In This Chapter

Pedogenic Processes

Authored by: Judith K. Turk , Oliver A. Chadwick , Robert C. Graham

Handbook of Soil Sciences Properties and Processes

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  November  2011

Print ISBN: 9781439803059
eBook ISBN: 9781439803066
Adobe ISBN:


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Soil is a mixture of geological parent material, living organisms, and the colloidal residue of their interaction. The colloidal fraction is particularly important in imparting soil with its unique characteristics. The nature of soil exposes a large surface area that gives rise to adsorption of water and chemicals, ion exchange, adhesion and capillarity, swelling and shrinking, and dispersion and floccu-lation. Soil colloids include inorganic (clay minerals) and organic (humus) components. The nature and amount of these colloids vary in response to environmental stimuli and organic input. Their variation is responsible for lateral differentiation in soil properties. Soils are separated vertically into horizons that indicate differences in the internal soil environment, which, in turn, determines the amount and character of soil colloid accumulation. This chapter provides an overview of the way in which soil properties vary as soils develop under varying environmental stimuli.

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