Course Summary

Saving the Soil

Unit 1 - Introduction

Introduction to the causes and consequences of soil degradation. Definition of soil degradation. Some Australian and global examples.

Unit 2 - The Formation Of Soil Material

Definition of soil. How soil is formed from the breakdown of rocks and minerals.

Unit 3 - Bioturbation

The disturbance of soils by fauna and flora (bioturbation). Explanation of the soil profile and soil horizons.

Unit 4 - Lateral Surface Movement

The movement of the Earth's surface by water, wind and ice. Topsoil formation. Texture contrast soil and fabric contrast soil.

Unit 5 - The Distribution Of Soil Materials

How soil material is distributed globally. Factors determining soil distribution.

Unit 6 - Soil Degradation

The main types of soil degradation are discussed: soil erosion, structural change, pollution, desertification and salinisation.

Unit 7 - The Practical Framework

How soil scientists gather information. Soil description, soil survey and mapping techniques.

Unit 8 - Soil Management

Some land management systems are examined: soil fertility management, conservation farming, agroforestry, and precision agriculture. Some regional and global strategies for land rehabilitation are discussed.