The soil science is a science that is responsible for the study of nature, studies the close relationship of living things with respect to the soil and conditions, which are always under them. It is a relatively young science compared to others and this is derived from geology , although it continues to maintain a close relationship.


What is edaphology?

The edafología gives way to the study of soil conformation, its origin and evolutionary history, in turn processes chemical, and biological treasuries in which the involved. Being a branch of geology, they have an open range of study methodologies for the analysis of the different areas in which they are developed, such as localized mapping , special use cartography , and soil taxonomy.

  • Definition
  • History
  • What does edaphology study
  • What is the density of the soil
  • What is the pH of the soil
  • What is edaphology for?
  • Types of soil
  • Edaphology by country
  • Importance
  • Featured soil scientists
  • Edaphology books


Edaphology is a science in charge of the exhaustive study of the soil , specifically its composition, where theoretical branches play an important role, such as physics and chemistry , and their relationship with plants together with the environment in which they intervene. Its name originates in Greece from the term “edaphos” which means the surface of the earth and this being the opposite of “geos” which means cosmic group.



This study originates from the Russian school of geography, and its founder is the Russian Vasily Dokuchaev who founded the first terms about soil geography for 1883, the field study was in one of the chernozem , where they were based of the first morphological studies of the soil. During the studies, the first theoretical bases of soil morphology were shaped , the first scientific classification methods, cartographic study methods and sample analysis were developed both in the field of study and in the laboratory.

After him there are other founders such as Marbut, an illustrious geographer from the United States , who prepared William Morris Davis , director of geological studies of the soils of the same country as his teacher. Marbut maintains the theory about multiple processing of the origin of soils; in turn, he proposed the classification of soils that are currently known, orders, suborders, groups, families, series and types.

What does edaphology study

Edaphology directly studies the composition of the soil, from its origin to its history in terms of its evolutionary processes , in turn it also studies the different processes that intervene in them , both physical and chemical and also biological.

What is the density of the soil

On average (for common minerals found in most soil areas) soils have a density close to 2.65 cubic which refers to the weighted weight of each mineral particle.

What is the pH of the soil

When talking about PH, it refers to the degree of alkalinity or acidity (it is taken as a measure). It is given the definition of a negative logarithm which verifies the ionohydronium activity in solutions with a measurement index 1-14 where 7 is the neutral point, what is below 7 is considered acidic while it is that is above 7 is taken as basic.

In Latin America the PH in the southern part is given a weighting of 10 while in the northern part it is given a weighting of 8. In Europe it is given a base weight of 6 and this increases or decreases according to each country.

What is edaphology for?

Science studies everything that has to do with the soil, its composition, origin of the rocks , origin of the soil, study of the vegetation found in the area, how human action intervenes in the soil, soil PH between other things. E sto makes using theoretical bases imposed for years by the founders of science and other theoretical foundations like those of physics or chemistry.

Types of soil

Sandy soils

Mostly made up of sand , this type of soil generally does not retain water , therefore it is not even considered for agriculture , because of how dry it can be and also because of its lack of organic life.

Limestone soils

This type of soil has abundant calcareous salts, and is distinguished by being white, dry and arid in excellence, for which this classification of soil is not taken into consideration for agriculture either.

Humid soils

Which are cataloged in the same way as black earth , they contain a large amount of matter organized in decomposition and retain water very well, therefore, this type of soil is considered for agriculture.

Clay soils

They are made up entirely of grains of clay , making the earth look yellow, it is capable of retaining water, however, it contains so much that it ends up accumulated in puddles.

Edaphology by country

  • Spain : For some time now, Spain has been given the task of thoroughly studying everything related to its natural part, that is: soils, biology, environmental impact , among others, in order to generate create a concept regarding national identity and at the same time know in depth all the parts that make up the nation is its geographical aspect.
  • Mexico : Since the founding of the first state environmental agencies , Mexico has devoted itself to studying in depth everything that has to do with its nature , in addition to its various types of soil, it is constantly being studied to understand its evolutionary changes and advances.
  • Colombia : Currently, Colombia has begun to develop plans and projects where the main objective of studying the soil is to get the most out of the different economic activities where the soil plays an extremely important role, such as in agriculture and mining. .
  • Argentina : This country has one of the best systems for studying geography and biodiversity due to the different areas that make up this nation as it has arid areas but also very low climate areas such as Patagonia, among others.
  • Peru : Although it is a nation that is not usually very relevant in areas of impact worldwide, it has always sought to safeguard everything that refers to demographic identity , since they consider it to be one of the most important points that make up their nation.


Edaphology has become one of the most important studies about the earth since it is one of the largest and most extensive, giving bases and studies to other sciences such as geology and biology.

Featured soil scientists

  • Marbut (1863 – 1935) Illustrious edaphologist of science.
  • Kellogg (1902 – 1980) Disciple of Vasily
  • Glinka (1867-1929) Disciple of Vasily
  • Neustrayev (1874 – 1928) Russian soil scientist who developed study methods
  • VasilyDokuchaev (1846 – 1903), Founder of science
  • Jenny (1941)
  • Gaucher (1981) I create study formulas where soil = function (parent material, climate, organisms, relief, time) + man

Edaphology books

  • Manual of edaphology, Philliphe Duchaufour.
  • Soil science for agriculture and the environment.
  • Edaphology: Use and protection of soils.
  • Introduction to edaphology, Porta Jaime.
  • Principles of edaphology with emphasis on Argentine soils, Marta Conti.
  • The science of the soil and its management, Edward Plaster.

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