What is a soil and what does it look like?
Soil is not simply 'powdered rock' or the 'top 10 cm of the ground surface', but a complex material produced by the interaction of five soil forming factors:
a complex material; five forming factors
The type of material in which the soil is formed (e.g., clay, sand, peat).
Plays a major role in the cycling of nutrients and in biochemical processes.
How long the soil has had to form and develop.
Controls the movement of water, and largely determines erosion patterns.
Just as bread isn't simply a mixture of cooked flour and water, soil isn't simply a mixture of the five forming factors.
Soils may be regarded as complex and dynamic individual living bodies.
SOME COUNTRIES HAVE OIL; NEW ZEALAND