For an explanation, see the main splats page
The principles relating to soil
- Soil forms slowly from basement rock when the rock minerals undergo changes as they weather to soil, which includes minerals as inorganic parts.
- When volcanoes cover an area with new rock in the form of lava, or when glaciers scrape it clean, new fresh soil, rich in mineral nutrients, can form.
- Igneous rocks are eroded and weathered to form sediments and soil, but over time, the more valuable minerals are leached away, leaving a deficient soil.
- Soil contains humus, a complex mixture of partly-decayed organic matter that supports a broad range of Fungi, bacteria and microscopic life forms.
- The soil is commonly regarded as dead, but it includes organic parts as well as the more obvious minerals, and is of little use to plants if it is sterile.
- Leaf litter is a key part of the soil and forest floor, and supports its own rich culture of living things, before it enters the soil as humus.
- Many things live in the soil, and the animals in soil can be extracted and studied. The richer the soil, the more animals there will be living in it.
- The quality of soil can be assessed by taking a soil profile, which means either digging a trench, or using an auger to bore out a sample to study the layers.
- Hydroponics is a popular method of growing plants without soil, using water to supply the essential mineral nutrients that are needed by the plants.
This file is http://members.ozemail.com.au/~macinnis/scifun/, first created on February 23, 2009. Last recorded revision (well I get lazy and forget sometimes!) was on February 23, 2009.
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