Soil

dirtsoilssoil moistureearthgroundearthensoil nutrientmoisturenutrientssoil water
Soil is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids, and organisms that together support life.wikipedia
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Pedosphere

soilsoil system
Earth's body of soil is the pedosphere, which has four important functions: it is a medium for plant growth; it is a means of water storage, supply and purification; it is a modifier of Earth's atmosphere; it is a habitat for organisms; all of which, in turn, modify the soil.
The pedosphere (from Greek πέδον pedon "soil" or "earth" and σφαῖρα sphaira "sphere") is the outermost layer of the Earth that is composed of soil and subject to soil formation processes.

Soil science

soil scientistsoil sciencessoil scientists
Soil science has two basic branches of study: edaphology and pedology.
Soil science is the study of soil as a natural resource on the surface of the Earth including soil formation, classification and mapping; physical, chemical, biological, and fertility properties of soils; and these properties in relation to the use and management of soils.

Pedology

pedologistpedologicalpedologists
Soil science has two basic branches of study: edaphology and pedology.
Pedology (from Greek: πέδον, pedon, "soil"; and λόγος, logos, "study") is the study of soils in their natural environment.

Paleopedological record

fossil recordfossilized soils
Most soils have a dry bulk density (density of soil taking into account voids when dry) between 1.1 and 1.6 g/cm 3, while the soil particle density is much higher, in the range of 2.6 to 2.7 g/cm 3 . Little of the soil of planet Earth is older than the Pleistocene and none is older than the Cenozoic, although fossilized soils are preserved from as far back as the Archean.
The paleopedological record is, essentially, the fossil record of soils.

Soil ecology

terrestrial ecologySoil ecosystemterrestrial ecologist
Given its complexity and strong internal connectedness, it is considered an ecosystem by soil ecologists.
Soil ecology is the study of the interactions among soil biology, and between biotic and abiotic aspects of the soil environment.

Ground

The term pedolith, used commonly to refer to the soil, translates to ground stone.
Soil, a mixture of clay, sand and organic matter present on the surface of the Earth

Earth

terrestrialworldGlobal
Earth's body of soil is the pedosphere, which has four important functions: it is a medium for plant growth; it is a means of water storage, supply and purification; it is a modifier of Earth's atmosphere; it is a habitat for organisms; all of which, in turn, modify the soil.
The modern English word Earth developed from a wide variety of Middle English forms, which derived from an Old English noun most often spelled . It has cognates in every Germanic language, and their proto-Germanic root has been reconstructed as *erþō. In its earliest appearances, eorðe was already being used to translate the many senses of Latin and Greek (gē): the ground, its soil, dry land, the human world, the surface of the world (including the sea), and the globe itself.

Regolith

megaregolithlunar dustlunar soil
In engineering terms, soil is included in the broader concept of regolith, which also includes other loose material that lies above the bedrock, as can be found on the Moon and other celestial objects, as well.
It includes dust, soil, broken rock, and other related materials and is present on Earth, the Moon, Mars, some asteroids, and other terrestrial planets and moons.

Soil water (retention)

retentive capacitywater availabilitywater retention
Since plants require a nearly continuous supply of water, but most regions receive sporadic rainfall, the water-holding capacity of soils is vital for plant survival.
Soils can process and hold considerable amount of water. They can take in water, and will keep doing so until they are full, or until the rate at which they can transmit water into and through the pores is exceeded.

Soil organic matter

organic matterorganicorganic matter in the soil
Organic carbon held in soil is eventually returned to the atmosphere through the process of respiration carried out by heterotrophic organisms, but a substantial part is retained in the soil in the form of soil organic matter; tillage usually increases the rate of soil respiration, leading to the depletion of soil organic matter.
Soil organic matter (SOM) is the organic matter component of soil, consisting of plant and animal residues at various stages of decomposition, cells and tissues of soil organisms, and substances synthesized by soil organisms.

Tillage

cultivationtillingcultivated
Organic carbon held in soil is eventually returned to the atmosphere through the process of respiration carried out by heterotrophic organisms, but a substantial part is retained in the soil in the form of soil organic matter; tillage usually increases the rate of soil respiration, leading to the depletion of soil organic matter.
Tillage is the agricultural preparation of soil by mechanical agitation of various types, such as digging, stirring, and overturning.

Edaphology

edaphicedaphic endemicsedaphic plant communities
Soil science has two basic branches of study: edaphology and pedology.
Edaphology is concerned with the influence of soils on living things, particularly plants.

