soil- +

(Latin: bottom; under surface; earth, dirt)

alluvial soil
1. A fine-grained fertile soil deposited by water flowing over flood plains or in river beds.
2. Fertile soil that can be found in aquatic communities (living in or on water for all or a substantial part of the life span; generally restricted to fresh water or inland waters).
desert soil
1. A type of soil that develops in arid, or dry, climates.
2. A soil that develops under sparse shrub vegetation in warm to cool arid climates with a light-colored surface soil usually underlain by calcareous material and a hardpan layer.
3. A soil variety typically found in arid climates, usually with little leaching and minimal humus content.

Referred to as an "aridisol" in the nomenclature of the United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service.

mineral soil
Any soil consisting primarily of minerals; such as, sand, silt and clay materials; rather than organic matter (composting and mulching).
night soil
Human excrement collected at night from non-flushable toilets or cesspools; especially, for use as fertilizer.
phytomorphic soils
The well drained soils of an association which have developed under the dominant influence of the natural vegetation characteristic of a region.

The zonal soils of an area.

relict soil
Soil formed on a pre-existing landscape but which was not subsequently buried under younger sediments.

It should be taken into account that relict soils may represent a wide range of time periods.

saline-alkali soil, salina-alkali soil
A soil unusable for agricultural purposes because it contains more than 15% exchangeable sodium, has a high content of soluble salts, and a pH of less that 9.5.
soil (s), soils (pl) (noun forms)
1. The portion of the earth's surface consisting of disintegrated rock and humus: "Some plants cannot develop in poorly drained soils."
2. All loose, unconsolidated, weathered, or otherwise altered surface material lying on the earth above bedrock.

Specifically, a natural accumulation of organic matter and inorganic rock material that is capable of supporting the growth of vegetation.

3. A particular kind of earth; such as, sandy soil.
4. The ground when producing vegetation or as cultivated for its crops: "We used fertile soil for our garden."
5. The biologically active, porous medium that has developed in the uppermost layer of the earth's crust.

Soil is one of the principal substrata of life on earth, serving as a reservoir of water and nutrients, as a medium for the filtration and breakdown of injurious wastes, and as a participant in the cycling of carbon and other elements through the global ecosystem.

It has evolved through weathering processes driven by biological, climatic, geologic, and topographic influences.

6. A country, land, or region: "The criminal act was committed on American soil."
7. The ground or earth: "The farmers were tilling their soil."
8. Any place or condition providing the opportunity for growth or development: "Some people believe that poverty provides the soil for crime and social instability."
soil amendment
In agronomy, the process of adding substances to the soil to improve plant growth.
soil association, soil complex
A mapping unit used in detailed soil surveys consisting of two or more distinguishable soils in a given geographic area which are grouped together on the basis of their areal (area) distribution.
soil atmosphere, soil air
The air occupying the pore or open spaces in soil.
soil carbon
Carbon contained in the solid surface layer of the earth.

The amount of carbon in the soil is a function of the historic vegetative cover and productivity, which in turn is influenced by climatic variables.

soil conservation, soil management
Any of various methods of land management that seek to protect the soil from erosion and chemical decay, so as to maintain its quality.

The technique of strip cropping (alternating different crops) is one method of soil conservation because it is believed to provide almost total resistance to erosion.

soil ecology
The study of the relationship between the activities of soil organisms and the overall soil environment.
soil erosion
The detachment and transportation of topsoil by the action of wind and running water.

Cross references of word families related directly, or indirectly, to: "land, ground, fields, soil, dirt, mud, clay, earth (world)": agra-; agrest-; agri-; agro-; argill-; choro-; chthon-; epeiro-; geo-; glob-; lut-; myso-; pedo-; pel-; rhyp-; sord-; terr-.