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The surface of Planet Earth represents some 30 percent land and 70 percent water - our oceans, rivers and lakes. It is on the land surface part of the earth that soil forms. It is here that soil plays such a major part in supporting life on earth. The soil is rather like a thin carpet covering the land surface of the planet; most soils are less than three metres thick. Comparing this to the radius of the whole of planet earth, which is about 6,000 kilometres, one swiftly appreciates what a very thin skin it is. The thickness of the soil is miniscule compared to the thickness of the earth, and yet this thin layer on the surface of the earth plays a pivotal role in the existence of humans and indeed all land-based life on earth
This very thin skin, soil, is a living entity, unlike the very thick rock core lying below. It contains billions of living organisms which help to form the soil and allow it to perform many marvellous feats such as producing most of our food, our forests and our wild flowers. We need to appreciate fully the importance of soil to planet earth and particularly to its growing number of inhabitants.
There are several thousand different types of soil across the surface of planet earth. This is important because it enables us to grow a wide variety of foods and plants in the different climatic areas of the world, varying from date palms in desert soils, to tropical fruits in the jungle areas, and plants surviving in some of the coldest areas of the world. Whenever summer comes shrubs and grasses to feed grazing animals appear from the soil. We should appreciate the part soil plays in all our lives!
This website is dedicated to exporing and presenting the shear variety of soil and related soil landscapes worldwide. Associated with the Soils
There are a number of Soil classification systems (Category: Soil classification systems) in use worldwide.