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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Agroecosystems Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #347790

Research Project: Agroecosystem Benefits from the Development and Application of New Management Technologies in Agricultural Watersheds

Location: Agroecosystems Management Research

Title: Consensus on a new definition for soil?

item Logsdon, Sally
item Schoeneberger, Philip - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, USDA)
item Kremer, Robert - University Of Missouri

Submitted to: CSA News
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2017
Publication Date: 12/7/2017
Citation: Logsdon, S.D., Schoeneberger, P., Kremer, R.J. 2017. Consensus on a new definition for soil?. CSA News. 62(12):25.

Interpretive Summary: How does weathered rock become soil? This letter is in response to an article that allows extending the concept of soil to moons or planets that do not have anything living. This letter shows how plants or other living input are needed to form weathered rock and sediment into soil. This is of interest to scientists.

Technical Abstract: Unconsolidated material does not become soil without biological input. Until it is proven that life forms exist on extraterrestrial planets and moons, these should not be considered "soils" in context of soil formation, which includes the organism factor. There is already a perfectly good term for weather rock: regolith. Many studies describing early soil formation show the necessity of biological input.