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Final

EESA01H3 Final: EESA01 - final exam note. Content after midterm


Department
Environmental Science
Course Code
EESA01H3
Professor
Carl Mitchell
Study Guide
Final

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Soil
Introduction: soil as resource
SOIL IS AN ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL RESOURCE
1. EX: Mesopotamian culture decline and fall because of soil salinization.
2. EX: Mayan Culture
CANADA: 13% cropland; 54% forests and woodlands.
CRITICAL FUNCTIONS:
1. Agriculture/support of plants
2. Soil carbon storage  related to climate change.
3. Ecosystem
Soil is a “system”
Complex mixture of organic and inorganic component and full of various organisms:
1. Bacteria
2. Protists
3. Fungi
4. Invertebrates
How Does Soil Form?
WEATHERING
1. PHYSICAL (MECHANICAL)
Glaciers, temperature change, freezing of water.
2. CHEMICAL
a) Dissolution in acid
b) Carbonic acid (H2CO3)
c) Plant organic acids
d) Biological effect: bacteria, worms, lichens.
Soil Forming Factors
1. Climate: faster forming in warm, wet climates
2. Organisms
3. Topographical relief
4. Parent material
5. Time
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Soil Properties
Soil Horizons
1. O: organic matter deposited by organisms (plants)
2. A: top soil, upper mineral horizon mixed with organic
matter
3. B: mineral soil receiving leachate from A
horizon
4. C: mostly weathered parent material
5. R: pure parent material
Soil Characterization
1. Colour  largely indicates composition
2. Texture  controlled by size of particles
3. Structure indicates the organization or
“clumpiness” of soil
4. Chemistry: pH; Cation exchange rate.
Soil order
1. Based on the characterization, we can divide
soil into different soil orders: (different in
America and Canada)
2. We have podzolic around (forest);
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Soil texture: related to soil moisture and ground water. Water retain in soil and used by
plant by hydrogen bond. (what if the soil made of pure sand? Can it support plant
growth? How about pure clay?)
Soil Chemistry: Cation Exchange
1. Principal means by which plants gain nutrients like K+, Mg2+, Ca2+, etc and
heavy metal ions.
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