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The soil is the outer part of the earth's crust in direct contact with the other elements of the ecological environment.

The soils are formed of three phases: solid (minerals and organic matter), liquid (soil solution) and gaseous (air).

Soil is the result of thousands of years of breaking apart the original rocks of a place on its surface and the combination of several factors. The greater or lesser intensity of a factor can be a determining factor in the creation of either soil. They are commonly referred to as soil formation factors: climate, source material, organisms, weather and relief.

Soil Formation Factors

Pedogenesis It is the name given to the chemical and physical process of alteration (addition, removal, transport and modification) that acts on a lithological material, originating a soil.

Edaphology It is science that deals with the influences of soils on living things. On the ground grows the vegetation of the continents and islands. Thus, there is no soil in areas of the planet where the rocks have not yet been decomposed.

As a result of the chemical decomposition of rocks, a material is formed on the earth's surface: a surface layer composed of water and minerals that over time enriches with organic matter (roots, leaves, feces and remains). among others).

Soil fauna and flora play a key role. They modify and move huge amounts of material, keeping the soil aerated and renewed in its superficial part..

The rocks, when subjected to the action of atmospheric agents, especially heat and humidity, decompose through weathering, also called meteorization, and in its fragments are installed large variety of living organisms. We can then say that the soil is the result of the combined action of physical, chemical and biological factors, according to which it is presented in the most diverse aspects.

Soil formation

Soil Formation Factors

Climate and organisms Active Factors Provide matter and energy
Relief Controller factor Controls the flow of materials; surface; erosion; depth; infiltration; leaching and translocation.
Source material Passive factor Diversity of the constituent material on which pedogenesis will occur.
Time Passive factor Determines the chronological time of process operation.

Soil formation mechanisms

Addition Input of material from outside the profile or ground horizon.
Removal (Loss) Removing material out of profile. Example: leaching.
Transformation Transformation of existing material in the profile or horizon. Change of mineralogical chemical nature.
Translocation Material translocation from one horizon to another without leaving the profile. Example: Eluviation / Illuviation