Country: United States
Date: Fall 2009
What is Subsoil? What is in subsoil?
Soils are characterized through analysis of a soil pedon; a soil pedon
is a three-dimensional soil body that is 1 x 1 x 1.5 (deep) meters.
Soils develop distinct layers at varying depths. These layers, in a
vertical section, define the soil profile. We use the soil profile to
determine the type of soil.
There are numerous types of soils, each with characteristic layers,
called: soil horizons. There are many soil horizons, but we commonly
refer to the Master Horizons, known as the O, A, E, B, C, and R
The B-Horizon is also known as the subsoil. This horizon, if developed
within the pedon under study, is a zone of accumulation of material
from above. We commonly find an accumulation of silicate clays, Fe,
Al, carbonate, gypsum or Si that was precipitated or translocated. The
B-Horizon is commonly yellowish to red in color with little or no
organic material. Air and water are present along with highly
weathered parent material. It may take 1,000 to 10,000 years to
develop a B-Horizon.
Soils are amazing ecosystems. Without life there would be no soil, and
without soil, there would be no life. Well, the only life that would
exist would be chemotrophic organisms found along mid-ocean spreading
ridges! Even more amazing is that the world’s soils are disappearing
faster than they are being created. Do you think that we can use
hydroponics to feed the world’s people?
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Update: June 2012