrganic matter: Organic soils occur where formerly shallow ponds supported swamp vegetation. The wet conditions slowed decay of the dead plants so that organic matter could accumulate.The two types of organic soils are referred to as peat and muck. Muck is more decomposed than peatHow Topography Affects Soil FormationTopography refers to the slope characteristics of a soil. It includes the degree or steepness, length, shape, and direction of a slope. These factors influence the amount of rainwater runoff, or the amount that enters the soil or collects in small depressions on the soil surface.Soils on steep slopes have higher amounts of runoff and erosion than those on level topography.

How Organisms Affect Soil DevelopmentTwo types of native vegetation: tall prairie grass --- prairie soils deciduous-hardwood forests--timber soils.Prairie soils have a dark and deep surface layer. This is because roots from the prairie grass filled the top of the soil to a depth of 1 to 2 feet or more. Partial decay of these roots over a long period of time gave these soils a high organic matter content.

How Organisms Affect Soil DevelopmentTimber soils tend to have a thin, moderately dark layer. This is due to organic matter accumulating on the surface where decay occurs more rapidly. When tilled, this dark material is mixed with the soil below to produce a lighter color.Other living matter that influences the development of soil includes various kinds of animal life. Earthworms, crawfish, ground squirrels and other burrowing animals, and various insects which incorporate organic matter into the soil are examples.

Types of WeatheringChemical WeatherPhysical WeatheringChemical weathering changes the chemical makeup of rock and breaks it down.Rainwater is mildly acidic, and can slowly dissolve many soil minerals.Some minerals react with oxygen in the atmosphere. Oxidation further acts to decompose rock.

Physical weathering the effects of climatic factors such as temperature, water, and wind. Freezing and thawing is a major contributor to physical weathering.

Weathering causes soil to:Develop rapidly, plant nutrients are released, and organic matter accumulates. Soils will develop faster in humid regions than in arid regions.

Mature soil is at peak productivity with a high amount of organic matter. Water begins leaching away nutrients and plant growth starts to decline. This results in less organic matter.Minerals continue to break down and clay is leached into the subsoil. The soil becomes lighter in color from less organic matter.

How Climate Affects Soil DevelopmentClimate refers to rainfall, freezing, thawing, wind, and sunlight.These factors are either directly or indirectly responsible for the breakdown of rocks and minerals, the release of plant nutrients, and many other processes affecting the development of soils.

What is Soil Texture?Soil texture is the fineness or coarseness of a soil. It describes the proportion of three sizes of soil particles. These are:Sand - large particleSilt - medium sized particleClay - small particle

What does Texture Affect?Soil workability the ease with which soil may be tilled and the timing of working the soil after a rainAbility of plants to grow some root crops like carrots and onions will have difficulty growing in a fine-textured soil

Determining Soil TextureSoil texture may be determined in one of two ways:The percentages of sand, silt, and clay may be tested in the lab. Once tested, you may determine the textural class of the soil by referring to the textural triangle.The ribbon method.

Notice the Shape and Size of the These Soil Particle Types

Textural TriangleUnderstanding the Textural Triangle and Determining Soil Texture

Worksheet: Part 1LAB TIME!!!Determining Soil Texture by the Ribbon MethodSoil ProfilesWhat is a Soil Profile?A soil profile is a vertical cross-section of the soil. When exposed, various layers of soil should be apparent.

Each layer of soil may be different from the rest in a physical or chemical way. The differences are developed from the interaction of such soil-forming factors as:Parent materialSlopeWeathering (time) ClimateNative vegetationA soil profile is usually studied to a depth of 3 to 5 feet.

What are the major horizons of a soil profile and how do they differ?There are 3 primary soil horizons called master horizons.

A Horizon

B Horizon

C Horizon

A Horizon.

This is often referred to as topsoil and is the surface layer where organic matter accumulates. Over time, this layer loses clay, iron, and other materials due to leaching. This is called eluviation. The A horizon provides the best environment for the growth of plant roots, microorganisms, and other life.

O Horizon. This is an organic layer made up of partially decayed plant and animal debris. It generally occurs in undisturbed soil such as in a forest.

B Horizon. This horizon is referred to as the subsoil. It is often called the zone of accumulation since chemicals leached from the A and E horizons accumulate here.

E Horizon. This is the zone of greatest eluviation. Because the clay, chemicals, and organic matter are very leached, the color of the E horizon is very light. It usually occurs in sandy forest soils with high amounts of rainfall.

B HorizonThis accumulation is called illuviation. The B horizon will have less organic matter and more clay than the A horizon.

Together, the A, E, and B horizons are known as the solum.

This is where most of the plant roots grow.

C HorizonThis horizon is referred to as the substratum. It lacks the properties of the A and B horizons since it is influenced less by the soil forming processes. It is usually the parent material of the soil.

R HorizonThis is the underlying bedrock, such as limestone, sandstone, or granite.It is found beneath the C horizon.

Soil Profile HorizonsO Horizon organic layer of leaves, roots,and decaying materialA Horizon TopsoilB HorizonSubsoilC Horizon SubstratumR Horizon Bedrock or solid rock below the C Horizon

How do soils within a soil profile change over time?Soils change over time in response to their environment. The environment is influenced by the soil-forming factors.

