What are Soil Layers?

What Does Capas del Suelo Mean

The ground is the surface layer of the earth 's crust . Under it are several layers, which differ from each other in their appearance, texture and the materials that compose them.

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The soil is made up of three layers :

  • Lower. It is made up of rocks.
  • Intermediate It is made up of water , clay, stones, and sand.
  • Higher. It is made up of mulch (made up of sand, minerals , dead plants and animals), air and water.

Edaphology is the science that is responsible for the study of the soil and its relationship with plants.

It can help you: Soil contamination

What is the soil?

Soil is the layer that covers the surface of planet Earth . In it the life of plants and animals develops .

It is composed of the remains of living beings , sand, minerals, salts, rocks, water, air, plants and small animals . The organisms that die on the soil are decomposed by microorganisms , which convert them into organic matter and integrate them into the soil itself.

The soil is a very thin layer that was formed over the centuries, from the rocks that were disintegrating due to friction with water, winds and temperatures . It is a non-renewable resource for the long periods it takes for its formation.

Soil strata

In addition to the main layers, the soil can have up to six strata or horizons.

In addition to the three layers already mentioned, more specifically five horizons that make up the soil are identified:

  • Horizon 0. It is the upper layer of the soil. It is made up of organic matter released from plants, such as leaves and branches. Insects and animals live there.
  • Horizon A. It is the most fertile layer. Dark in color, it is made up of decomposed organs or humus and minerals.
  • Horizon B. Its color is lighter, and in it metal hydroxides, clay, salts and oxides are deposited that are dragged from the horizon A.
  • Horizon C. Here there are no deposits of materials or removal, nor does organic matter accumulate.
  • Horizon D. It is the deepest layer of the soil and the one that gives rise to it. It is composed of rocks that were not altered.
  • Horizon E. This layer is found on some occasions. It has little light development and is light in color.

Types of soil

The limestone soil is not suitable for agriculture.

Different types of soil can be identified, according to their characteristics:

  • Limestone. They are composed of minerals such as clay, hematite, calcium and magnesium carbonate. It is an arid and dry soil, so it is not a good alternative for cultivation.
  • Sandy. They are dry, rough and do not hold water well, so it drains faster. Due to their lack of nutrients, they do not stand out as being suitable for agriculture. They are characterized by retaining temperature and by having larger particles than the rest of the soils.
  • Slimey. They are composed of sand and clay. They are dark brown in color and, unlike sandy soils, in these soils the particles are smaller and softer. In addition, they manage to retain nutrients and water for longer. Thanks to its nutrients and humidity, it is fertile soils suitable for cultivation and almost all plant species develop in it, except those that need a dry habitat .
  • Clayey. They are made up of fine yellowish grains. Half of them are clay, which makes them retain a lot of water and nutrients. As their porosity is low, they do not aerate but instead form puddles and can even rot, so they are not a good option for agriculture.
  • Stony. They are characterized by being composed of small stones that make them semi waterproof, which prevents the entry of water and makes agriculture difficult .
  • Salinos. They are soils typical of dry areas and do not have good drainage. Its high salt content hinders the growth of plant species .
  • Humiferous. They are good for cultivation as their decomposed organic material makes them very fertile. Their color is very dark since they absorb a lot of water and have a large percentage of decomposing organisms.
  • Of peat. They are porous and retain moisture even in dry times, making them ideal for growing. Of black or very dark brown color, they manage to protect the roots in times of low temperatures. In addition, thanks to their acidic pH they control soil pests.

Soil erosion

The coast is constantly subjected to the erosive action of the sea.

Soil erosion occurs from factors such as wind or the passage of water . The erosion damaging fertility of the soil as it generates a reduction of organic matter and minerals.

There are different types of soil erosion:

  • Geological erosion. It occurs as a result of heat , cold, winds, snow or rain and takes millions of years.
  • Eolic erosion. It is a very slow process that occurs as a result of collisions between the ground and the particles carried by the wind.
  • Water erosion. It occurs as a result of the collision of raindrops on the ground. The more intense the rain, the greater the detachment and carry-over of soil masses and particles. In addition, the sea also erodes the coastal landforms .
  • Erosion by anthropic action. It occurs as a consequence of the presence of human beings and their activities ( technology , for example).
  • Splash erosion. It occurs on the ground as a result of the impact of raindrops. The impact will vary according to the size and shape of the drops.
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