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But seriously, Minnesota making a strong push for inclusion in the latest edition of the Darwin Awards. Channel 9 Melbourne, Australia weather presenter Rebecca Judd is about to take some time off on maternity leave and her coworker leans in for a kiss and Rebecca is NOT having it!
You don't have to imagine Jeff bouncing around in a leotard, you can check it out in the video below. Soil is a natural body consisting of layers (soil horizons) of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics.[1] Strictly speaking, soil is the depth of regolith that influence and have been influenced by plant roots.
Soil is composed of particles of broken rock that have been altered by chemical and mechanical processes that include weathering and erosion. The history of the study of soil is intimately tied to our urgent need to provide food for ourselves and forage for our animals. Jethro Tull, an English gentleman, introduced in 1701 an improved grain drill that systemized the planting of seed and invented a horse-drawn weed hoe, the two of which allowed fields, once choked with weeds to be brought back to production and seed to be used more economically.
The two course system of a year of wheat followed by a year of fallow was replaced in the 18th century by the Norfolk four-course system wherein wheat was grown in the first year, turnips the second, followed by barley, with clover and ryegrass together, in the third. Experiments into what made plants grow first lead to the idea that the ash left behind when plant matter was burnt was the essential element, overlooked the role of nitrogen which is not left on the ground after combustion. John Woodward experimented with various types of water ranging from clean to muddy and found muddy water the best and so he concluded earthy matter was the essential element. The French chemist Antonine Lavoisier showed that plants and animals must “combust” oxygen internally to live and was able to deduce that most of the 165 pound weight of Van Helmont’s willow tree derived from air.
It was known that nitrogen was essential for growth and in 1880 the presence of Rhizobium bacteria in the roots of legumes explained the increase of nitrogen in soils so cultivated. Soil formation, or pedogenesis, is the combined effect of physical, chemical, biological, and anthropogenic processes on soil parent material. The weathering of bedrock produces the purely mineral based parent material from which soils form. But even before it does, the predominantly porous broken lava in which the plant roots grow can be considered a soil. Soils that develop from their underlying parent rocks are called “residual soils”, and have the same general chemistry as their parent rocks. Most soils derive from transported parent materials that have been moved by wind, water and gravity many miles.[14]. Cumulose parent material include peats and mucks, may develop in place from plant residues have been preserved by the low oxygen content of a high water table.
Soil formation greatly depends on the climate, and soils show the distinctive characteristics of the climate zones [15] in which they originate. Plants, animals, fungi, bacteria and humans affect soil formation (see soil biomantle and stonelayer).
Soil-forming factors continue to affect soils during their existence, even on “stable” landscapes that are long-enduring, some for millions of years. On a volume basis a good quality soil is one that is 45% minerals, 25% water, 25% air, and 5% organic material, both live and dead.
Soil resistivity is a measure of a soil's ability to retard the conduction of an electric current.
The naming of soil horizons is based on the type of material the horizons are composed of; these materials reflect the duration of the specific processes used in soil formation.
The exposure of parent material to favorable conditions produces initial soils that are suitable for plant growth. Soil is classified into categories in order to understand relationships between different soils and to determine the usefulness of a soil for a particular use. In the United States, soil orders are the highest hierarchical level of soil classification in the USDA Soil Taxonomy classification system.
Most living things in soils, including plants, insects, bacteria and fungi, are dependent on organic matter for nutrients and energy. Humus refers to organic matter that has decomposed to a point where it is resistant to further breakdown or alteration.
Lignin is resistant to breakdown and accumulates within the soil; it also chemically reacts with amino acids which add to its resistance to decomposition, including enzymatic decomposition by microbes. Humus formation is a process dependent on the amount of plant material added each year and the type of base soil; both are affected by climate and the type of organisms present. The production and accumulation or degradation of organic matter and humus is greatly dependent on climate conditions. Geologists also have a particular interest in the patterns of soil on the surface of the earth.
Geologists use soil profile features to establish the duration of surface stability in the context of geologic faults or slope stability.
Due to their thermal mass, rammed earth walls fit in with environmental sustainability aspirations.
Soil examined in shovel test pits is used by archaeologists for relative dating based on stratigraphy (as opposed to absolute dating).
