Soil matter in the soil. The time for these

Soil refers to the thin
layer of material covering the earth’s surface and forms as a result of
weathering of rocks (Chesworth, 2008). It is made up of organic matter,
minerals, gases, liquids, and organisms. Plants, being the primary source of
food for humans and animals, obtain their nutrients from the soil. Therefore,
it is an integral part of our environment. It also follows that human beings
must protect soil from damage and erosion in general. To do this, one must,
first of all, understand it and how it forms. Understanding soil will even make
humans appreciate it even more and so manage it properly.

The process of soil
formation is explained by many factors. We will, however, focus on five main
factors namely parental material, climate, topography, biological elements and
time. The soil is rarely formed directly from the underlying rocks. It develops
from materials formed elsewhere closer to the place they get deposited or from
afar. These are usually carried along by moving water, ice and wind and then
collected. With time, these materials accumulate to form soil. The so created
soil will always have the same chemical properties as the rocks from which it
weathered. These are called parental materials and can include “glacial
till.” Glacial till refers to material ground up and moved by a glacier (Danoff-
Burg, 2018).

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Variations in climate
determine how soil is formed. Intense sunlight and rainfall determine the rate
of weathering and leaching. Strong winds carry parental materials and deposit
them in far places. Variation in temperature affects the availability of
moisture, the rate of biological activities, and rates of chemical reactions,
especially on the parental rocks.

Living organisms affect
soil formation in different ways. Human beings, plants, animals, and
micro-organisms all influence soil formation. Each plant affects soil formation
depending on the types of roots it has. Fibrous roots end at the near surface
where they eventually die, decompose, and add up to organic matter in the soil.
Taproots penetrate to the more in-depth soil thereby creating pathways among
the rocks thus breaking them with time. Living organisms mix leaves that fall
from the native vegetation thereby constituting even more organic matter in the
soil.

The time for these
factors to work together to affect the soil formation is also a factor in the
same process. Time determines the feature a soil will exhibit. Soil particles
from recently weathered materials will have rough materials. Soil particles of
soil sample formed materials weathered ages ago will have fine particles.

Topography affects the
amount of moisture and temperature in the soil. The soil in a steeply land
facing the sun will be warm. The steep area might also be eroded and thus be
thinner. The bottom soils will be thicker and darker due to uniform deposition
of fine soil particles.

There is a lot of pressure
on soil globally today due to the needs of growing crops for human consumption,
economic reasons, fodder crops for animals, and also developing in forests. The
available use of soil is more than what the available soil nutrients. As the
population increases, more lands are being occupied by buildings, thus reducing
the available amount of soil for agricultural use. Therefore, humans have to
use the available pieces of land wisely, and any slight mismanagement of soil
and unhealthy soil practices will lead to soil degradation. This degradation
renders soil’s lost usefulness irreversible and thus making only one logical
conclusion that, it is non-renewable.

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