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
There are four principal contributors to acidic soil: rainfall and leaching, the decomposition of organic materials, the introduction of high-acidity materials into the soil and the harvest of abundantly yielding crops. The more time that passes, the more likely a soil becomes acidic and the less easily plants grow. One way the acidity of soil can be neutralized is to add lime to 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 >
According to the non-profit project Coral Science, coral reefs are not lodged in soil. The rocky substance in which they are fixed is made by the corals themselves. They live in colonies made of many polyps that build skeletons from the underside of their skin.Full Answer >
While regolith is a layer of loose, uncompacted dirt, dust and rocks sitting on top of bedrock, soil is the portion of the regolith that is able to support plant life. Soil contains organic matter, liquids and minerals, while most of the other layers of the regolith do not.Full Answer >