Soil structure

structureaggregatessoil aggregates
The interaction of the individual mineral particles with organic matter, water, gases via biotic and abiotic processes causes those particles to flocculate (stick together) to form aggregates or peds.
Soil structure describes the arrangement of the solid parts of the soil and of the pore space located between them.

Pore space in soil

soil poreporositycharacterisation of pore space in soil
This ventilation can be accomplished via networks of interconnected soil pores, which also absorb and hold rainwater making it readily available for uptake by plants.
The pore space of soil contains the liquid and gas phases of soil, i.e., everything but the solid phase that contains mainly minerals of varying sizes as well as organic compounds.

Soil pH

pHacidic soilacidic
Plant nutrient availability is affected by soil pH, which is a measure of the hydrogen ion activity in the soil solution.
Soil pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity (alkalinity) of a soil.

Organic matter

organicorganic materialorganic materials
Soil is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids, and organisms that together support life.
After degrading and reacting, it can move into soil and mainstream water via waterflow.

Carbon sink

carbon dioxide sinksinkssink
With respect to Earth's carbon cycle, soil is an important carbon reservoir, and it is potentially one of the most reactive to human disturbance and climate change.
Soils represent a short to long-term carbon storage medium, and contain more carbon than all terrestrial vegetation and the atmosphere combined.

Bulk density

bulk densitiesbulkbulk weight (density)
Most soils have a dry bulk density (density of soil taking into account voids when dry) between 1.1 and 1.6 g/cm 3, while the soil particle density is much higher, in the range of 2.6 to 2.7 g/cm 3 . Little of the soil of planet Earth is older than the Pleistocene and none is older than the Cenozoic, although fossilized soils are preserved from as far back as the Archean.
Bulk density is a property of powders, granules, and other "divided" solids, especially used in reference to mineral components (soil, gravel), chemical substances, (pharmaceutical) ingredients, foodstuff, or any other masses of corpuscular or particulate matter.

Leaching (agriculture)

leachingleachednutrient leaching
Water is central to the dissolution, precipitation and leaching of minerals from the soil profile.
In agriculture, leaching is the loss of water from water-soluble plant nutrients from the soil, due to rain and irrigation.

Dirt

dirtygrimeearth
Soil is also commonly referred to as earth or dirt; some scientific definitions distinguish dirt from soil by restricting the former term specifically to the displaced soil.
Soil: the mix of clay, sand, and humus which lies on top of bedrock

Crop rotation

fallowrotationthree-field system
Olivier de Serres, considered as the father of French agronomy, was the first to suggest the abandonment of fallowing and its replacement by hay meadows within crop rotations, and he highlighted the importance of soil (the French terroir) in the management of vineyards.
It is done so that the soil of farms is not used for only one set of nutrients.

Green manure

green fertilizergrass culturesgreen compost
Columella's "Husbandry," circa 60 CE, advocated the use of lime and that clover and alfalfa (green manure) should be turned under, and was used by 15 generations (450 years) under the Roman Empire until its collapse.
Typically, they are ploughed under and incorporated into the soil while green or shortly after flowering.

Clover

Trifoliumcloversalsike
Columella's "Husbandry," circa 60 CE, advocated the use of lime and that clover and alfalfa (green manure) should be turned under, and was used by 15 generations (450 years) under the Roman Empire until its collapse.
Clover, either sown alone or in mixture with ryegrass, has for a long time formed a staple crop for silaging, for several reasons: it grows freely, shooting up again after repeated mowings; it produces an abundant crop; it is palatable to and nutritious for livestock; it fixes nitrogen, reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers; it grows in a great range of soils and climates; and it is appropriate for either pasturage or green composting.

Sustainable agriculture

sustainablesustainable farmingsustainable agricultural
His famous book Le Théâtre d’Agriculture et mesnage des champs contributed to the rise of modern, sustainable agriculture and to the collapse of old agricultural practices such as the lifting of forest litter for the amendment of crops (the French soutrage) and assarting, which ruined the soils of western Europe during Middle Ages and even later on according to regions.
Practices that can cause long-term damage to soil include excessive tilling of the soil (leading to erosion) and irrigation without adequate drainage (leading to salinization).

Water pollution

pollutionpollutedwater
The world's ecosystems are impacted in far-reaching ways by the processes carried out in the soil, from ozone depletion and global warming to rainforest destruction and water pollution.
Analysis of groundwater contamination may focus on soil characteristics and site geology, hydrogeology, hydrology, and the nature of the contaminants.