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Pumas Soil Vocab

weathering The chemical and physical processes that break down rock at Earth’s surface.
erosion The process by which water, ice, wind, or gravity moves weathered rock and soil.
mechanical weathering The type of weathering in which rock is physically broken into smaller pieces.
abrasion The grinding away of rock by other rock particles carried in water, ice, or wind.
ice wedging Process that splits rock when water seeps into cracks, then freezes and expands.
chemical weathering The process that breaks down rock through chemical changes.
oxidation A chemical change in which a substance combines with oxygen, as when iron oxidizes, forming rust.
soil The loose, weathered material on Earth’s surface in which plants can grow.
bedrock The solid layer of rock beneath the soil.
humus Dark-colored organic material in soil.
fertility A measure of how well soil supports plant growth.
soil horizon The layer of soil that differs in color and texture from the layers above or below it.
topsoil Mixture of humus, clay, and other minerals that forms the crumbly, topmost layer of soil.
subsoil The layer of soil beneath the topsoil that contains mostly clay and other minerals.
litter The loose layer of dead plant leaves and stems on the surface of the soil.
decomposer Soil organism that breaks down the remains of organisms and digests them.
Dust Bowl The area of the Great Plains where wind erosion caused soil loss during the 1930s.
soil conservation The management of soil to prevent its destruction
contour plowing Plowing fields along the curves of a slope to prevent soil loss.
conservation plowing Soil conservation method in which the dead stalks from the previous year’s crop are left in the ground to hold the soil in place.
crop rotation The planting of different crops in a field each year to maintain the soil’s fertility.
sediment Earth materials deposited by erosion.
deposition Process in which sediment is laid down in new locations.
mass movement Any one of several processes by which gravity moves sediment downhill.
Created by: lanktish