Different types of soil

The particles that make up soil all have unique textures, and these particles are all mixed together. According to their size, the mineral particles in the soil can be separated into three distinct groups. The three different kinds of soil are: sand, clay, and silt. Clay is composed of very minute particles and has a smooth consistency. Sand is composed of coarser particles than clay, which are larger in size. Silt is composed of particles that are approximately medium size and have a smooth surface.

Based on the abundance of such particles in the soil, three types of soil can be defined. They do;

  1. Clay soil
  2. Sandy soil
  3. Loamy soil

Composition of soil

The term “soil” refers to an aggregate of distinct components. The proportions of these distinct combinations vary depending on the kind of soil.

Differences among clay soil, sandy soil and loamy soil

Clay soil

Clay is found in greater quantities. Sticky. Keep the water and the minerals inside. There is less air that is retained. Used in the production of ceramics, bricks, and tiles.

Sandy soil

The more common material is sand. The particles are grouped in a disorganized manner. High levels of air retention. The amount of water that is retained is lower. Utilized in several building-related businesses. Utilized in the production of glass goods.

Loamy soil

It is composed of sand, silt, and clay. Organic materials are abundant. Water and oxygen were held on to an adequate degree. The earth’s surface is teeming with living organisms and various plant nutrients. Most suitable for agriculture. Plants tend to do better when grown on soil that is sandy and loamy.

Loamy soil can be created from sandy soil or clay soil by mixing in the appropriate amount of organic components, which are defined as decomposed plant and animal parts.

Components of soil

  • Solid components
  • Soil air
  • Soil water
  • Soil organisms
  • Soil minerals
  • Soil organic materials (humus)

Soil minerals

Soil minerals are the name given to the solid components that can be found in soil, such as clay, silt, and sand.

Functions of soil minerals

Minerals in the soil supply plants with the minerals that they take up from the surrounding soil. Clay particles in soil are able to absorb and hold onto both water and minerals. Organic components of the soil (Humus)

Soil organic materials

The components of plants and animals that have decayed over time and become part of the soil are referred to as soil organic materials.

Functions of soil organic materials (Humus)

as a storage for the nutrients that are essential to the development of plants. Boost the capacity of the structure to hold on to air and soil. Protects the soil from drying out and cracking during dry periods. Improve the soil’s ability to hold onto water.

Soil air

What develops when a clod of soil is submerged in a beaker full of water?

You can see air bubbles emerging from the clod of soil in front of you. It is abundantly evident that bubbles are the result of air escaping from the soil.

The term “soil air” refers to the air that is retained in the particles of soil.

Functions of soil air

Providing the oxygen that is necessary for the respiration of plant roots and soil organisms. requirements for the process of seed germination. enhances the soil’s ability to absorb water (soil’s permeability).

Soil water

Even though we consider soil to be dry, it actually contains a certain amount of water.

When a soil sample is heated and observed, it sometimes throws off droplets of liquid inside the test tube. How are we able to determine whether or not the droplets of liquid that have formed inside the test tube are water?

Let us demonstrate that the soil does in fact hold water.

In the laboratory, there is a substance that emits a blue color and is known as copper sulphate. When heated, it will change color to white. The form of copper sulfate that is anhydrous and appears white is known as anhydrous copper sulfate. When water is introduced to anhydrous copper sulphate it transforms back into blue coloration.

Functions of soil water

Helps soil organisms to maintain their function. Helps plants to absorb nutrients from soil.

Controls the temperature of soil. As a raw material for the photosynthesis of plants.

Soil organisms

  • Ant
  • Centipede
  • Locust
  • Millipede
  • beetle
  • roundworms
  • mite
  • bacteria
  • flatworm
  • fungi
  • ant
  • beetle
  • slug
  • snail
  • house fly larva

But there may also be organisms in the soil that are invisible to the naked eye and cannot be seen. They are referred to as microorganisms that live in the soil.

Functions of soil organisms

When earthworms burrow holes in the soil, the soil becomes more aerated and looser. Microorganisms such as bacteria are responsible for the decomposition of dead plants and bodies, which allows minerals to be released into the soil.

Soil profile

Soil profile is a vertical segment of the distinct layers of soil from the earth crust. It progresses from the upper layer to the bedrock. The soil profile consists mostly of three layers that can be distinguished.

  1. Top soil
  2. Sub soil
  3. Bed rock

The size of the particles will gradually grow as one moves from the top of the soil profile to the bottom of the soil profile. The bed rock is located at the very bottom of the profile. The weathering of bed rock results in the formation of smaller particles that are known as sub soil. The particles that make up the subsoil undergo additional weathering, which results in the formation of the top soil.

The majority of plant roots are found in the uppermost layer of soil. However, the roots of some particularly large plants are able to travel down into the subsoil layer. When analyzing soil, it is essential to pay attention to the soil profile.

Facts about soil

Here are some facts about soil:

Soil is a thin layer of organic and inorganic materials that covers the Earth’s surface.

Soil is formed over time through the breakdown of rocks and minerals by water, wind, and other natural processes.

Soil is essential for plant growth, as it provides plants with the nutrients and water they need to survive.

Soil is home to a diverse community of living organisms, including bacteria, fungi, insects, and worms, which help to decompose organic matter and recycle nutrients.

There are many different types of soil, each with its own unique characteristics. Some common types of soil include clay, loam, and sand.

Soil is a finite resource, and it can be damaged or depleted through erosion, pollution, and other human activities.

There are various ways to protect and preserve soil, including through the use of cover crops, mulch, and proper land management practices.

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About Author

Anuradhika Lakmali

Anuradhika Lakmali is a co-founder of Science A Plus learning network. She is working as a government teacher and has interest in chemistry, biology, phisics and self development.