Soils altered or formed by humans (anthropic and anthropogenic soils) are also of interest to archaeologists, such as terra preta soils. Soil is used in agriculture, where it serves as the anchor and primary nutrient base for plants; however, as demonstrated by hydroponics, it is not essential to plant growth if the soil-contained nutrients could be dissolved in a solution. The biological component of soil is an extremely important carbon sink since about 57% of the biotic content is carbon. Organic soils, especially peat, serve as a significant fuel resource; but wide areas of peat production, such as sphagnum bogs, are now protected because of patrimonial interest.
Land degradation[46] is a human-induced or natural process which impairs the capacity of land to function. While soil acidification of alkaline soils is beneficial, it degrades land when soil acidity lowers crop productivity and increases soil vulnerability to contamination and erosion. Desertification is an environmental process of ecosystem degradation in arid and semi-arid regions, often caused by human activity. A serious and long-running water erosion problem occurs in China, on the middle reaches of the Yellow River and the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. Soil salination is the accumulation of free salts to such an extent that it leads to degradation of soils and vegetation. A I lived in Minnesota for a few years and they loved to make fun of some of the weird stuff people in Wisconsin do, and rightfully so.
A But, silver lining, you can fit your dented Jeep in the garage finally, so you got that going for ya.
Just tried to grab the highest video quality scene posted to YouTube, and that one popped up. Tull however introduced the mistaken idea that manure introduced weed seeds, and that fields should be plowed in order to pulverize the soil and so release the locked up nutrients. The taller barley was harvested in the third year while the clover and ryegrass were grazed or cut for feed in the fourth.
Jan Baptista van Helmont thought he had proved water to be the essential element from his famous experiment with a willow tree grown in a carefully controlled conditions in which only water was added and after five years of growth was removed and weighed, roots and all and found to weigh 165 pounds The oven dried soil, originally 200 pounds was again dried and weighed and found to have lost only two ounces which van Helmont reasonably explained as experimental error and assumed that the soil had in fact lost nothing. The chemical basis of nutrients delivered to the soil in manure was emphasized and in mid 19th century chemical fertilizers were used but the dynamic interaction of soil and its life forms awaited discovery. An example of soil development from bare rock occurs on recent lava flows in warm regions under heavy and very frequent rainfall.


Windblown material called loess, common in the Midwest of North America and in Central Asia, may have been moved many hundreds of miles. In soils forming from bedrock, a thick layer of weathered material called saprolite may form. Animals and micro-organisms mix soils as they form burrows and pores allowing moisture and gases to move about.
The mineral and organic components are considered a constant with the percentages of water and air the only variable parameters where the increase in one is balanced by the reduction in the other. These may have various shapes, sizes and degrees of development or expression.[18] Soil structure affects aeration, water movement, resistance to erosion and plant root growth.
Soil content affects soil behavior, including the retention capacity for nutrients and water.[20] Sand and silt are the products of physical weathering, while clay is the product of chemical weathering. The electrical resistivity of soil can affect the rate of galvanic corrosion of metallic structures in contact with the soil. Plant growth often results in the accumulation of organic residues, the accumulated organic layer is called the O horizon. One of the first classification systems was developed by the Russian scientist Dokuchaev around 1880. Commonly found on unconsolidated sediments like sand, some have an A horizon on top of bedrock.
They tend to swell when wet and shrink upon drying, often forming deep cracks that surface layers can fall into. They have horizons of clay accumulation, and form where there is enough moisture and warmth for at least three months of plant growth. Soils often have varying degrees of organic compounds in different states of decomposition.
Humic acids and fulvic acids are important constituents of humus and typically form from plant residues like foliage, stems and roots. Fats and waxes from plant matter have some resistance to decomposition and persist in soils for a while. Temperature and soil moisture are the major factors in the formation or degradation of organic matter, they along with topography, determine the formation of organic soils. These solutions exchange gases with the soil atmosphere, contain dissolved sugars, fulvic acids and other organic acids, plant nutrients such as nitrate, ammonium, potassium, phosphate, sulfate and calcium, and micronutrients such as zinc, iron and copper.
Soil texture, color and chemistry often reflect the underlying geologic parent material, and soil types often change at geologic unit boundaries. An offset subsoil horizon indicates rupture during soil formation and the degree of subsequent subsoil formation is relied upon to establish time since rupture occurred. What is considered most typical is to use soil profile features to determine the maximum reasonable pit depth than needs to be examined for archaeological evidence in the interest of cultural resources management. The types of soil and available moisture determine the species of plants that can be cultivated. Even on desert crusts, cyanobacteria lichens and mosses capture and sequester a significant amount of carbon by photosynthesis.
