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Ward's+Soil Types Poster_Final

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5100 West Henrietta Road • West Henrietta, NY 14586 ©2023 Ward's Science All Rights Reserved. Soil Types L o a m S ilt / L o e s s S and G r a ve l C la y A ll uv u m S ile x/ F l in t L i m e s t o n e Sa n d s to n e S la t e S c h ist G n e i s s G r a n i t e V o lcan i c S o il T e x t u r e s S e d i m e n t a r y M e t a m o rph i c Ig n e o u s Digging Deep: A Visual Guide to Earth's Soil Composition The pedosphere (soil) is a complex ecosystem that supports countless organisms and is critical in sustaining our planet's health. Different soil types provide specific industrial and agricultural applications. Use the guide to help you recognize the unique characteristics and properties of this precious resource. • Loam: Has a balanced mixture of sand, silt, and clay, making it highly fertile and able to retain moisture while allowing for good drainage. • Silt: Consists of fine particles that are smooth and silky to the touch, offering good water retention capabilities but can become easily compacted. • Sand: Is gritty and coarse, allowing for excellent drainage but offering low water and nutrient retention. • Gravel: Comprises larger, rounded particles that provide excellent drainage and aeration but can be challenging for plant roots to establish themselves. • Clay: Is characterized by small, fine particles that hold water well but can become compacted and slow down the drainage, requiring proper management for optimal plant growth. • Alluvium: Is created by deposited sediment carried by rivers and streams, resulting in rich, fertile soil ideal for agriculture. • Silex/Flint: Is characterized by a high concentration of siliceous rocks, resulting in well-drained soil that is often rocky and challenging for plant roots to penetrate. • Limestone: Is alkaline and rich in calcium carbonate, making it suitable for growing crops that prefer alkaline conditions but may hinder the growth of acid-loving plants. • Sandstone: Is composed of compressed sand particles, providing good drainage and aeration while still retaining some water, making it suitable for various crops. • Slate: Is derived from slate rock and has good drainage properties, but it can be acidic, making it more suitable for acid-loving plants. • Schist: Is derived from metamorphic rock with a layered structure, typically containing mica and other minerals; its fine texture makes it suitable for crops that require good drainage. • Gneiss: Is formed from metamorphic rock, has a coarser texture and a more uniform composition, is rich in minerals and nutrients, offers excellent fertility and water retention, and resists erosion providing a stable and fertile environment for plant growth. • Granite: Is derived from igneous rock and is well-drained with a sandy texture, often acidic, and provides a challenging environment for plant growth without proper adjustments. • Volcanic: Also known as volcanic ash, it is highly fertile due to its rich mineral content and excellent drainage, making it ideal for agricultural activities.

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