You are on page 1of 7

HUMAN CHANGES SOIL STRUCTURE

(Assignment submitted for partial fulfillment of course CE501, CIVIL ENGINEERING….ENGINEERING


BEHAVIOUR OF SOIL MECHANICS)

SUBMITTED BY INDRANIL BANERJEE


ENROLLMENT NO-CEM18005

DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL ENGINEERING

TEZPUR UNIVERSITY

1ST SEMISTER, AUTUMN 2018


HUMAN CHANGES SOIL STRUCTURE
INTRODUCTION:
Soil structure is how the individual soil particles (sand, silt, clay) are
arranged, aggregated, held, or come together in peds or clods. Thus, the
size and form of soil aggregation is known as soil structure. Soil helps sustain
life on Earth—including our life. We already know that soil supports the growth of plants, which in turn
supply food for animals. Therefore, soil provides us with nearly all the foods which we eat. But that’s not
all. Many other items we use, such as cotton clothing and medicines, come from plants. Lumber in our
home comes from trees. Even the oxygen also comes from plants. Besides supporting the growth of
plants, soil plays other life sustaining roles. Soil helps purify, or clean, water as it drains through the
ground and into rivers, lakes, and oceans. Decomposers in soil also help recycle nutrients by breaking
down the remains of plants and animals, releasing nutrients that living plants use to grow. In addition,
soil provides a home for a variety of living things, from tiny one-celled organisms to small mammals. But
we are constantly damaging the soil structure.

POPULATION GROW:
The global human population has grown from approximately 600 million at the beginning of the
eighteenth century to close to 7.6 billion today. human activities are now at such a scale as to
rival forces of nature in their influence on soil changes. Any activity that exposes soil to wind and
rain can lead to soil loss. Farming, construction and development, and mining are among the main
activities that impact soil resources.
FOREST REMOVAL:
In a normal forest ecosystem, the forest will regenerate given enough time. However, in
some climates and with particular land clearing, the trees will never grow back and the
ecosystem is changed forever. In those cases, land clearing has numerous impacts
resulting from the loss of the trees, the changed undergrowth, and the soil subsystem.

The obvious result of the loss of the trees is the greater sunlight reaching the soil and the
lack of cover from wind and rain. The mechanical action of the wind and rain directly
increase the erosion. The secondary effect of the increased exposure to the Sun is the
change to the soil structure and soil moisture regime. Increased exposure will create
greater dessication (drying) and organic matter will be destroyed (through oxidation).
This will reduce the binding power of the soil.

CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT:


equipment crushes soil structure, impeding air, water, and root movement.
Organic soils are often stripped and removed from construction areas, leaving
compacted, mostly clay soils. Transition zones, caused by dumping one type of
soil on top of another, are often impermeable barriers to water, air, and roots.
For successful tree and plant growth, we need to understand the characteristics
and capacities of the soil in which we are going to plant, especially soil
damaged by construction.
Soil compaction, high (alkaline) or low (acidic) pH, and simply the amount
of fertile soil available for root growth are three serious concerns when
planting in constructed landscapes such as parking lots, patios,
sidewalks, and compacted yards stripped of their organic horizons. In
Pennsylvania, high-pH soils seem to be more abundant than low-pH
ones.Loss of organic material in the "A" horizon, compaction of
underlying horizons, and soils containing pollution.

MINING:
Some methods of mining cause soil loss. For example, the digging of strip mines and open-pit
mines involves the removal of plants and soil from the surface of the ground. In mining
operations that expose sulfide minerals, the increased chemical weathering causes a type of
pollution known as acid drainage. Abandoned mines can fill with rainwater. Sulfide minerals
react with the air and the water to produce sulfuric acid. Then the acid water drains from the
mines, polluting the soil in surrounding areas.

LAND USE EFFECT SOIL:


Land Use Changes and Soil Carbon. Land use changes can affect several soil properties.
Depending on the intensity and type of use, soil may be modified in some of its physical
properties (e.g., structure, consistency, and density) or chemical (e.g., cation exchange
capacity, pH, soil salinity, soil solidity, etc.).

LAND USE AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES:


Two very important issues is if the agricultural practices create compaction reducing the absorp
tion of air and water and decreasing root growth.
Secondly does the agriculture system degrade sustain or increase soil organic matter over time.
FARMING:
Farming is very important to society because almost all of the world’s food is grown on farms.
Over the 10,000 years humans have been farming, people have continually improved their
farming methods. However, farming has some harmful effects and can lead to soil loss. Farmers
often add nutrients to soil in the form of organic or artificial fertilizers to make their crops grow better.
However, some fertilizers can make it difficult for microorganisms in the soil to produce nutrients
naturally. Fertilizers also add to water pollution when rainwater draining from fields carries the excess
nutrients to rivers, lakes, and oceans. Over time, many farming practices lead to the loss of soil.

SOIL CONSERVATION:
Soil conservation is very important, because soil can be difficult or impossible to replace once it
has been lost. Soil takes a very long time to form. A soil with well-developed horizons may take
hundreds of thousands of years to form! Most soil conservation methods are designed to hold
soil in place and keep it fertile. Below are descriptions of a few of the many soil conservation
methods that are used by farmers around the world.

REFFERENCE:
1.

https://www.classzone.com/science_book/mls_grade7_FL/248_252.pdf
2. https://www.quora.com/How-does-deforestation-impact-soil-erosion

3. WILLARD H. CARMEAN, Athens Forest Research Center, Central States Forest Experiment Station,
Athens, Ohio,THE STRUCTURE OF FOREST SOILS
https://kb.osu.edu/bitstream/handle/1811/4444/V57N03_165.pdf

4. Mitchell, J.K. and Soga, K. Fundamentals of soil behavior, 3 rd ED. , john Wiley & sons, New Jersey,
USA,2005.

5. Yong, R.N., and Warkentin. B.P., Soil Properties and Behaviour, Elsevier, Amsterdam,
the Netherlands, 1975.