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Unit 1 - Study Guide - Soil Formation and Composition

by: Holly Folkerts

Unit 1 - Study Guide - Soil Formation and Composition AGA 154

Marketplace > Hawkeye Community College > Agriculture and Forestry > AGA 154 > Unit 1 Study Guide Soil Formation and Composition
Holly Folkerts


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About this Document

Soil Formation and Composition - Parent Materials - Components - Horizons - Factors that affect soil productivity - Functions of soil
Fundamentals of Soil Science
Eric Weuve
Study Guide
Soil Science, Soil, Soil Biology, intro to soil science, agriculture, agronomy, Geology, farming
50 ?




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This 3 page Study Guide was uploaded by Holly Folkerts on Monday September 12, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to AGA 154 at Hawkeye Community College taught by Eric Weuve in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Fundamentals of Soil Science in Agriculture and Forestry at Hawkeye Community College.

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Date Created: 09/12/16
Unit 1 = Study Guide WHAT IS SOIL? Unconsolidated mineral or organic material on the immediate surface of the earth that serves as a natural medium for the growth of land plants. SOIL HORIZONS – Simple (5 Layers) / Complex (7 Layers) O – ORGANIC MATTER Oi – UNDECOMPOSED Oa – DECOMPOSED A – TOPSOIL E – ZONE OF MAX LEACHING (SUBSOIL) B – ZONE OF ACCUMULATION (SUBSOIL) C – SIMILAR TO PARENT MATERIAL BEFORE FRAGMENTATION R – BEDROCK/PARENT MATERIAL (IGNEOUS, SEDIMENTARY, METAMORPHIC) ALLUVIAL – soil made up of materials that are left by the water of rivers, floods, glaciers, etc. Loose, unconsolidated soil or sediments, which has been eroded, reshaped by water in some form and redeposited in a non-marine setting. COLLUVIUM – material (soil or sediment) that accumulates at the foot of a steep slope; deposited by gravity. FIVE FUNCTIONS OF SOIL – A PLANT’S “WANTS” W – Water A – Air Supply N – Nutrients T – Temperature & Toxin Regulation S – Structure/Support QUANTITY & QUALITY - WATER QUANTITY: soil acts as a water storage container Within the soil – in the pores Above the soil – ponds, lakes, reservoirs QUALITY: soil acts as a natural filter or chemical reactor Water has to have traveled through the soil or over its surface at one point in time. Unit 1 = Study Guide IDEAL SOIL COMPOSTION 25% - AIR (50/50) 25% - WATER (50/50) 45% - MINERAL MATERIAL 5% - ORGANIC MATERIAL 5 FACTORS THAT AFFECT SOIL PRODUCTIVITY 1. CLIMATE Temperature: controls rates of chemical reactions (warm regions = soil matures quicker) Rainfall: leaching, pH, nutrient supply, etc. are all controlled by rain 2. RELIEF – TOPOGRAPHY Climate, smoothness of soil surface, and steep slopes encourage water run- of 3. ORGANISMS – THE LIVING PORTION Afects and in return is afected by soil productivity Vegetation type and amount directly influences the amount of organic material - afects soil pH and nutrient supply 4. PARENT MATERIAL There are SEVEN types of parent materials 5. TIME – SOIL CHANGES OVER TIME! Soils change forms as they leach downward with rainwater PARENT MATERIAL – the mineral portion of soil is derived from rocks that have been broken down into small fragments over the centuries by weathering processes. Soil difers from the material from which it is derived in many ways…physical, chemical, biological, and morphological properties. 1. GLACIAL TILL – deposited by glaciers when they melted Contains rocks of difering sizes Varies in texture Found in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, & Wisconsin 2. LOESS – wind deposited material (mainly silt) Uniform sized particles Usually found in Iowa (Loess Hills) and China 3. ALLUVIUM – deposited by water Bottomlands, deltas, flood plains Less uniform than loess - along rivers 4. RESIDUAL – soil that formed in place (not transported) Usually from Sandstone and Limestone Found west of the Mississippi River (Colorado) 5. COLLUVIUM – deposited by gravity at the base of slopes 6. LACKLUSTRINE - deposited in lakes 7. MARINE – deposited in oceans 8. PEAT – (MUCK) remains of plants Swamps, marshes, bogs, etc. (Canada) Unit 1 = Study Guide COMPONENTS OF SOIL – SOLIDS Solids in soil are comprised of (45%) minerals and (5%) organic substances - Organic material is commonly referred to as HUMUS. - Minerals such as sand and clay will dominate over organic material, meaning plants and organisms have a more difficult time thriving/growing in them. SOIL HORIZON – a layer parallel to the soil crust, whose physical features difer from the layers above and below. Each soil type has three or four horizons. Horizons are defined in most cases by obvious physical features like color and texture. SOIL PROFILE – a vertical section of the soil that is exposed by a soil pit.


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