Saturday, May 12, 2007

Soil is a living system.

Like Snow
Originally uploaded by bones4.
Soil behavior fundamental to soil performance requires a living component. Remove the life from soil and it can be argued that what remains is no longer soil. It remains not-soil until it is reinoculated, repopulated, and restored to a living system. For all but the harshest land surfaces on our planet, soil life "reboots" faily easily.

Other names consistent with not-living "soil" are dirt, regolith, buried soil, and soil fossil. Another term, earthen material, encompasses both soil and not-soil.

An interesting discussion is whether there can be lunar soil or martian soil. While life currently appears absent, the surface of lunar and martian regolith does appear to have been sufficiently transformed by solar energy flux to qualify as a candidate soil. Since life is all about energy flux, perhaps our current concept of soil as a living system will ultimately be replaced with a concept of soil as an energized system.

Reposted from Yahoo Answers.

No comments: