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How Soils Form

How Soils Form

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How Soils Form

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  1. How Soils Form Image: T. Loynachan Soils-2-1

  2. Physical weathering breaks rocks into small mineral particles that accumulate on the Earth’s surface. Images: Martin Miller, NRCS Soils-2-2

  3. Chemical weathering dissolves and changes minerals that have accumulated on the Earth’s surface. Images: National Cooperative Soil Survey, University of Nebraska Soils-2-3

  4. Decomposing organic material from plants and animals mixes with accumulated soil minerals. Images: NRCS, Soil Classifiers of Michigan Soils-2-4

  5. Accumulated soil materials contain voids filled with air or water. Image: T. Loynachan Soils-2-5

  6. Continued physical and chemical changes over hundreds to thousands of years produce layers called soil horizons. Image: National Cooperative Soil Survey Soils-2-6

  7. The Formation of Soils Image: T. Loynachan