Soils

What are Soils?

Soil is a natural body consisting of layers (soil horizons) of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics.

It is composed of particles of broken rock that have been altered by chemical and environmental processes that include weathering and erosion. Soil differs from its parent rock due to interactions between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and the biosphere. It is a mixture of mineral and organic constituents that are in solid, gaseous and aqueous states.

Soil particles pack loosely, forming a soil structure filled with pore spaces. These pores contain soil solution (liquid) and air (gas). Accordingly, soils are often treated as a three state system.  Most soils have a density between 1 and 2 g/cm³. Soil is also known as earth: it is the substance from which our planet takes its name.

INFORMATION ON SOILS IN INFORMED FARMERS

To make the SOILS information easier to find, we have grouped the articles into subject groups. To examine these subject groups, please click on the associated Links coloured Blue.

SOIL-PLANT REQUIREMENTS

SOIL MAPPING

SOIL PHYSICAL PROPERTIES

SOIL WATER

SOIL NUTRIENTS

FERTILISERS AND SOILS

SOIL pH

TRACE ELEMENTS IN SOIL

SUSTAINABLE SOIL MANAGEMENT