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Is there sand in Antarctica?

Yes. In fact, there are sand-dunes in Antarctica [1:15].
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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 ...
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14 votes
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Is soil a renewable resource?

Soil is an interesting case because although it is non-renewable (at any useful rate) as a 'bulk material' once removed from the ground, the nutrient content of soil can be renewed with fertilizers. ...
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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 ...
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10 votes
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What is hydraulic diffusivity?

So let's get through some definitions. I will not discuss the derivations of this, but you can look this up, if you want to in the source I provided. We find ourselves in a porous medium, so we will ...
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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 ...
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9 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 ...
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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 ...
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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- ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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7 votes
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Generic pedo-transfer functions to compute field capacity and wilting point from sand/silt/clay?

As far as I know, there’s no one definitive pedo-transfer function (PTF) but there have been several studies that train functions against multi-site databases, rather than just deriving site-specific ...
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6 votes
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How does soil redox potential affect the rate of denitrification?

Denitrification requires anoxic conditions, organic matter, and NO3-. Gleysols are anoxic soils formed in wetlands. Waterlogged wetland soils are generally both anaerobic and high in organic matter. ...
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6 votes
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What would happen if the same soil received waste water contaminants for a long time?

Like many things in Earth Science, the answer is, "It depends." In this case it depends on the composition of the soil and the contaminant you are talking about. Climate, particularly the amount of ...
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6 votes
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What's a frost-gley?

A frost-gley is a waterlogged permafrost soil. IOW, a gleysol that has undergone cryoturbation.
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6 votes

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 ...
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6 votes
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Was Russia's original territory unfavorable for agriculture?

The area outlined covers several climatic zones. The northeastern part was, and to some extent still is, permafrost at shallow depth, so obviously this was not good for agriculture. Further south most ...
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5 votes
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Why is a layer of the subsoil so dark on this construction site?

Regarding your question: So now I'm wondering if that might be the "fire layer" where the excessive heat hast left its mark in the ground. The short answer is no. The layer seems to be about 1 ...
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5 votes

What started the US Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and could it happen again?

There are two books I love to recommend on this. The Worst Hard Time is a history book with a lot of first-person reports and a summary of what people were thinking before the dust bowl -- what the ...
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5 votes
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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 ...
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5 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. ...
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