Soil System Sciences

Soil science

Cracked soils

Vertisols are dark clayey soils that show cracks at least during some part of the year. Normally, Vertisols are found in depressions or plain areas under subhumid or semiarid climate, with a wet and a dry season. Although climax vegetation is savanna, grassland or woodland, Vertisols are very fertile, so that agricultural use is very common. However, the process of swelling/shrinking makes Vertiso ...[Read More]

Working for the recovery of burned soils

Fire is a natural agent that occurs in most terrestrial ecosystems. In Mediterranean areas, for example, fire is a natural agent that has contributed to shape the history of vegetation, soils, and ultimately, the landscape we know today. Also, since ancient times, men have also used fire as a tool for the management of ecosystems. As a result, the Mediterranean vegetation has developed mechanisms ...[Read More]

Ladies and gentlemen: the Rolling Stones

Racetrack Playa is a plain without vegetation of a dry located above the northwestern side of Death Valley, in Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, CA, USA (click here to see in Google Maps). Although “playa” is the Spanish word for beach, it is also used in English to refer to a dry lake. Racetrack Playa occupies an area of 4.5 km (north-south) by 2 km (east-west) which is 1,130 m ...[Read More]

What is soil structure?

Soil structure is the result of the spatial arrangement of the solid soil particles and their associated pore space. Aggregation mainly depends on the soil composition and texture, but is also strongly influenced by other factors such as biological activity, climate, geomorphic processes or the action of fire. Structure is a typical morphological soil property, which allows differentiating soil of ...[Read More]