ENVI 239 Study Guide - Final Guide: Human Capital, Saffir–Simpson Scale, Nitrogen Oxide

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Environment Final
Soils, Agriculture, and Land Use (Ch.6)
Soil Formation
· Weathering- Breaking down of parent material
· Erosion- When weathered material is transferred to another location by water, wind,
or glaciers
· Decomposition- decomposition of organic material such as vegetation
Soil Properties
• Soil Stability- want to build on stable soil
Bulk density- How much weight can be held by the soil. Determined by density.
Soil with bigger particles have a higher bulk density
Sand and silt have a lower bulk density
Very compact- High
Not very compact- low
Liquefaction- amount of water in the soil
More water- less stable
Very compact, space between particles is small
• Drainability
Permeability- is determined by the particle size, small particle size, low
permeability
Capillary action- water particles cling to the soil particles. Limits the water from
flowing
Want a soil that has good drainability
Waste management you want clay, low permeability
Drainability is important for filtration
• Erodibility
Ability for soil to break down
Structure, bulk density, liquefaction
River carries particles which makes it erodibility
Rainsplash Erosion- When rain drops and dislodges small pieces of soil
Sheet Erosion- heavy precipitation and water collects on surface
Rill and Gully Erosion- rainwater gets trapped in groves and deepen the
grooves
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Stream and channel erosion- increased runoff, can cause erosion of the stream
bottom
Soil Quality
Fertility- amount of organic material in soil
Productivity- crop yield
Leaching- heavy precipitation can push down organic nutrients to sub soil so top
soil does not have nutrients
Degradation- Urban runoff, deforestation
• Biological Indicators- living organisms in the soil, earth worms
• Chemical Indicators- mineral composition, PH levels
• Physical Indicators- color of the soil, texture, moisture, weight
topsoil - organic
Subsoil - minerals
Soil Taxonomy
Alfisols / Molisols high fertility rates
Alfisols- where trees shed leaves, a deciduous forest
Molisols- grassland, contains humus-finely decomposed organic material
Andisol / Histosol / Vertisol origin of parent material determines the soil content
Andisol- soils that are developed where there are earthquakes and volcanoes, basalt
has a lot of volcanic ash
Histosol- comes from water. Waterlogged soils, swamps, very high organic material
Peat- clay like substance that is combustible. Very low in drainability. Functions as a
filtration system and limits flooding
Vertisol- comes from clay. Goes through a process called shrink and swell. Don’t
support a lot of vegetation except for rice. Not a lot of drainability, capillary action
Aridisol / Oxisol low fertility rates
Aridisol- soils in desert lands, dry climate, no organic material, low humus, less fertile
Oxisol- Warm wet climates, the tropics. Not fertile because of extreme precipitation.
Leaching water will wash down nutrients from top layer into deeper layers. Less diverse
vegetation . Tropical rainforests actually have low biodiversity. A lot of ion or metal
oxides in the soil, turns to a red rusty color.
Entisol / Inceptisol young soils
Entisol- don’t have layers. Where an ice age movement or where places are eroding
Inceptisols- have a better definition of layers
Types of Agriculture
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-Number of farms are decreasing but the sizes of farms are increasing, would focus on
one type of crop
- less diversity and an increase in artificial fertilizers
Monoculture
-intensive agriculture
-large land area
-located away from the market
-Increase crop yields from existing farmlands
Increase production inputs
Genetically modified seed- high yields, shorter growing season
Mechanization
Management- have to have good management because it is a big
business
Impacts of Monoculture
· Land- erosion, requires large areas of land, water contamination and Soil- soil loses
nutrients
· Contamination
· Market dynamics- farms are owned by large corporations that have monopolies,
these farms determine the price of the goods
· Ecosystem loss
· Displacement- of people and plants
· Cultural change- buying food in stores
· Public health- these crops lose nutrients through being genetically modified
• US Agricultural Policy
1933 Agricultural Adjustment Act
Commodity specific prices Subsidies
1973 Agriculture and Consumer Protection
Act
Loans and incentives Participate in exports
Subsidies
Rural development
1996 Federal Agriculture Improvement and
Reform Act
Direct Payments Planting flexibility
2002 Farm Security and Rural Investment
Direct Payments Planting flexibility Incentives for
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Document Summary

Bulk density- how much weight can be held by the soil. Soil with bigger particles have a higher bulk density. Sand and silt have a lower bulk density. Erosion- when weathered material is transferred to another location by water, wind, or glaciers. Decomposition- decomposition of organic material such as vegetation. Soil properties: soil stability- want to build on stable soil, drainability permeability flowing, erodibility grooves. Rainsplash erosion- when rain drops and dislodges small pieces of soil. Sheet erosion- heavy precipitation and water collects on surface. Rill and gully erosion- rainwater gets trapped in groves and deepen the. Permeability- is determined by the particle size, small particle size, low. Capillary action- water particles cling to the soil particles. Stream and channel erosion- increased runoff, can cause erosion of the stream. Leaching- heavy precipitation can push down organic nutrients to sub soil so top bottom.

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