Glossary

 

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Absorption

Uptake of matter or energy by a substance


Accelerated erosion

The erosion that exceeds the normal geologic erosion and becomes destructive. It occurs when people disturb the soil or the natural vegetation by cutting forests, overgrazing, ploughing hillsides, recreational activity (e.g., ATV vehicle uses), indiscriminate (arbitrary) burning, or construction of roads and buildings.


Accretion

Gradual addition of sand to a beach or lake shoreline during periods of light on-shore wind and/or lowered sea level.


Acidification

Process whereby soil becomes acid (pH < 7) because acid parent material is present or in regions with high rainfall, where soil leaching occurs.  Acidification can be accelerated by human activities (use of fertilisers, deposition of industrial and vehicular pollutants).


Aeolian

A term applied to deposits of soil materials transported and/or arranged by wind.


Aerated soil

An aerated soil is a soil with a good movement of air through the soil structure. The opposite is a wet waterlogged soil, where the soil pores are filled with water.


Afforestation

The establishment of a forest on land that has not previously, or not recently, been timbered.


Aggregate

Soil aggregate consisting of two or more soil particles bound together by various forces.


Aggregation

Process whereby primary soil particles (sand, silt, clay) are bound together, usually by natural forces and substances derived from root exudates and microbial activity. Soil aggregates are arranged to form soil peds, units of soil structure, classified by size, shape (platy, prismatic, columnar, angular, subangular, blocky, granular…) and grade (single-grain, massive, weak, moderate, strong). From an agronomical point of view, the most important soil aggregates are in range 3 - 1 mm.


Agronomy

The study of land management and associated practices for the establishment, growth and use of crops and pastures Involves an understanding of soils, land. climate, plant characteristics and animal husbandry in relation to crop and pasture production,



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