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49 votes
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Is there sand in Antarctica?

Yes. In fact, there are sand-dunes in Antarctica [1:15].
Christopher Klaus's user avatar
21 votes

Do volcanos really create fertile soil?

As always: It Depends. Assuming enough water and sunshine, crop growth rate boils down to the concept of limiting nutrients. These may be: nitrogen (via ammonia or nitrates), phosphorous (via ...
Andrew Jon Dodds's user avatar
14 votes

Is there sand in Antarctica?

This LiveScience article suggests the areas aren't major: The scant areas that are free of snow and ice make up less than 0.4 percent of the continental land mass. In places there, the wind has built ...
JeopardyTempest's user avatar
11 votes

Are there any areas on Earth with purplish-colored soil/sand/rock/land?

Soil color is highly dependant on the oxides and other minerals in the composition. Purplish tones appear to be possible by inclusion of manganese oxide compounds. There are locations in China that ...
Zintlions's user avatar
  • 111
10 votes

Impact of Sugar on the environment

Sugar can be used as a weed killer, particularly broad leaf weeds, rather than grasses or perennials. It is a carbon nutrient that contains no nitrogen. Sugar can limit the growth of plant that do not ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 24.7k
9 votes
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Is silicon dioxide (silica) found in all types of soil on the planet?

tl;dr Silica is everywhere, in everything. The amounts can be close to 100% in quartz sand, or less than 1% in things like peat or limestones (and derived soils). Finding completely pure soils (let's ...
Gimelist's user avatar
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8 votes
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The fertility of the soil

From this paper from 1958 (page 2), ... gaseous nitrogen of the atmosphere represents a vast store of potential fertility. It is not directly available to plants. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria, how- ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 24.7k
8 votes

Why is northern Australia unsuitable for agriculture?

Erratic Climate Lets take Broome, Australia as our example. Broome gets 615mm of rain a year (24 inches), including 58/182/180/102mm in Dec through March. Coupled with average highs in the low 90s, ...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 3,376
8 votes

What is the average color of soil?

Soil color is largely determined by it's composition. There are three main components in soil: Gravel, sand, and silt. In essence, the type of stuff you find in sedimentary rocks. Usually, this is ...
Austin Hemmelgarn's user avatar
8 votes
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Calcareous deposits in arid soil?

Karkar is made of calcium carbonate. then why it happens only in arid soil? Because this is what happens to calcium carbonate in wet environments: It dissolves away, forming a cave. Calcium ...
Gimelist's user avatar
  • 23.1k
7 votes

Are there any areas on Earth with purplish-colored soil/sand/rock/land?

Yes, there are. Here are some examples from Southern Israel: Another exceptional example is the "rainbow mountain" in Peru: The cause of these colours is the usually trace oxide amount in the soil. ...
Gimelist's user avatar
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6 votes
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Can soil color give accurate data about properties which affect it?

Unfortunately, the color itself won't give you much more information than the amount of organic matter and oxides/hydroxides. The amount of carbonate and some silicates might also be detected, but ...
Lew Pérez's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

What is the residue after plant matter is completely decomposed?

From Mary, et al., 1996, Figure 1 on the second page shows a nice breakdown of there the Carbon and Nitrogen go when a plant decomposes. Hadas, et al., 2002 has experimental data from plants with C:N ...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 3,376
6 votes

How can poor tropical soils be enriched by biological means?

There are two main problems that "wear out" soil, and people working on this deal with both of them. A soil might be low in organic matter and nitrogen, perhaps because all the crops were sold away ...
cphlewis's user avatar
  • 531
5 votes

How can poor tropical soils be enriched by biological means?

The greatest asset of soils in tropical regions is the organic matter rich 'O-horizon'. Check any reference on soil profiles, they will tell you a lot. Yes, the tropical climate is conducive to ...
chiaka's user avatar
  • 283
5 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between lunar and earth soil

The single biggest difference is the lack of chemical weathering in lunar soils which are subject to physical weathering almost exclusively. If you exclude biological processes, terrestrial rocks ...
Knob Scratcher's user avatar
5 votes

The fertility of the soil

What does 'nitrogen' mean? Nitrogen might mean gaseous $N_2$. It might also mean compounds, which contain nitrogen, such as nitrate, ammonia and ammonium. $N_2$ $N_2$ cannot be metabolized by most ...
daniel.heydebreck's user avatar
5 votes
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How to identify a landslide area early?

Curved trees are a sure sign of movement of surface. Special geomorphic shapes are also present in a slowly developing landslide. At the top of the landslide cracks can start to show, at the foot you ...
lmorgh's user avatar
  • 166
5 votes

Why is northern Australia unsuitable for agriculture?

Kingledion's answer speaks to the challenges of the soil and climate for agriculture in northern Australia. However, it seems there is nevertheless significant untapped potential. Arable Soil The ...
Colin's user avatar
  • 231
5 votes

Peaty soil vs laterite soil

I didn't study tropical soils in any depth, but I've studied quite a bit about wetland soils. In my experience most peaty soils are waterlogged, which would encourage anoxia and prevent decay. ...
DataWrangler's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

What would be the correct terminology for soft cover on crust?

what is the correct term for the complete soft-layer on Earth? Sediments. Is there any term for part-of skin-of-Earth which is beneath water? Marine sediments. The soft cover is probably not ...
Gimelist's user avatar
  • 23.1k
4 votes

Is it true that aquaponics yield crops with a lower nutritional value than soil-agriculture?

First look at the article, is cites no sources and is not written by an an expert. It is written without peer review and does not seem to understand how to measure nutritional content (brix is only a ...
John's user avatar
  • 6,906
4 votes
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Soil metals acids and bases

Most alkali and alkaline earth metals, especially the most abundant ones calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium (list is alphabetical) exist in silicates. Silicic acid/hydrated silica is very weakly ...
Oscar Lanzi's user avatar
  • 3,806
4 votes

Does the diameter of the earth decrease because of soil subsiding due to irrigation and rainfall over the years?

Disclaimer: this is probably TLWR, but you can absolutely apply some physical reasoning to arrive at the answer. Changes in surface height of the earth are governed by the conservation of mass, i.e. ...
Z W's user avatar
  • 432

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