Chapter 14: Using Earth's Soil
After completing this chapter you will understand:
- Soil is a natural mixture of minerals, rock fragments, and organic material that makes up a porous layer on Earth’s land surface. All Earth’s systems interact in soil.
- Soils form from the physical, chemical, and biological weathering of rocks and minerals from the geosphere.
- Weathering processes typically produce soil layers called horizons, and soil horizons define the soil profile.
- Soil is important because it sustains plants, cycles materials between Earth systems, provides a home for many living things, stores and clean water, and underlies human-built structures.
- People affect soil in many ways through farming practices, building structures, and disposal of wastes, to name a few.
- Soil is a sustainable resource. If people carefully manage their use of soils, its quality and quantity can be maintained for the future.
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