To many new agriculture entrants and knowledge seekers, it is new for them to know that soil is actually formed. So this article will focus on answering the question that how soil is formed? Soil is actually formed due to weathering of minerals are rocks. By weathering, it means soil is formed due to deterioration of minerals and rocks on the earth surface due to several naturally occurring physical, chemical and biological factors. Or in other words, weathering refers to the decomposition and disintegration or fragmentation of rocks and minerals by natural processes as mentioned before.
How Soil is Formed?
Formation of Soil
In the first stage of weathering, parent material is formed that is then subjected to a sequence of soil forming processes. The soils that are formed at the place of parent material are also called as sedentary soils. Before the starting of soil formation process, there is fair chance that parent material may get transported from one place to another under the action of wind, water, snow or gravity. It is there where further process of soil formation will start.
It is noteworthy that depending on the agent that transports soil, soils ate categorized into following types. These are;
- Alluvial, lacustrine and marine soils (Water)
- Glacial soils (ice or snow)
- Aeolian Soils (wind)
- Colluvial soils (gravity)
It is also important to understand that soil’s transporting agency may be more than one. In that case the dominant agency will be considered for naming the soil.
In addition to weathering, climatic factors like temperature, precipitation, organisms (fauna and flora) and slope/elevation also act and work on parent material to generate soil but at a slow process over the time.
The ways soil forming factors play their role depend upon the types of rock. If the rock is hard, action of soil forming factors is shallow. In case of soft rock, the action is deep. After sufficient and thick mantle of soil material is formed over a rock surface, the process of weathering slows down.
The soils formed from rocks and minerals are generally composed of iron and aluminum silicates. After deposition at a place, soon the soil becomes the home of micro-organisms, animals and plants. After the death and decay of these organisms, they get mix with the soil and add organic matter to the soil. Thus mineral particles along with the organic matter become the soil body. This means soil is not a dead body in fact it houses billions and billions of soil organisms that create and run soil activities.
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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, March 09). How Soil is formed? [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://aridagriculture.com/2018/03/09/how-soil-is-formed/[/box]