Soil formation is the result of long processes (paedogenesis) that are generally based on the alteration (that is change) of inorganic (minerals and rocks) and organic compounds (plants and dead animals or substances produced by them, like leaves and faeces) that are present in the area, their deposit and the subsequent formation of new minerals and organic molecules. The final composition and structure of a soil depend on the following factors:

  • the parent rock (or lithologic matrix), i.e. the original material (rocks, clays, limestones, etc) of the soil;
  • the climate, which is considered as the main responsible for the formation and definition of soil characteristics and properties;
  • water and temperature, which influence the majority of physical, chemical and biochemical processes that are important for the development of mature;
  • soil sun exposure;
  • the activity of biotic entities (vegetation, micro and macro fauna e flora);
  • the height, defined by land altitude and inclination;
  • the length of time, as the different products of change and the definition of soil characteristics occur in different length of time;
  • human activity.

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