Soil - Falcon revision

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created 6 years ago by EDoherty
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Physical geog
updated 1 year ago by EDoherty
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1

What is soil?

soil is a thin layer of loose material on the earths surface

2

What does soil consist of?

Mineral matter 43%

air 25%

water 25%

living organisms 2%

humus 5%

3

What is mineral matter

¨consists of the remains of rocks that have been broken down into smaller particles by weathering and erosion. It includes stones, sand, silt and clay.

4

Air

¨contains oxygen and nitrogen and are vital for the growth of plants.

5

water

¨allows plants to grow because it contains dissolved minerals.

6

Living organisms

help to break down dead plants into humus. Some of them can't be seen by the naked eye which include bacteria and fungi.

7

Humus

¨is the dark, partly decayed organic matter found in soil. It is produced from the remains of dead creatures and plants. It provides nutrients that make the soil fertile.

8

Soil Profile

¨There are different layers in a soil profile and each one is known as a horizon.

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Layers in soil

Apart from the plant litter on the surface, there are usually three horizons in a soil profile. They vary in colour, content and size

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Horizon A

¨Called the topsoil. It is usually darker than lower layers as it has a high humus content.

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Horizon B

Called the subsoil. It is usually lighter in colour because it hass less humus. It has more stones than the A horizon because it is closer to the parent material and is protected from weathering..

12

Horizon C

This consists of the parent rock of the soil. The upper section may be broken down into rock particles, but the lower section consists of solid bedrock.

13

Leaching

¨Leaching is very common in wet climates such as Ireland because excess water moves down through the soil profile and washes minerals, humus and nutrients down into the B horizon.

14

Effects of Leaching

¨Leaching can cause the A horizon to lose its fertility.

¨If leaching is very severe, minserals such as clay and iron oxide build up at the bottom of the A horizon. They are cemented together to form a crust called a hardpan. Since hardpan is impermeable, it causes the soil above it to become waterlogged.

15

Effects of Leaching and formation of Hardpan

¨If leaching is very severe, minserals such as clay and iron oxide build up at the bottom of the A horizon. They are cemented together to form a crust called a hardpan. Since hardpan is impermeable, it causes the soil above it to become waterlogged.

16

¨There are four main soil types in Ireland:

Brown earth soils

Podzol soils

Peaty soils

Gley soils

17

Brown Soil

¨Brown earth soils developed on the boulder clays deposited after the last Ice Age.

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Brown Soil

¨These areas were formerly covered by deciduous forest. They are currently under grassland or crops.

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Brown soil

¨There was a plentiful supply of plant litter available. This decayed rapidly to form humus, giving the soil its dark brown colour.

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Brown Soil

¨Very little leaching takes place in these regions.

¨Brown earth soils are fertile and area suited to a wide range of farming types.

21

What is Irelands most common soil type

Brown Soil