The soil is thin layer covering the Earth’s crust, in contact with the atmosphere: its nature and composition depend on an equilibrium between environmental factors of a chemical, physical and biological nature. It represents an important natural resource because it allows the growth of spontaneous vegetation and as a consequence an environment that is rich and varied, where many forms of life live, mainly micro-organisms and insects. Here, thanks to the presence of microflora and microfauna,  the nitrogen, carbon and phosphorus cycles are completed. These are fundamental for all living beings. The soil is also a source of  nourishment because it allows the growth of agricultural crops and animal farming, furthermore it provides wood that is used by a part of the world population as fuel.

subjects dealt with in Soil

terra_400x225_0003_conoscere il suolo

Soil knowledge

The soil consists of a mixture of solid particles, water and air. Solid particles can be inorganic or organic. The…

terra_400x225_0002_formazione del suolo

Soil formation

Soil formation is the result of long processes (paedogenesis) that are generally based on the alteration (that is change) of…

terra_400x225_0001_suoli e classificazione

Soil classification

Soil thickness depends on soil inclination. If the land is inclined rock debris do not accumulate on the spot since,…

terra_400x225_0004_biologia del suolo

Earth biology

Even though not much is known about soil organisms, it is certain that soil is not an inert and sterile…

terra_400x225_0005_ambiente e territorio

Environment and territory

The soil is a dynamic system that has reached a balance with the other surrounding elements. Man can compromise it…

special reports

  • 13 May 2013 / Earth

    Small steps, great footprints

    Which one takes up more space, an apple or a steak? Have you ever wondered how much space is taken…

    3 December 2006 / Life

    Sustainable agriculture

    Eating in order to survive Agriculture is man’s main activity, it enables the production of food, that passes through shops…

    10 March 2006 / Ecosystems

    Environment biotech

    Biotechnology Biotechnology can be defined as the application of microbiology, genetic engineering and biochemistry for the treatment of waste materials…

  • 10 January 2007 / Earth

    Man and the mountain

    Life on the mountains The antique populations that used to live at the bottom of the mountains didn’t face them…

    7 January 2010 / Earth

    Alps and Appennines

    How a mountain chain is born The term orogeny was born from the Greek words oros (mountain) and genesis (origin);…

    18 May 2009 / Earth

    Sauropods

    40 meters long and 17 high, huge but peaceful, the Branchiosaurus were a masterpiece in genetic Engineering. Survival machines in…

  • 20 March 2011 / Earth

    The earthquake in Japan

    In-depth on the earthquake in Japan Japan is one of the countries in which earthquakes occur most frequently. The reason…

    10 November 2011 / Earth

    Landslides

    Water and gravity in action Very punctually, with the arrival of the spring and autumn precipitations, the topic of landslides…

    8 November 2013 / Earth

    Magnets and superconductors

    The phenomenon of magnetism Which one of us has not played at attracting small pieces of iron with a magnet?…

  • 13 May 2013 / Earth

    Small steps, great footprints

    Which one takes up more space, an apple or a steak? Have you ever wondered how much space is taken…

    3 December 2006 / Life

    Sustainable agriculture

    Eating in order to survive Agriculture is man’s main activity, it enables the production of food, that passes through shops…

  • 10 March 2006 / Ecosystems

    Environment biotech

    Biotechnology Biotechnology can be defined as the application of microbiology, genetic engineering and biochemistry for the treatment of waste materials…

    10 January 2007 / Earth

    Man and the mountain

    Life on the mountains The antique populations that used to live at the bottom of the mountains didn’t face them…

  • 7 January 2010 / Earth

    Alps and Appennines

    How a mountain chain is born The term orogeny was born from the Greek words oros (mountain) and genesis (origin);…

    18 May 2009 / Earth

    Sauropods

    40 meters long and 17 high, huge but peaceful, the Branchiosaurus were a masterpiece in genetic Engineering. Survival machines in…

  • 13 May 2013 / Earth

    Small steps, great footprints

    Which one takes up more space, an apple or a steak? Have you ever wondered how much space is taken…

  • 3 December 2006 / Life

    Sustainable agriculture

    Eating in order to survive Agriculture is man’s main activity, it enables the production of food, that passes through shops…

  • 10 March 2006 / Ecosystems

    Environment biotech

    Biotechnology Biotechnology can be defined as the application of microbiology, genetic engineering and biochemistry for the treatment of waste materials…

from the Multimedia section

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    Agricolture

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    Desertification

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    A rubber egg

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    Soil characteristic

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  • 2010241154718_suolo_agricoltura

    earth

    Agricolture

    Look
    20102411545619_suolo_agrSost

    earth

    Sustainable Farming

    Look
  • earth

    Soil pedogenesis

    Look

    earth

    A telephone with a thread

    Look
  • earth

    Tillable land in the world

    Look

    earth

    Soil health and sustainability

    Look

curiosities

  • Laterite and bauxite deposits

    These deposits can be observed in those tropical areas that are characterized by seasonal rainfalls, such as some large areas…

    And in underground tunnels?

    There are groups of terrestrial animals that eat insects, worms and other invertebrates. An example of them are moles, that…

    What about the permafrost?

    In Sub Arctic Swedish regions, some scientists studied the changes of permafrost in marshes and noticed a constant reduction in…

  • Different plains

    In South America plains are different from North to South. Plains in the north are called llanos and they are…

    The most populated cities in the world

    In the last 50 years the world population has passed from 2.5 billion to 6 billion, and estimates say that…

    Volcanic eruptions

    The activity of some volcanoes is characterized by violent explosions that break the magma into fragment of different size. Those…

  • What are the hills?

    A hill is a natural rise of the Earth’s surface. Generally, it is less than 600 metres high: it is…

    The most spectacular waterfalls

    The highest waterfalls in the world are located in Venezuela. The famous Salto Angel is 979 metres high. The widest…

    Mountains on the Earth

    The different landscapes that we analysed in the previous section are distributed in the five continents of the Earth. Observing…

  • Laterite and bauxite deposits

    These deposits can be observed in those tropical areas that are characterized by seasonal rainfalls, such as some large areas…

    And in underground tunnels?

    There are groups of terrestrial animals that eat insects, worms and other invertebrates. An example of them are moles, that…

  • What about the permafrost?

    In Sub Arctic Swedish regions, some scientists studied the changes of permafrost in marshes and noticed a constant reduction in…

    Different plains

    In South America plains are different from North to South. Plains in the north are called llanos and they are…

  • The most populated cities in the world

    In the last 50 years the world population has passed from 2.5 billion to 6 billion, and estimates say that…

    Volcanic eruptions

    The activity of some volcanoes is characterized by violent explosions that break the magma into fragment of different size. Those…

  • Laterite and bauxite deposits

    These deposits can be observed in those tropical areas that are characterized by seasonal rainfalls, such as some large areas…

  • And in underground tunnels?

    There are groups of terrestrial animals that eat insects, worms and other invertebrates. An example of them are moles, that…

  • What about the permafrost?

    In Sub Arctic Swedish regions, some scientists studied the changes of permafrost in marshes and noticed a constant reduction in…

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