POWERPOINT OUTLINE Soil Living & Nonliving Parts of
POWERPOINT OUTLINE Soil Living & Nonliving Parts of Soil Formation of Soil Soil Textures Types of Soil Layers of Soil 1 Stephanie Elkowitz WHAT IS SOIL?
Soil or dirt covers the ground and is like the skin of Earth. Soil covers all parts of Earths surface, including the ground of oceans, lakes and other bodies of water. Soil, Rocks & Minerals What is soil? 2 Stephanie Elkowitz WHAT IS SOIL?
Soil is the mixture of weathered rock, rock fragments, organic matter that formed from decomposed remains of plants and animals, water, and air. Soil also includes living things such as microorganisms, fungi and insects. Soil, Rocks & Minerals 3 Stephanie Elkowitz WHAT IS SOIL? Soil is important because:
Plants extract water and nutrients from soil and use soil to anchor themselves. Organisms such as bacteria, fungi and animals live in soil. Soil helps cycle nutrients and substances, such as carbon and nitrogen, in the environment. Water precipitates to the ground and flows along Earths surface. Water seeps into the ground to form groundwater. Soil filters and cleans the water. Soil, Rocks & Minerals 4 Stephanie Elkowitz
PARTS OF SOIL When studying soil, we often consider the living and nonliving parts of soil. The living parts of soil include organism that inhabit soil. The nonliving parts of soil include the dead and nonliving substances that make up soil. These substances make up the material that we call dirt. Soil, Rocks & Minerals 5 Stephanie Elkowitz PARTS OF SOIL There are 5 major nonliving components of soil: Sediments: small particles of broken down rock. Minerals: important elements needed by living things in the soil, make up rocks, determine the fertility of soil
Nutrients: substances in soil that are used by living things to survive; the most important nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium Water: Water is found in between the particles of soil Organic Matter: made from dead and decaying organisms Soil, Rocks & Minerals 6 Stephanie Elkowitz SOIL FORMATION Soil can take a long time to form. In fact, soil can take up to 1,000 years to form! There are 4 factors that influence how fast soil forms: 1. Organisms 2. Topography 3. Climate
4. Parent Material Soil, Rocks & Minerals 7 Stephanie Elkowitz SOIL FORMATION Factor #1: Organisms Living things known as decomposers help break down dead organisms into organic matter. Organic matter is an important part of soil. The kind and amount of decomposers in the soil can affect how fast organic matter forms. Soil, Rocks & Minerals 8
Stephanie Elkowitz SOIL FORMATION Factor #2: Topography Elevation and slope make up the shape of the land. We call the shape of land topography. Topography affects how fast soil forms. Water travels faster down steeper slopes. This causes faster soil formation along steep slopes. Elevation and slope are also important to the type of soil that forms. Soil, Rocks & Minerals 9 Stephanie Elkowitz SOIL FORMATION Factor #3: Climate
Climatic factors, such as precipitation and temperature, affect how fast soil forms. These factors cause weathering. Weathering is breaking down of rock. Weathering is important to soil formation. Increased precipitation and warmer temperature causes faster weathering, which leads to faster soil formation. Soil, Rocks & Minerals 10 Stephanie Elkowitz SOIL FORMATION Factor #4: Parent Material Parent material is solid rock and minerals found within Earth. Over time, parent material breaks down to
form soil. Some rocks and/or minerals break down faster than others. Softer rock breaks down faster than harder rock. Soil, Rocks & Minerals 11 Stephanie Elkowitz SOIL FORMATION In order for soil to form, there must first be parent material. Parent material is solid rock and minerals. Parent material is often bedrock. Bedrock is hard, solid rock that covers Earth. This rock
is formed from different natural processes. It can become exposed when overlying soil or Soil, Rocks rock & Mineralserodes. 12 Stephanie Elkowitz SOIL FORMATION Over time, parent material is weathered or broken down into small particles. The most influential weathering factors are wind, water and plants.
Soil, Rocks & Minerals 13 Stephanie Elkowitz SOIL FORMATION Eventually parent material is completely broken down into small particles. Water and gases mix with the rock and mineral particles. Plants begin to grow in the material, organisms move into the material and larger organisms roam the surface of the material. Organisms die and decompose into organic matter, which is
incorporated into the material. Soil, Rocks Over & Minerals time, the material 14 Stephanie Elkowitz SOIL TEXTURE There are several characteristics of soil. These characteristics include texture, density, color, consistency and porosity. The most important characteristic of soil is texture. Texture is a measure of what the soil feels like. Texture depends on the size of the particles within the soil. Texture determines other characteristics of soil. Soil, Rocks & Minerals 15
Stephanie Elkowitz SOIL TEXTURE There are three soil textures: 1. Sand 2. Silt 3. Clay Soil, Rocks & Minerals 16 Stephanie Elkowitz SAND Sand is made of large or coarse particles with diameters ranging from 0.05 to 2.00 millimeters.
