EESB05 - Chapter 3.docx

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Environmental Science
Marney Isaac

EESB05 Chapter 3: Soil Classification PEDON, POLYPEDON and SERIES - “A Soil” is a natural body - A soil individual in terms of a 3-D unit is called a pedon, the smallest sampling unit - Soil unit in landscape consists of a group of similar pedons (polypedons) - “The Soil” is a collection of all these natural bodies that is distinct from water, solid rock, and other natural parts of the Earth’s crust Soil individual – a group of similar pedons large enough to be a landscape - Soil individuals have soil profiles, and those that fall within a particular horizon range are called soil series Groupings of Soils - Soil taxonomy is a classification system used to address all soils in the world SOIL ORDERS Why do we classify soils? - Organize information about soils - Predict behaviour of similar soils elsewhere - Create universal language of soils - Group or label soils into categories based on appearance and form (horizon characteristics) - Soils are highly variable and diverse, and they are assigned to orders, largely based on the presence or absence of major horizons - “sols” mean “soil” in Latin (solum) - Entisols have no profile layering and have the least development - Young soils - Soils with parent material having not reacted to soil-forming factors - Fresh lava flows allows little time for soil formation - Extremely dry conditions inhibit soil formation - Saturation of water may delay soil formation - Oxisols are deeply weathered soils of the humid tropics, greatest soil development - The Canadian system horizon characteristics that arise from soil forming processes to classify 10 major soils - These are all linked to the 5 soil forming factors, S = f (t, pm, c, o, r) The Canadian System Soil Order Major Diagnostic Features Regosols - New soil - Small Ah Horizon, (h = humus, the breakdown from organic material) - Little development from organic input - Has a Ck Horizon, (k = calcium) * Regosols have Ah and Ck Horizon, no B Horizon Brunisols - Acids develop in Ah Horizon, gets washed down into B Horizon - Has a Bm Horizon, (m = maturing) * Brunisols characterized by the Bm Horizon Luvisols - Fully developed soils in Southern Ontario - Contains white layer, Ae Horizon (e = eluviated) - Bt Horizon, (t = textured) and Ck Horizon - Bt is the Cs that eluviated clay out of Ae Horizon * Do not look at Ae because other Horizons may also have Ae. * Luvisols characterized by presence of Bt layer Podzols - Fully developed soils in Northern Ontario - Bf Horizon, reddish colour - Eluviation of iron and aluminum oxides - Coniferous trees found mostly in Northern Ontario, needles that fall from the trees contain a lot of limnen and acids - Needles decompose slowly and release these acids that bind to aluminum and iron by eluviations * Podzols characterized by presence of Bf layer, reddish colour Gleysols - g = gleying, the process of oxidation and reduction - Caused by changing topography and fluctuation of groundwater/water table which results in “gleying” - Lower depression = water saturation and anaerobic conditions
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