In most parts of the world, the earth's surface is covered with soil. Most soils are a mixture of breakdown, broken rocks and decaying organic matter. Soil contains water that plants need and nutrients that they use. Since most plants cannot grow without it and terrestrial animals cannot survive without plants, soil is essential for life on land.

Rock breakdown

Most of the soil base is the rock beneath it. Climate causes the rock surface to break down into smaller particles, which form the mineral elements in the topsoil. Soil can also develop on soft sediment beds such as sand and on completely organic matter, such as dry peat-converted vegetative matter on the surface.

Organic decay

Soil mineral particles are mixed with decomposed organic matter. Usually obtained from the remains of dead plants and animals. These residues are broken down by fungi, bacteria, and other organisms to form a dark, crushed substance called humus. A mixture of soluble minerals and fungi provides essential nutrients for plant growth.

The rainwater seeps into the dissolving limestone and breaks it down into pieces which turn into powder. It is mixed with organic matter to form fertile soil.

Great land for farming

If the minerals and organic matter are in the right proportions, they combine to form a fertile, crushed soil called loam. Such soils are ideal for plant growth as they contain a lot of plant nutrients and are seldom watered.

By plowing the soil folds, the plant stays in the soil again, where it decomposes and increases its fertility.

Hidden life

Healthy soil is alive with microorganisms. This soil supports animals such as worms and burrowing centipedes. These help convert dead plant and animal remains into plant nutrients. Earthworms also mix with the soil and allow air to enter, which promotes the growth of microorganisms.

Important minerals

Plants need nutrients, they get their nutrients from decomposed organic matter, but there are other minerals that get out of rocks due to climate. Falling volcanic rocks form rich soils. So people risk their lives to farm on the side of an active volcano.

Rain and sand

Excessive rainfall, rapid drainage from sand or gravel can make the soil less fertile. Water dissolves plant nutrients and iron from the topsoil and washes it down. The acidic, barren layer where the iron was washed, the soil develops a different layer. Only acidic soils, such as heather, thrive in these acidic soils.

See more

Case of sedimentary rocks and their characteristics
The effect of the weathering rocks
The process of fossil formation and their characteristics
Metamorphic rocks and the process of their formation

Rock cycle formation process and features

The process of forming new rock layers