Formation of Soils
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In the Earth's surface, rocks extend upto as much as 20 km depth. The major rock types are categorized as igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.

  • Igneous rocks: formed from crystalline bodies of cooled magma.
  • Sedimentary rocks: formed from layers of cemented sediments.
  • Metamorphic rocks: formed by the alteration of existing rocks due to heat from igneous intrusions or pressure due to crustal movement.

Soils are formed from materials that have resulted from the disintegration of rocks by various processes of physical and chemical weathering. The nature and structure of a given soil depends on the processes and conditions that formed it:

  • Breakdown of parent rock: weathering, decomposition, erosion.
  • Transportation to site of final deposition: gravity, flowing water, ice, wind.
  • Environment of final deposition: flood plain, river terrace, glacial moraine, lacustrine or marine.
  • Subsequent conditions of loading and drainage: little or no surcharge, heavy surcharge due to ice or overlying deposits, change from saline to freshwater, leaching, contamination.

All soils originate, directly or indirectly, from different rock types.

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