Rain water and pooled water from ponds, lakes and rivers percolate through the soil horizons and the upper rock strata, thus becoming groundwater. Soils are the critical component in land degradation when it involves acidification, contamination, desertification, erosion or salination. Soils are often initially acid because their parent materials were acid and initially low in the basic cations (calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium). Consequences include corrosion damage, reduced plant growth, erosion due to loss of plant cover and soil structure, and water quality problems due to sedimentation. From the fall of Rome to the French Revolution, knowledge of soil and agriculture was passed on from parent to child and as a result, crop yields were low. His ideas were taken up and carried to their extremes in the 20th century, where farmers repeatedly plowed fields far beyond what was necessary to control weeds, resulting in the dust bowl of the panhandle areas of Texas and Oklahoma of the United States. As rain water was the only thing added by the experimenter he concluded that water was the essential element in plant life. These processes involve additions, losses, transformations and translocations of material that compose the soil.
In such climates, plants become established very quickly on basaltic lava, even though there is very little organic material. Wind moves sand and smaller particles, especially in arid regions where there is little plant cover. Plants shade soils, keeping them cooler and slowing evaporation of soil moisture, or plants by way of transpiration can cause soils to lose moisture. Soil formation is a time-responsive process that is dependent on how the other factors interplay with each other.
The Red River (Mississippi watershed) carries sediment eroded from extensive reddish soils like Port Silt Loam in Oklahoma.
Structure often gives clues to texture, organic matter content, biological activity, past soil evolution, human use, and chemical and mineralogical conditions under which the soil formed.
Biological organisms colonize and break down organic materials, making available nutrients that other plants and animals can live on.
It was modified a number of times by American and European researchers, and developed into the system commonly used until the 1960s.
Humus is less stable than other soil constituents, because it is affected by microbial decomposition, and over time its concentration decreases without the addition of new organic matter.
These nutrients are exchanged with the mineral and humic component, that retains them in its ionic state, by adsorption.
Soil scientists survey soils in the hope of understanding the parameters that determine what vegetation can and will grow in a particular location. Buried paleosols mark previous land surfaces and record climatic conditions from previous eras. The movement of massive volumes of soil can be involved in surface mining, road building and dam construction. Poor farming and grazing methods have degraded soils and released much of this sequestered carbon to the atmosphere. Acidification occurs when these elements are removed from the soil profile by normal rainfall, or the harvesting of forest or agricultural crops.
Erosion is an intrinsic natural process, but in many places it is increased by human land use. The sediment originates primarily from water erosion (gully erosion) in the Loess Plateau region of northwest China. During the Dark Ages for Europe, Yahya Ibn_al-'Awwam’s handbook guided the people of North Africa, Spain and the Middle East with its emphasis on irrigation, a translation of which was finally carried to the southwest of the United States. In fact the two ounces lost from the soil were the minerals taken up by the willow tree during its growth. Minerals derived from weathered rocks undergo changes that cause the formation of secondary minerals and other compounds that are variably soluble in water.
The plants are supported by the porous rock as it is filled with nutrient-bearing water which carries dissolved minerals from rocks and guano. The type and amount of precipitation influence soil formation by affecting the movement of ions and particles through the soil, and aid in the development of different soil profiles. Plants with deep taproots can penetrate many meters through the different soil layers to bring up nutrients from deeper in the profile.


Whether these are slow or rapid changes depend on climate, landscape position and biological activity. In the illustrated textural classification triangle the only soil that does not exhibit one of those predominately is called "loam." While even pure sand, silt or clay may be considered a soil, from the perspective of food production a loam soil with a small amount of organic material is considered ideal. If the soil is too high in clay, adding gypsum, washed river sand and organic matter will balance the composition. Clay soils resist wind and water erosion better than silty and sandy soils, as the particles are bonded to each other. After sufficient time a distinctive organic surface layer forms with humus which is called the A horizon. It was based on the idea that soils have a particular morphology based on the materials and factors that form them. They may have subsurface zones (calcic horizons) where calcium carbonates have accumulated from percolating water. Proteins normally decompose readily, but when bound to clay particles they become more resistant to decomposition. Geologists use this paleopedological record to understand the ecological relationships that existed in the past. Earth sheltering is the architectural practice of using soil for external thermal mass against building walls. Soil acidification is accelerated by the use of acid-forming nitrogenous fertilizers and by the effects of acid precipitation.
