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Chapter 12 – Soil Formation and Profile Development

Factors of Soil Formation

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The soil is a very important factor for agricultural activity and the survival of man. Soil is the loose weathered material covering the surface of the earth, which supports life. It can also be defined as the outermost part of the earth that is formed from the mixture of minerals and decaying organic matter which extends from the surface down to the limit of biological forces.

Factors of Soil Formation

The transformation of rocks into soil is referred to as soil formation. The first stage in the process of soil formation is the Weathering of rocks which involves the breaking of rocks into smaller particles and eventually into individual minerals that the rock is composed of. Weathering of rock can either be physical such as through water, wind, Pressure, ice and temperature, or chemical which involves changes in the chemical composition of the rock. There are a number of factors that influence the rate, type and quality of soil formed in a location.

There are five factors that determine or influence soil formation, namely:

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