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EESA01H3 (141)

Week 7

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Environmental Science
Carl Mitchell

Lecture 6 Soil as a system Soil: disintegrated rock; organic matter+water+gases+nutrients+micro-organisms mineral matter with varying proportions of organic matter has much influence on surrounding ecosystems leachingsoil creation: occurs in warmerwetter climates- faster chemical reactions and heat Definitions Parent material: base geological material in a particular location can include lava, volcanic ash, rock sediment deposits by glaciers and rivers Bedrock: continuous mass of solid rock that makes up the earths crust Weathering: physicalchemicalbiological pressure that breaks down rocks and minerals, turning large particles into smaller particles Physical weatheringmechanical: breaks down rocks without trigerring chemical change in parent material Chemical weathering: when water or other substances chemically react with parent material Biological weathering: when living things break down parent material by physical or chemical means Erosion: the movement of soil from one area to another Humus: a dark spongey crumbly mass of material made up of complex organic compounds Peat: soils that are dominated by partially decayed compressed organic matter (characteristic of northern climates) **Decomposition, deposition, and accumulation of organic matter can contribute to soil formation Soil Profile- horizons O horizon: (organic) upper most layer consisting mostly of organic matter such as decomposing leaves, animal wastes and branches A: consisting of inorganic mineral components, with organic matter and humus from above O and A are home to countless organisms Bsubsoil: contains minerals and organic matter that move down from A horizon and accumulate (less organic materials) C: below B, consists of weathered parent material, unaltered by or slightly altered by process of soil formation
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