Related topics: plants · climate change · nitrogen · atmosphere · carbon

NASA's InSight flexes its arm while its 'mole' hits pause

NASA's InSight lander has been using its robotic arm to help the heat probe known as the "mole" burrow into Mars. The mission is providing the first look at the Red Planet's deep interior to reveal details about the formation ...

New map for radioactive soil contamination in Western Europe

An international consortium of scientists has refined the map of cesium and plutonium radionuclide concentrations in soils in Switzerland and several neighboring countries. Using an archive of European soil samples, the team ...

Where is water distributed during a drought?

In low precipitation periods, where and how is the limited available water distributed, and what possibilities are there for improving retention in the soil and the landscape? Dörthe Tetzlaff and her team from the Leibniz-Institute ...

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Soil

Soil is a natural body consisting of layers (soil horizons) of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics. It is composed of particles of broken rock that have been altered by chemical and environmental processes that include weathering and erosion. Soil differs from its parent rock due to interactions between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and the biosphere. It is a mixture of mineral and organic constituents that are in solid, gaseous and aqueous states. Soil particles pack loosely, forming a soil structure filled with pore spaces. These pores contain sol solution (liquid) and air (gas). Accordingly, soils are often treated as a three state system. Most soils have a density between 1 and 2 g/cm³. Soil is also known as earth: it is the substance from which our planet takes its name. Little of the soil composition of planet Earth is older than Tertiary and most no older than Pleistocene. In engineering, soil is referred to as regolith, or loose rock material.

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