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by Clara da Silva

From Rock to Soil

From where does soil come and how can it provide all the required nutrients for plant and animal life?

Wind, water, rock, plants, lichen, and freeze & thaw patterns combine in the making of soils.  In this month’s photo all the elements to explain soils are obvious. Rock, the foundation material for all soils, is the “parent material” of soil.  Molten magma, derived from deeper material or from re-melting of surface rock, remains liquid due to the internal pressures and heat of the planet. Closer to earth’s surface magma solidifies becoming igneous (“fire”) rock. 

The raw materials of igneous rock include things like iron, quartz, silica, and minerals. The combination and presentation of the components depends on the conditions under which the rock was formed. Different pressures and temperatures, different combinations of raw materials result in different igneous rock types each with different structures and strengths. Vulnerable to weather, temperatures, and water igneous rocks breakdown turning into the components of soils or other rock types.




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