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children with soil Can you think of any reasons to study soil? 
  • We use the soil to grow our food.
  • Some animals graze on it.
  • Other animals and microorganisms live in the ground.
  • We dig deep into the ground for our water wells.
  • I'm sure you can think of many more reasons to study soilů.

 

shows the picture of the soil pit dug using a backhoe This is a soil pit.  Dug by a big machine called a backhoe. It was dug so that we could get a better look at the soil to study it.

 

Here, a soil scientist is putting a measuring tape and nails in the pit.  This vertical section of soil is called a soil profile.  In the soil profile, you can see how there are different layers, which a soil scientist calls horizons.  She is using the orange nails to show you where the different horizons are.   soil scientis marking the different horizons in the soilpit Have you ever thought about where soil comes from?  Originally, all soil comes from rocks and minerals. Over time, rocks and minerals fall apart, or weather, into smaller and smaller pieces, and form soil. Soil can be formed by wind, water, or even glaciers!

 

What can we see when we look at this soil profile?  The soil scientist has marked 6 different soil horizons in the profile.  Soil horizons are layers of soil that are formed under different conditions or environments. soil pit showing the different horizons How did she pick them?  She picked them by color, texture, and structure.

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