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Flashcards in Soil Deck (17):
1

What does SOM stand for and in which layer of soil is most of it contained?

Soil Organic Matter; topsoil

2

What is soil degradation?

The loss of topsoil and its nutrients through erosion or other processes

3

Describe the process of salinization

Water containing ions deposits these as salts after it evaporates from the soil, leaving higher concentrations of the salt in the soil

4

Name three processes that aid in soil degradation

Salinization, Nutrient Depletion, Soil Pollution

5

Describe Nutrient Depletion

Plants remove nutrients from the soil. If they themselves are removed, there is a net loss of nutrients to that environment

6

Name some sources of soil pollution

Fertilizer, pesticides, chemical dumping, chemical spillages, leaching from landfills

7

What are the primary components of SOM?

undecided plant and animal tissue, decomposition products, soil biomass (e.g. microorganisms)

8

What are non-humic substances?

Substances excreted directly from cells, such as proteins, polysaccharides, amino acids, and sugars

9

What are Fulvic and Humic acids?

Weak acids composed of complex mixtures of large molecules

10

To what extent is Fulvic acid soluble?

Soluble in basic and acidic solutions

11

To what extent is Humic acid soluble?

Soluble in basic solution but insoluble in acidic solution

12

To what extent is Humin soluble?

Completely insoluble

13

What are the physical properties of SOM?

Improves soil water retention, alters soil thermal properties, improves structural stability

14

What is the biological property of SOM?

Source of energy and nutrients

15

What is cation exchange capacity?

Measure of the amount of exchangeable cations in the soil

16

What are some examples of organic soil pollutants?

Petroleum hydrocarbons, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organotin compounds, VOCs, semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs)

17

How are SVOCs different than VOCs?

SVOCs have boiling points between 240-400C. VOCs have boiling points below this.