Because sand is made of large particles, it feels gritty or rough. It allows water and air to pass through easily. However, because it is porous, it does not hold nutrients or water well. Soil, Rocks & Minerals 17 Stephanie Elkowitz SILT Silt is made of medium-sized particles with a diameter of 0.002 to 0.05 millimeters. Because silt is made of smaller particles, it is not as
rough as sand. When dry, it feels like smooth powder. When wet, it feels slippery. Because its particles are smaller, it allows some drainage and air to pass through but holds onto nutrients. It can be easily Soil, Rocks packed & Minerals 18 down, which allows Stephanie Elkowitz CLAY Clay is made of tiny or fine particles with a diameter less than 0.002 millimeters.
When dry, clay feel smooth and hard. When wet, it feels sticky. Because its particles are fine, it holds onto water and nutrients very well and does not allow air to pass through easily. When wet, clay gets heavy Soil, Rocks from & Minerals the water and then 19 Stephanie Elkowitz TYPES OF SOIL The three soil textures form mixtures to make up different types of soil. Each type of soil has a different fraction or proportion of sand, silt and/or clay.
There are many different types of soil but we often focus on the three types below: 1. Sandy Soil 2. Clay Soil 3. Loamy Soil Soil, Rocks & Minerals 20 Stephanie Elkowitz SANDY SOIL Sandy soil is mostly (but not entirely) made of sand. Because sandy soil is mostly sand, it has properties very similar to sand, the soil texture. Sandy soil is dry and gritty. The
particles are large and there are spaces between the particles they cannot hold water or nutrients. Water drains quickly through sandy soil and so its usually dry. For this reason, sandy soil is not good for plants. Plants cannot Soil, Rocks & Minerals 21 Stephanie Elkowitz CLAY SOIL Clay soil is mostly (but not entirely) made of clay. Because clay soil is mostly clay, its properties are most like clay, the soil texture.
Clay soil is made of tiny particles that tend to settle together. This makes it hard for water and air to pass through. It also means clay soil holds onto nutrients tightly. Clay soil poor soil for plants. Plants cannot extract water or nutrients from clay soil because the soil holds onto these Soil, Rocks & Minerals 22 Stephanie Elkowitz LOAMY SOIL Loamy soil is made of almost equal parts sand, clay and silt. For this reason, it has
characteristics of all three types of soil textures. Loamy soil is considered to be the ideal soil type. It contains a balance of all three soil textures plus organic matter. It holds onto water and nutrients and drains water well. Air moves freely through loamy soil. Loamy soil is the best for plants because of these characteristics. This soil is just right for plants. Soil, Rocks & Minerals 23 Stephanie Elkowitz LOAMY SOIL Loamy soil makes up fertile lands. These lands are ideal for farming and other agricultural uses. Soil, Rocks & Minerals
24 Stephanie Elkowitz LAYERS OF SOIL Most people think soil is just the dirt that covers the very top of the ground. In fact, soil is much more than just this material. Soil is actually made of layers. We call these layers horizons. Each horizon is distinct and has its own characteristics. Soil, Rocks & Minerals
25 Stephanie Elkowitz LAYERS OF SOIL There are 5 major horizons of soil: O Horizon (Humus) A Horizon (Topsoil) B Horizon (Subsoil) C Horizon (Parent Material) R Horizon (Bedrock) Soil, Rocks & Minerals O Horizon
A Horizon B Horizon C Horizon R Horizon 26 Stephanie Elkowitz LAYERS OF SOIL O Horizon A Horizon O Horizon B Horizon
A Horizon B Horizon C Horizon C Horizon R Horizon Soil, Rocks & Minerals 27 Stephanie Elkowitz O HORIZON The very top layer of soil is called the O horizon. This layer is mostly
made of leaf litter and decomposed organic matter. We call the decomposed organic matter humus. For this reason, the O horizon is also called humus. Soil, Rocks & Minerals O Horizon 28 Stephanie Elkowitz A HORIZON The second layer is called the A horizon or
topsoil. When we talk about soil types, we often are referring to the soil in this layer. This layer is made of mineral and rock particles mixed with humus. This is the primary layer where plants grow and Soil, Rocks & Minerals 29 A Horizon Stephanie Elkowitz B HORIZON
The third layer is called the B horizon or subsoil. This layer is mostly made of clay and mineral deposits. When water drains through the topsoil, it carries minerals with it. When the water moves through the subsoil, the minerals are left behind. This Soil, Rocks process & Minerals is called B Horizon 30
Stephanie Elkowitz B HORIZON Sometimes a lightcolored region of soil forms at the bottom of the A horizon. This is where minerals are picked up and carried to the subsoil. Some texts assign this light-colored region as a separate horizon called Horizon E. Soil, Rocks & Minerals A Horizon
B Horizon 31 Stephanie Elkowitz C HORIZON The fourth layer is called the C Horizon. This layer is made of slightly broken up or weathered rock. The rock in this layer is considered to be the parent material to soil. There is no organic matter in this layer. Soil, Rocks & Minerals
32 C Horizon Stephanie Elkowitz R HORIZON The bottom layer is called the R horizon or bedrock. Bedrock is solid rock. Over time, bedrock will weather or break down, forming the non-organic (inorganic) particles that make up soil. Some text do not include bedrock as part of soil but we will consider it because it is
Soil, Rocks important & Minerals 33 to the R Horizon Stephanie Elkowitz
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