GEOGRAPHY UNIT 5 - GEOGRAPHY UNIT 5 SOILS Fine material covering the earth's surface composed of both mineral organic material dirt Weathering

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GEOGRAPHY UNIT 5 SOILS ** Fine material covering the earth's surface composed of both mineral & organic material; dirt ** Weathering provides the raw materials ( parent material) for soil * Soil Characteristics : * Soil profile: the array of soil layers; their sequence from top (surface) to bottom (bedrock) * Soil horizon: a distinct layer of soil within the soil profile * Soil Properties: * Color * texture (clay, sand, silt) * Structure * consistence (cohesion) * Porosity * moisture SOIL FORMATION * An on-going process of a renewable resource, but not an inexhaustible resource ** Components of Soil: Minerals: elements or compounds with a crystalline
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structure; the building blocks of rocks; found in all soils Organic matter: that part originally from living matter; decaying matter of plants, animals, and their waste products Water: fill spaces in the soil or forms a thin film around particles Air: also fills pour spaces ** Factors Involved in Formation : Parent Material: the type of rock and minerals that the soil was formed from ** Residual soil: made from the underlying rock ** Transported soil: made from material not found in underlying rock Climate: if Temperature and precipitation differ, will yield different soils, even from same parent material Biological Agents: decomposers, microorganisms, bacteria, fungi, type of humus or organic matter Topography: f lat vs. steep slopes; windward vs. leeward slopes; sun exposure Time: for a given place, more time means more complete development & increased thickness of soil
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Development Processes of Soil Horizons: ** Soils develop layers or horizons , often quite distinct, by 4 processes Addition: grains of soil made by adding material to the soil already in place; adding organic matter Transformation: weathering of rock, minerals, & soil particles already present; physically or chemically changing them Depletion: particles are carried out of an area and downward thru soil by percolating water, to an area below Translocation: deposition of particles in a lower area from an area above ** SO, Soils develop Soil Profiles or a particular sequence of soil layers or horizons * Main horizons: 'O' horizon : organic horizon, consisting entirely of organic material; (By addition) 'A' horizon : upper most layer developed from parent material; ( by transformation) 'E' horizon : lighter colored layer just below the 'A' horizon, (depletion)
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' B' horizon : created by translocation of particles from the 'A' & 'E horizons above; (translocation) 'C' horizon : where the parent material is transformed by weathering into soil particles to become future soil (transformation) 'R' horizon : where solid rock (bedrock) is first affected by weather; SOIL PROPERTIES Some terms: Solum : the A B and E horizonsl those layers in which plants roots are most active * sol : used a suffix in soil classification Pedon : column of soil, extending from the O horizon into the C horizon
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2012 for the course GEOG 1111 taught by Professor Hopkins during the Fall '08 term at University of Georgia Athens.

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GEOGRAPHY UNIT 5 - GEOGRAPHY UNIT 5 SOILS Fine material covering the earth's surface composed of both mineral organic material dirt Weathering

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