Soil cover is a complex unique living layer of the Earth, extending on land and even under water at a shallow depth of marshes, lakes and seas.
How does soil cover appear?
The upper horizons of rocks (lithosphere) are crushed under the influence of living organisms, precipitation, solar heat and wind, are eroded by groundwater. Thus, stones, rocks, hard rocks are gradually transformed into independent soil cover. The soil, in contrast to the rock, provides, among other things, fertility, thus, it is capable to create the harvest of plants.
What is soil from scientifical point of view?
The founder of the soil theory, the famous Russian scientist Dokuchaev, described the soil as a function of 1) the underlying rock 2) living organisms 3) climate 4) relief and 5) time. Depending on the combination of soil formation factors, different soils appear in different areas. The entire set of soils on the surface is called the wold soil cover.
Soil science is a system science!
To understand the essence and properties of soil cover, you need to combine the principles of such sciences as chemistry, physics, biology, geography, geology, geomorphology, geochemistry, geophysics, and many others. On the one hand, soil cover is an independent natural body, and on the other hand, it is an open system that constantly interacts with other shells of the planet (rocks, atmosphere, hydrosphere). Soil science is probably the most complex science on earth and very interesting.
Why do we need soil cover?
The soil accumulates a lot of energy in the form of plant organic matter. Soil organics nourishes plants and together with minerals creates a home for soil living organisms. Food and plant sources of energy that humanity receives due to soil, makes soil cover the most important strategic resource of humanity.
Soil cover - the environment, place and condition of life of people, animals and plants. Many species live exclusively in the soil, others use the soil cover for metabolism. The soil is central part in the planetary cycles of matter and energy exchange.
The soil cover and its vegetation have a significant impact on the composition of atmospheric air, along with the main gas actor of the planet - the World Ocean. The soil and vegetation cover determines the dynamics of oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen and other elements.
The chemical composition of the soil affects the chemistry of rivers, seas and oceans.
The most valuable natural resources - coal, oil, peat, deposits of iron, aluminum, manganese, clay, salt, phosphate and other major deposits are largely available for people due to the ancient soil-forming processes and the long-term impact of ancient soil cover and vegetation on sedimentary rocks. If in ancient times there was no soil-forming process, now we did not have such important fossil resources!
The applied significance of the soil cover is all types of agriculture, industry, construction, medicine and resorts, cosmetology and beauty, the study of our past, climate change, food security.
Now you understand why soil science is not just a fascinating science, but literally a necessity for solving the most complex challenges of humanity. And in the era of a progressive increase in anthropogenic pressure on natural ecosystems, soil science is subject of particular relevance.
Any soil realted questions and topics. World Soilscience Congress, soil conferences and meetings, Soil Organizations, Publications etc.
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