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Geologic Factors In Soil Formation

The first factor that we will consider as we examine how soils form is the geologic factor. Before soil can develop, the landscape must first become covered with regolith, or dirt. A bare surface made of stone will not develop into a soil until it is further broken down into finer dirt particles.

Weathering Takes Place Over Hundreds of Thousands of Years.

Over many thousands and even millions of years, a stony surface can be broken down by the forces of weather, such as rain and wind. This process is known as weathering. Other locations might become covered with a dirt layer by deposits left behind by wind or streams.

The type of rock that the dirt came from will have a dramatic effect initially in what the future soil will look like. The soil will in great part resemble the original rock.

As time rolls on, however, the original type of rock is less and less important, until eventually it becomes impossible to determine what type of rock a soil formed from.