Factors Affecting Soil Formation

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Soil formation
Soil is produced through the disintegration of parent rock by the process of weathering i.e. physical and chemical weathering which therefore lead to the decomposition and disintegration of rock into soil (Chen et al., 2000).Soil forming factors may later combine with the weathered material and transform it to produce a wide range of soil types. Soil produced may thereafter combine with organic matter to give an ideal soil type. Soil formation is an outcome of a wide range of conditions (Van Breemen and Buurman 2002)

Factors affecting soil formation
Soils are formed through the interaction of five major factors.
 Nature of the parent material/parent rock
 Climate
 Living organisms
 Relief
 Time
Nature of the parent material
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The substances it carried are deposited in another part or completely removed from the material through percolation when there is evaporation of soil moisture at the surface influencing an upward movement of water (Nyman et al., 1993).Precipitation therefore brings about redistribution of substances in soil body which can either be in soluble form or in suspension (Troeh and Thompson (2005).

This is another agent of climate which influences the process of soil formation by influencing the rate of biological and chemical reactions occurring in the soil. According to Bronick and Lal (2005), High temperature increases the rate of chemical weathering, thereby resulting to high rate of soil formation and it also favours the activities of microorganisms in the soil. Soil formation through chemical weathering in areas of low temperature is minimal because, low temperature slows down the process of decomposition (Six et al., 2000).

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The development of the soil profile is the re-arrangement of soil particles into soil horizons, each of them with specific properties (Batjes, 2009).These horizons are distinguished by the soil’s color, texture, consistency, and structure. Horizons also vary in chemical characteristics or composition (Mack et al., 1993). There are four main horizons with other sub horizons included namely: A horizon, B horizon, C horizon and D horizon alongside O and E. Each horizon has different physical and chemical properties, which result from various soil forming processes such as weathering, introduction of humus and movement of minerals (Retallack,

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