The causes of these changes can be classified into 4 processes:

Additions. Materials such as fallen leaves, wind-blown dust, or chemicals from air pollution that may be added to the soil.Losses. Materials may be lost from the soil as a result of deep leaching or erosion from the surface.Translocations. Materials may be moved within the soil. This can occur with deeper leaching into the soil or upward movement caused by evaporating waterTransformations. Materials may be altered in the soil. Examples include organic matter decay, weathering of minerals to smaller particles, or chemical reactions.

Understanding Soil ColorWhat are physical features used to differentiate between soils?Texture coarseness or fineness of soil particlesStructure the way in which soil particles are held togetherDepth of horizons the depth of each soilColor refers to the darkness or lightness of the soil color

What are the colors used to describe surface soils?Colors associated with surface soils are dependent on the amount of organic matter found in them. Colors may be classified as:Very Dark: approximately 5% organic matterDark approximately 3.5% organic matterModerately dark approximately 2.5% organic matterLight approximately 2% organic matterVery light approximately 1.5% organic matter

The amount of organic matter is the factor used to determine the color of the surface soil.

The amount of organic matter is determined by the kind of native vegetation.

Native vegetation refers to the type of plant material that grew on the soil.

What colors are used to describe subsoil?Subsoil colors are associated with natural drainage of the soils. This is the drainage condition that existed when the soil was forming. Subsoil colors are classified as:Bright-colored brown, reddish brown, or yellowish brownDull-colored gray or olive grayMottle-colored clumps of both bright and dull colors mixed together

What factors determine the color of subsoil?The color of subsoil is determined by the status of iron compounds.

These are determined by the type of drainage found in the soil as it formed. Good drainage provides subsoil that is bright in color.

This is because the iron found in these soils has been oxidized.

This can be compared to metal that oxidizes or rusts when both moisture and air are present.

Rust has a bright or orange color.

What factors determine the color of subsoil?Poor drainage provides subsoil that is dull or gray in color. This is because the iron found in those soils has not been subject to air or oxygen. The iron compounds do not oxidize. This leaves a grayish color.

What factors determine the color of subsoil?Somewhat poor drainage provides subsoils that are mottled. This is because the soil was saturated with moisture for certain periods. This leaves a gray color in some soil clumps. Since the soil was comparatively dry during other periods, it left a bright color in other soil clumps.

How do parent material, age, and slope affect the color of soil?In addition to organic matter and drainage, soil color may also be affected by other factors:parent materialageslope

Age As soils age, much of the darker color is lost due to the weathering process. This causes the soil to lose organic matter.Slope Soil on top of hills is usually lighter in color than the soil in depressions or on level ground.This is partly due to the darker topsoil being washed off the hills. This leaves the lighter subsurface or subsoil exposed.

Parent Material The color of a soil is associated with the kind of material from which it is formed. Soils that are developed from sand or light-colored rock will be lighter.Those developed from darker materials such as peat or muck, will be darker in color.

Lab TimeMaking Your Own Soil Profile

Part 1: Illustrating the Soil Profile You are creating!

Part 2: Creating your Own Edible Soil ProfileUnderstanding Water Holding AbilityWhat is Moisture holding Capacity?Moisture holding capacity is the ability of the soil within the soil profile to retain water.

What is available to the plants?Available soil moisture is the water in the soil that can be used by plants. When moisture levels are high, plants can easily extract moisture from the soil. As the water is used, soil moisture tension increases. Soil moisture tension is the force by which soil particles hold on to moisture.

How do we determine how much moisture the soil can hold?Moisture holding capacity is determined primarily by the soils texture. As a rule, the finer the texture of the soil, the more moisture it will hold.A soil high in sand will hold less water.Soils high in clay, hold water and keep it from percolating out of the root zone.If the soil is entirely clay, it will hold the water too tightly. This means less water is available to plants than if silt were present.A good silt loam holds the most moisture available for plants

The amount of moisture the soil can hold for plants is referred to as available water holding capacity.

Available water holding capacity depends on:1. How deep the soil profile is.2. The type of soil texture found throughout the soil profile. On average, the following textures will hold the designated amount of moisture per inch of soil:fine textured .20 inchesmoderately fine textured .25 inches medium textured .30 inches moderately coarse textured .20 inches coarse textured .10 inches

How do you know figure the water holding capacityTo determine the available water holding capacity for a given area, multiply the depth of each horizon, to a maximum depth of 60 inches, by the amount of water the texture within that horizon can hold. Add the totals for each horizon to calculate total water holding capacity.

ExampleA horizon: 9 inches deep, medium texture = 9 .30 =2.70 inchesB horizon: 23 inches deep, moderately fine texture = 23 .25 = 5.75 inchesC horizon: 28 inches deep, medium texture = 28 x .30 = 8.40 inchesTotal = 16.85 inches of water

Water Holding Experiment!1 Jar of Sand, I Jar of Black Soil: Which do you think will hold more water? Why?

LAB: We have 3 Different Soils we are going to test the water holding capacity of:SandyClayey LoamyUnderstanding Soil DegradationSoil degradation is a lowering of the quality of soil or the loss of soil productivity. Soil degradation occurs because people do not understand soil and the consequences of certain of its uses. Minimizing soil degradation is important in maintaining a good environment. Soil degradation results from:ConstructionContaminationErosion

How can construction result in soil degradation?Construction is altering land by building:RoadsHousesOfficesFactoriesOther structuresConstruction degrades the soil by replacing productive land with structures that prevent the production of plants or animals.Construction degrades the soil when native grasses and trees are removed. This leaves the soil unprotected from erosion.

Construction and Soil DegradationLarge equipment may move...