Examples of soil pollutants are toxic chemicals, pesticides, lead, sewage and metals. Others include acid, solvents and herbicides. Leftover ash can get in the ground through coal production and disposal.
Pesticides are used to eradicate insects that damage crops, but the leftover chemicals can stay in the soil for decades. These chemicals remain in the ground because the elements contained within fail to break down. For instance, the pesticide DDT has been found in the soil 40 years after its application. Traces of these chemicals can be found in plants, and residue can get onto pets and into homes.
Industrial pollutants in the form of lead and solvents are also not biodegradable. These are leftover byproducts from manufacturing centers. One example is dioxin, a common industrial hazard that is a leftover remnant when waste products are incinerated. These toxins also escape into the air and end up in the soil when rain water lands on the ground.
Acid rain is a prime example of a hazardous chemical that seeps into the ground. Acid rain is caused by natural occurrences, such as volcanic activity, but certain industries can also cause this phenomenon. For example, the fossil fuel industry can create acid rain. Acid rain contains high amounts of sulfur and nitrate, which are acids that destroy nutrients and minerals in the ground that plants and trees need to survive.Learn More
Soil erosion negatively affects the environment by stunting the new growth of plant life due to removal of topsoil. Erosion greatly reduces the quality of the soil.Full Answer >
Chaparral soil is typically dry and rich in iron oxides that give it a cinnamon or chestnut color. It contains little clay and lacks organic material.Full Answer >
Soil contains four essential components: rock particles, water, air and leaves. Although soil and dirt do not move or express feelings and emotions, they are actually very much alive, contain living and nonliving materials and serve important functions in ecosystems around the world.Full Answer >
Contour plowing conserves soil by following the lay of the land and creating ridges that form a water break to prevent soil erosion. Furrows that do not follow the lay of the land cause rapid runoff during rainfall by forming a convenient channel for the water to flow downhill.Full Answer >