A casual observation of soil profiles indicate an accumulation of organic matter in the surface horizons and modification of parent materials in the subsurface horizons. A closer examination shows that there are significant differences in the texture, structure and color of soil horizons in a soil profile.
The physical properties of soil represent the state of the soil and also influence its function. Mineral soils develop from diverse parent materials or sediments which are impacted by action of ice, wind, water and man. These materials have an assortment of sizes (texture) and influence the physical framework (structure) of soil as well as physical, chemical and biological properites of soil.
In general, the movement of air, water, ions and particles in soil is strongly influenced by the initial composition of the inorganic (mineral) component of soil. The weathering of the inorganic component and the simultaneous synthesis of organo-mineral complexes into aggregates and horizons leads to the formation of the physical framework (structure) of soils.
The sum total of all the soils is termed as the "pedosphere". The pedosphere is the skin of the Earth and only develops when there is a dynamic interaction between the atmosphere (air in and above the soil), biosphere (living organisms), lithosphere (unconsolidated regolith and consolidated bedrock) and the hydrosphere (water in, on and below the soil). The pedosphere is the foundation of life on this planet.
There is a realization that the pedosphere needs to be distinctly recognized as a dynamic interface of all terrestrial ecosystems and be integrated into the Earth System Science knowledge sphere. Also, the pedosphere needs to be studied, valued, enhanced and treated in a sustainable and an ethical manner.
Since its inception in 1999, Pedosphere.com aimed to become a repository of Soil Science knowledge through partnerships with major international organizations and also be an active player in global Soil Science education by creating high quality, interactive resources that engage Soil Science students, instructors and professionals.
Please use the updated sidebar hyperlinks to see all the content on pedosphere.com and feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Noorallah Juma, Ph.D., P.Ag.
Founder/Researcher/Author of Pedosphere.com
Professor Emeritus (Soil Science) &
Curator Emeritus of the Soil Science Collections,
University of Alberta