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What is Soil? The term SOIL has several meanings depending on the general field it is
What is Soil?
The term SOIL has several meanings
depending on the general field it is being
considered.
Generally, Soil is the surface layer of the
earth, composed of fine rock material
disintegrated by geological processes;
and humus, the organic remains of
decomposed vegetation.
In Soil Science: Soil is the substance existing on the earth’s surface, which grows and develops
In Soil Science: Soil is the substance
existing on the earth’s surface, which
grows and develops plant life.
In Geology: Soil is the material in the
relative thin surface zone within which
roots occur and all the rest of the crust is
grouped under the term ROCK,
irrespective of its hardness.
In Engineering: Soil is the un-aggregated or un-cemented deposits of mineral and/or organic particles or fragments
In Engineering: Soil is the un-aggregated or
un-cemented deposits of mineral and/or
organic particles or fragments covering
large portion of the earth’s crust.
FUNCTIONS OF SOIL IN THE ECOSYSTEM: 1. As a medium for plant growth -provides anchor to
FUNCTIONS OF SOIL IN THE ECOSYSTEM: 1. As a medium for plant growth -provides anchor to
FUNCTIONS OF SOIL IN THE
ECOSYSTEM:
1. As a medium for plant growth
-provides anchor to the root system of the
plant to prevent it from toppling
-soil pores hold rainwater for plant uptake
-soil moderates temperature fluctuations
that supports development of root
system

-a medium that supplies inorganic, mineral nutrients in the form of dissolved ions.

2. As a system for water supply and purification -every drop of water in our rivers,
2. As a system for water supply and
purification
-every drop of water in our rivers, lakes,
estuaries, and aquifers has either traveled
through the soil or flowed over its surface
-the nature and management of soils in a
watershed will have a major influence on
the purity and amount of water finding its
way to the aquatic system as a water
resource
3. As a recycling system for nutrients and organic wastes -soils have the capacity to assimilate
3. As a recycling system for nutrients
and organic wastes
-soils have the capacity to assimilate great
quantities of organic waste, turning it into
beneficial humus, converting the mineral
nutrients in the wastes to forms that can
be utilized by plants and animals, and
returning the carbon to the atmosphere as
carbon dioxide, where it again will
become a part of living organisms
through plant photosynthesis
4. As a Habitat for Soil Organisms - Soil harbor much of the earth’s genetic diversity:
4. As a Habitat for Soil Organisms
- Soil harbor much of the earth’s genetic
diversity: water in soil pores may be
filled with swimming organisms such as
roundworms, diatoms, tiny insects and
mites may be crawling in larger pores
with moist air.
5. As an Engineering Medium - Soil is thought of as a firm and solid base
5. As an Engineering Medium
- Soil is thought of as a firm and solid base
for road construction and vertical
structures
-The nature and properties of soil will
dictate sustainability as roadbeds or
building formation
Soil Engineering and Soil Mechanics -Soil Engineering is the application of the properties of Soil Mechanics
Soil Engineering and Soil Mechanics
-Soil Engineering is the application of the
properties of Soil Mechanics to practical
problems.
-Soil Mechanics is the branch of science
that deals with the study of the physical
properties of soil and the behavior of soil
masses subjected to various types of
forces.
According to Terzaghi (1948), Soil Mechanics is the application of laws of mechanics and hydraulics to
According to Terzaghi (1948), Soil
Mechanics is the application of laws of
mechanics and hydraulics to engineering
problems dealing with sediments and
other unconsolidated accumulations of
solid particles produced by the
mechanical and chemical disintegration
of rocks regardless of whether or not they
contain an admixture of organic
constituent.
Karl Terzaghi is the undisputed father of Soil Mechanics. His publication “Erdbaumechanik” 1925 laid the foundation
Karl Terzaghi is the undisputed father of
Soil Mechanics. His publication
“Erdbaumechanik” 1925 laid the
foundation of Soil Mechanics. It brought
recognition to importance of soils iin
engineering.
Other names for Soil Mechanics Geotechnique - Geotechnics - Geomechanics - Geotechnical Engineering -
Other names for Soil Mechanics
Geotechnique
-
Geotechnics
-
Geomechanics
-
Geotechnical Engineering
-
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