[ENVI 239] - Midterm Exam Guide - Ultimate 47 pages long Study Guide!

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Binghamton
ENVI 239
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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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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