Geology and Soils

Rocks, Dirt and other Earthy stuff.

From Wikipedia:

Geology (from Greek: γη, gê, “earth”; and λόγος, logos, “speech” lit. to talk about the earth) is the science and study of the solid and liquid matter that constitute the Earth. The field of geology encompasses the study of the composition, structure, physical properties, dynamics, and history of Earth materials, and the processes by which they are formed, moved, and changed. The field is important in academics, industry (due to mineral and hydrocarbon extraction), and for social issues such as geotechnical engineering, the mitigation of natural hazards, and knowledge about past climate and climate change.Soil is the naturally occurring, unconsolidated or loose covering on the earth’s surface. Soil is made up of broken rock particles that have been altered by chemical and environmental conditions. Soil is different from its parent rock(s) source(s), altered by interactions between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and the biosphere. It is a mixture of mineral and organic constituents that are in solid, gaseous and aqueous states. Soil particles pack loosely, forming a soil structure filled with pore spaces. These pores contain soil solution (liquid) and air (gas). Accordingly, soils are often treated as a three state system. Most soils have a density between 1 and 2, and weigh between 60 and 120 pounds per cubic foot. Soil is also known as earth: it is the substance from which our planet takes its name.

Class Presentations
2009 Texas Soils and Geology, Sam Feagley, AgriLife Extension Service
Download Soils for Master Naturalist PDF file

2016 Organic Farming and Soil Sustainability, 3/5/2016, Betsy Ross, SustainableGrowthTexas, PDF files of handouts below.

Advance Training

June 13 2015 presentation by Betsy Ross:

Field Trips
On April 22, 2014,  Richard Reid (Soil Survey Project Leader; NRCS, Bryan) gave a presentation at M&M Farm Supply in Cameron, followed by a field visit to a Blackland Prairie site (Katherine Bedrick) and a claypan Post Oak Savannah site (Don Travis) for actual soil testing using the insertion of a 6 foot collection rod.  He then presented a detailed analysis of the various layers of soil found in those samples, and their geologic origin and value.  Click here is the powerpoint presentation. [This is on Google Drive as it is too large to upload to our website.  You may want to download it to view the overlays etc better than Google Drive will display it, about 20 meg file]  Two videos and several photos can be seen here.  What these will show is the soil extraction process pushing two different sized rods into the soil, first a larger diameter for the first 3 feet, then a smaller size diameter to go down through the first hole into the next 3 feet, and a 7 minute explanation of the layers in the Blackland soil.


Books and Web Sites of Interest


From Shawn Walton’s Weekly blog / column in the Rockdale and Cameron Newpapers:

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