What are the layers of soil?
There are five layers of soil. These layers include:
- Organic layer
- Parent material
Soil is the top layer of the Earth’s crust, consisting of minerals, organisms, and chemicals. Soil is home to many plants and animals. The layers of soil are also known as horizons.
Soil is a vital part of Earth as it supports life on Earth, such as living organisms, water, and the atmosphere.
Soil also provides a home for living organisms to live. These include plants, animals, bacteria, and fungi.
Soil provides the correct nutrients for these organisms to survive and grow. It also provides support as the plants use the soil to anchor themselves using their long roots. This prevents the plants from being pulled out of the soil easily by the weather or animals.The soil is able to help with filtering and cleaning water. Alongside this, soil plays an important role in the cycling of nutrients such as nitrogen and carbon.
Lastly, the soil is known to store a lot of carbon which helps to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The organic layer is also known as the O horizon. The organic layer is the top layer consisting of plant remains such as leaves, twigs, and other organic materials which have decomposed and formed hummus. Humus contains many nutrient materials that are required to improve the health and fertility of the soil. We can identify how fertile the soil is at this layer.
Topsoil is also known as A horizon. The topsoil is the layer consisting of organic matter and minerals which help plant growth. This is the layer in which we plant seeds. Both plants and organisms live in this layer.
Subsoil is also known as B horizon. The subsoil is a compact layer consisting of organic matter, clay, and minerals. It is a hard layer that some long roots can reach.
Parent material is also known as C horizon. The parent material is the layer of soil consisting of large rocks. The upper layers of soil are developed from this layer. There is no organic matter or plants in this layer.
Bedrock is the bottom layer. It is the hardest layer as it mainly consists of large solid rocks such as limestone, sandstone, granite, basalt, etc.