QS Study

Process of Soil Formation

Soil formation or pedogenesis depends first on weathering. It is this weathering mantle (depth of the weathered material) which is the basic input for the soil to form. First, the weathered material or transported deposits are colonized by bacteria and other inferior plant bodies like mosses and lichens. Also, several minor organisms may take shelter within the mantle and deposits. The dead remains of organisms and plants help in humus accumulation. Minor grasses and ferns may grow; later, bushes and trees will start growing through seeds brought in by birds and wind. Plant roots penetrate down, burrowing animals bring up particles, and mass of material becomes porous and sponge-like with a capacity to retain water and to permit the passage of air and finally a mature soil, a complex mixture of mineral and organic products forms.

The soil formation procedure depends upon the occurrence of new soil material which is either acquired by denudation or deposition. Denudation is the abrasion of present rock material by the action of ice, water or wind.