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When does rock become soil?
Aug. 15, 2017 – Nature’s way of forming soil takes a great deal of patience. The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) August 15 Soils Matter blog post explains the complex process of soils forming and maturing.
“Rock starts becoming soil the moment it is exposed to the environment,” says soil scientist Barbara-Ann G. Lewis. “But it’s a long transformation process from exposed rock to a mature soil. Depending on the nature of the rock and other factors in its surroundings, that time period can range between tens to tens of thousands of years!”
Soil scientists look at five major factors in the soil-forming process. These are climate (Cl), organisms (O), relief (R) or topography and drainage of the land, the rock or other parent (P) material that will become the soil, and how much time (T) has gone by. These can be combined into a “recipe” for soil known as ClORPT.
“The processes of weathering and soil formation go on, not only on the surface, but also below the surface within the soil itself,” Lewis comments. “Human survival depends on it.”
To read the entire blog post, visit https://soilsmatter.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/when-does-rock-become-soil/.
Follow SSSA on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SSSA.soils, Twitter at SSSA_Soils. SSSA has soils information on www.soils.org/discover-soils, for teachers at www.soils4teachers.org, and for students through 12th grade, www.soils4kids.org.