What is the soil and what can it be?

What is the soil? This word has more than one meaning. Most often it occurs in the meaning of "fertile layer". Dictionaries and biological guides approach the explanation of the term in more detail.

what is the soil

Soil, the scientific definition says, is the uppermost layer of the earth's lithosphere. Its main characteristics: fertility, heterogeneity, openness, four-phase.

Let's consider each concept separately. Fertility means that the soil is a layer suitable for growing agricultural crops and crops. Formed as a result of vital activity of the most diverse organisms and weathering, the layer is rich in nutrients, and its basis is humus - living organic compounds or their remains that are present in the soil, but absent from living organisms.

What is the soil in terms of heterogeneity? This means that the fertile layer is an inhomogeneous system whose homogeneous phases are divided among themselves. So, the soil consists of four phases: solid, liquid, gaseous and microorganisms.

what is the soil

The solid phase includes minerals, organic matter, various inclusions, i.e. the whole set of solids, of which the fertile layer consists.

Liquid phase - water, which can be in a fertile layer in a free or bound state.

Gaseous consists of gases: oxygen coming from the atmosphere, complex compounds of nitrogen, methane, pure hydrogen. They are formed as a result of processes of fermentation, respiration, decay, etc.

Exploring soils, scientists can not analyzeonly the layer as a whole, but also each of its constituent phases. That is why the full answer to the question about what soil is, turns out to be so long. In addition, the soil is sometimes regarded as a barrier or membrane, which simultaneously separates and regulates the interaction of the atmosphere, the bio- and hydrosphere.

soil is

Somewhat differently answers the question:what is the soil, GOST 27593-88. It says that the soil is a natural body, independent, organomineral, natural historical, arising as a result of a combination of factors:

  • anthropogenic;
  • abiotic;
  • biotic.

Soil, continues the definition of GOST, hasown properties (morphological and genetic). It is characterized by certain properties that are responsible for creating conditions for the development of plants, consists of water, air, mineral particles and organic remains.

The type and nature of the soil depends on the climate, flora andfauna, origin, microorganisms inhabiting the fertile layer. The task of land use is to preserve and maintain fertility, using the layer's capabilities adequately.

soil degradation

If the soil is used too oftenDepleted, with excessive fertilization become almost poisonous. In the absence of moisture, the soil can become deserted, and, if over-watered, it becomes a ravine. Sometimes soils become salty or swampy as a result of improper exploitation. These processes bear the same name, namely, soil degradation.

Restoration of degraded soils is a very laborious, lengthy process that does not always result in success.