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Soil Essay

725 words - 3 pages

Soil makes up the outermost layer of our planet. On average, most soil is approximately 1 meter thick. But, where does soil come from? Soil undergoes different processes in order to become, well, “dirt.”
Weathering is the name given to the process by which rocks are broken down to form soil. There are several different types of weathering processes, in which rocks undergo to form soil: physical, chemical, and biological. In physical weathering, rocks are broken down into finer and finer particles by means of physical attributes, such by water or freezing. When igneous rocks cool and start to crack or fracture, water can run through the cracks and break down the rocks into smaller particles to create soil. In the colder regions, ice can actually break rocks into finer particles. Or even the ocean waves can pound into rocks to create soil. In chemical weathering, rocks are broken by means of chemical attributes, such as acidification. Acid rain contains elevated levels of hydrogen ions, causing the pH level of the precipitation to be very acidic. In biological weathering, the effect of living organisms breaks down the rocks into soil, such as the effects of plant roots. Growing plant roots can exert stress or pressure on rock to form soil. For example, the video showed the lichen and fern plants growing from the igneous rocks, which can breakdown to create soil.
Soil has distant layers of earth lying above the other, parallel to soil surfaces; this is known as soil horizons. These horizons may be encountered when digging from the surface to bedrock in this order: O, A, E, B, C, and R. These horizons are identified on the basis of their physical attributes, mainly by their color, structure, texture, particle size, as well as the biological and chemical composition. The O horizon mainly consists of organic matter, which gives off the dark color, due to the various stages of decomposition. The A horizon, or topsoil, is the topmost layer of the mineral soil. This is the layer where most biological activities take place such as germinating seeds or root growth. The E horizon has a light color characteristic, and this is poor in its clay and mineral content due to the process...

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