Soil profile

2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Food and agriculture; Geology and geophysics

A soil profile is a cross section through the soil which reveals its horizons (layers).

Soil horizons

Soil generally consists of visually and texturally distinct layers, which can be summarized as follows, from top to bottom:

Image:Soil profile.png
O) Organic matter: Litter layer of plant residues in relatively undecomposed form.
A) Surface soil: Layer of mineral soil with most organic matter accumulation and soil life. This layer eluviates (is depleted of) iron, clay, aluminium, organic compounds and other soluble constituents. When eluviation is pronounced, a lighter colored "E" subsurface soil horizon is apparent at the base of the "A" horizon.
B) Subsoil: Layer of alteration below an "E" or "A" horizon. This layer accumulates iron, clay, aluminium and organic compounds, a process referred to as illuviation.
C) Substratum: Layer of unconsolidated soil parent material. This layer may accumulate the more soluble compounds that bypass the "B" horizon.
Retrieved from ""