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The thin layer on the surface of

the Earth on which the living beings

of the earth survive since it is the
layer of materials in which plants
have their roots.

Five Major Factors That Influence Soil Formation

•Parent Material
•Living Organisms (especially native vegetation)
Parent Material
•Refers to organic and mineral material in which soil formation begins.

•A major factor in determining the kind of plant and animal life on and
in the soil.

Living Organisms
•Plants affect soil development by supplying upper layers with
organic matter, recycling nutrients from lower to upper layers, and
helping to prevent erosion.
TOPOGRAPHY ( Landscape Position)
•Refers to the point on the landscape where the soil is located.

•The longer a soil surface has been exposed to soil forming agents
like rain and growing plants, the greater the development of the soil

Soil can be classified according to the following types:

•Sandy soil
•Silty soil
•Clay soil
•Loamy Soil
•Peaty Soil
•Chalky Soil
Sandy Soil
•Has the biggest particles and the size of the particles does determine
the degree of aeration and drainage that the soil allows.

Silty Soil
•Granular like sandy soil but it has more nutrients than
sandy soil and it also offers better drainage.
Clay Soil

•A kind of material that occurs naturally and consists of very fine

grained material with very less air spaces, that is the reason it is
difficult to work with since the drainage in this soil is low, most
of the time there is a chance of water logging and harm to the
roots of the plant.
Loamy Soil

•Texture is gritty and retains water very easily, yet the

drainage is well.

Peaty Soil
•Basically formed by the accumulation of dead
and decayed organic matter, it naturally contains
much more organic matter than most of the soils.
Chalky Soil

•Fertility of this kind of soil depends on the depth of the soil that is
on the bed of chalk.
Soil Horizon

•A specific layer in the soil which measures

parallel to the soil surface and possesses
physical characteristics which differ from the
layers above and beneath.
Main Horizons

The following horizons are listed by their position from top to

bottom within the soil profile.
Soil generally consists of visually and texturally distinct layers,
which can be summarized as follows from top to bottom:O)
Organic matter
Litter layer of plant residues in relatively undecomposed form.
A) Surface soil
Layer of mineral soil with most organic matter accumulation and
soil life.
B) Subsoil
Layer of alteration below an "E" or "A" horizon. This layer
accumulates iron, clay, aluminum and organic compounds, a
process referred to as illuviation.
C) Substratum
Layer of unconsolidated soil parent material. This layer may
accumulate the more soluble compounds that bypass the "B"
O Horizon

•The “O” stands for Organic, with this

surface layer being dominated by the
presence of large amounts of organic
material in varying stages of
P Horizon

•These horizons are also heavily

organic, but are distinct from O
Horizons in that they form under
waterlogged conditions. The “P”
designation comes from their common
name, peats. They may be divided into
P1 and P2 in the same way as O
A Horizon

•The A Horizon is the top layer of the soil

horizon. The technical definition of an A
Horizon may vary, but it is most
commonly described in terms relative to
deeper layers.
B Horizon

•B Horizons are commonly referred to as

‘subsoil’, and consist of mineral layers which
may contain concentrations of clay or
minerals such as iron or aluminium, or
organic material.
E Horizon

•“E” being short for eluviated has been

significantly leached of its mineral and/or
organic content, leaving a pale layer largely
composed of silicates.
C Horizon

•C Horizons are simply named so

because they come ‘after’ A and B within
the soil profile. These layers are little
affected by soil forming processes, and
their lack of pedological development is
one of their defining attributes.
D Horizon

•Refer to ‘any soil material below the solum

that is unlike the solum in general
character, is not C horizon, and cannot be
given reliable designation
R Horizon

• Unlike the above layers, R horizons

largely comprise continuous masses (as
opposed to boulders) of hard rock that
cannot be excavated by hand.
Soil Erosion

•The removal of soil by normal earth

processes of wind and water, as well as
human activities such as agriculture.

•Rill and gully erosion, one of the most common caused by water, occurs
when water from a heavy rainfall does not fully infiltrate the ground. A
portion becomes runoff, and flows downhill along the steepest gradient.
This flow starts as diffuse overland flow, or just a thin sheet of water moving
over the ground surface, but due to small differences in the land such as
vegetation, it begins to flow in small channels, or rills, where there is the
least resistance. As more water flows into a rill, it is eroded at an even
faster rate, increasing in size as many small rills converge to form gullies.
This type of erosion destabilizes the land surface and carries soil away as
waterborn sediment.
•Wind erosion is equally damaging because
it "physically removes the lighter, less dense
soil constituents such as organic matter,
clays, and silts." It can carry away the topsoil
as airborn dust that can travel great
Images of a river near Richmond, Indiana before
and after a large rainfall and flooding event.
Nearly 15 feet of bank have been carried away by
water erosion in just a few days.