Derelict soils occur where industrial contamination or other development activity damages the soil to such a degree that the land cannot be used safely or productively. Poor land use practices including deforestation, overgrazing and improper construction activity.
These constituents are moved (translocated) from one area of the soil to other areas by water and animal activity. The developing plant roots, themselves are associated with mycorrhizal fungi[11] that gradually break up the porous lava, and by these means organic matter and a finer mineral soil soon accumulates.
The effectiveness of water in weathering parent rock material depends on seasonal and daily temperature fluctuations. Plants with fibrous roots that spread out near the soil surface, have roots that are easily decomposed, adding organic matter.
The type and amount of vegetation depends on climate, land form topography, soil characteristics, and biological factors. The mineral constituents of a loam soil might be 40% sand, 40% silt and the balance 20% clay.
In medium-textured soils, clay is often moved downward through the soil profile and accumulates in the subsoil. In the 1960s, a different classification system began to emerge, that focused on soil morphology instead of parental materials and soil-forming factors. Many aridiso soils have well-developed Bt horizons showing clay movement from past periods of greater moisture.
According to the theory of biorhexistasy, prolonged conditions conducive to forming deep, weathered soils result in increasing ocean salinity and the formation of limestone. Remediation of derelict soil uses principles of geology, physics, chemistry and biology to degrade, attenuate, isolate or remove soil contaminants to restore soil functions and values. Soil management tools include maintaining soil nutrient and organic matter levels, reduced tillage and increased cover. Improved management can limit erosion by using techniques like limiting disturbance during construction, avoiding construction during erosion prone periods, intercepting runoff, terrace-building, use of erosion-suppressing cover materials, and planting trees or other soil binding plants. The alteration and movement of materials within soil causes the formation of distinctive soil horizons. The cycles of freezing and thawing is an effective mechanism that breaks up rocks and other consolidated materials.
Micro-organisms, including fungi and bacteria, affect chemical exchanges between roots and soil and act as a reserve of nutrients. Soil factors such as density, depth, chemistry, pH, temperature and moisture greatly affect the type of plants that can grow in a given location. For example, recently-deposited material from a flood exhibits no soil development because there has not been enough time for soil-forming activities. The addition of organic matter to clay soils can render the organic matter and any added nutrients inaccessible to plants and microbes for many years, since they can bind strongly to the clay. Above-ground and below-ground biodiversities are tightly interconnected,[36][37] making soil protection of paramount importance for any restoration or conservation plan. Techniques include leaching, air sparging, chemical amendments, phytoremediation, bioremediation and natural attenuation. These practices help to control erosion and maintain productivity during periods when moisture is available. Irrigation of arid lands is especially problematic.[49] All irrigation water has some level of salinity. Temperature and precipitation rates affect vegetation cover, biological activity, and the rates of chemical reactions in the soil. The original soil surface is buried, and the formation process must begin anew for this deposit. The World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB)[26] aims to establish an international reference base for soil classification.
Irrigation, especially when it involves leakage from canals and overirrigation in the field, often raises the underlying water table.
They can also mix the different soil layers, restarting the soil formation process as less-weathered material is mixed with the more developed upper layers. There, organisms feed on them and mix the organic material with the upper soil layers; these added organic compounds become part of the soil formation process. The long periods over which change occurs and its multiple influences mean that simple soils are rare, resulting in the formation of soil horizons.
Rapid salination occurs when the land surface is within the capillary fringe of saline groundwater.
While soil can achieve relative stability of its properties for extended periods, the soil life cycle ultimately ends in soil conditions that leave it vulnerable to erosion. The development and distribution of color in a soil profile result from chemical and biological weathering, especially redox reactions. Despite the inevitability of soil retrogression and degradation, most soil cycles are long and productive.
As the primary minerals in soil parent material weather, the elements combine into new and colorful compounds. Iron forms secondary minerals with a yellow or red color, organic matter decomposes into black and brown compounds, and manganese, sulfur and nitrogen can form black mineral deposits.



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