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Soil. More than just Dirt !. Atmosphere. Biosphere. Pedosphere. Hydrosphere. Lithosphere. Weathering Uptake by plants. Evapotranspiration Precipitation Decomposition. Nutrient cycling Infiltration. Groundwater flow Leaching. Soil Composition.

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  1. Soil More thanjustDirt!

  2. Atmosphere Biosphere Pedosphere Hydrosphere Lithosphere • Weathering • Uptake by plants • Evapotranspiration • Precipitation • Decomposition • Nutrient cycling • Infiltration • Groundwater flow • Leaching

  3. Soil Composition •

  4. Soil formation • Three stages: • Mechnical and chemical weathering • Introduction of living organisms • Decomposition and the formation of an organic component

  5. Soil horizons Organic material / leaf litter Mixed mineral-organic Eluvial or leached Illuvial or deposited Weathered rock from which the soil forms Parent material (bedrock)


  7. Type of particle Clay Silt Sand Gravel Diameter (mm) <0.002 0.02-0.05 0.05-2.0 >2.0 Ideal soiltype

  8. What is soil degradation? • Loss of soil • Processes that take away the soil (soil erosion) • When do you think this would occur? • Loss of soil fertility • Processes that make the soil less suitable for use. • When do you think this might occur?

  9. Case Studies • Read the case studies about soil degradation. • Write down what is happening to the soil and the causes.

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