4.2 - Soil Forming Processes
Four Soil Forming Processes
- Additions: Materials added to the soil, such as decomposing vegetation and organisms (organic matter--OM), or new mineral materials deposited by wind or water.
- Losses: Through the movement of wind or water, or uptake by plants, soil particles (sand, silt, clay, and OM) or chemical compounds can be eroded, leached, or harvested from the soil, altering the chemical and physical makeup of the soil.
- Transformations: The chemical weathering of sand and formation of clay minerals, transformation of coarse OM into decay resistant organic compounds (humus).
- Translocations: Movement of soil constituents (organic or mineral) within the profile and/or between horizons. Over time, this process is one of the more visibly noticeable as alterations in color, texture, and structure become apparent.