Soil Formation deals with qualitative and quantitative aspects of soil formation (or pedogenesis) and the underlying chemical, biological, and physical processes. The starting point of the text is the process - and not soil classification. Effects of weathering and new formation of minerals, mobilisation, transport, and breakdown or immobilisation of dissolved and suspended compounds are discussed. Soil processes and profiles are discussed in relation to the landscape, the geosphere, and the biosphere. Emphasis lies on the universality of soil-forming processes in past and present, and on the soil as a dynamic entity that forms part of the total environment.
Complexity of genetic processes in time and space is given much attention. The text gives many examples from literature and places some in a new light. The reader is guided through the subject matter by a large number of questions and problems to help understand and synthesis the material. Answers to all questions are included. This second edition has been updated to reflect recent discoveries. Printing errors have been corrected, and new photographs support the text.
The authors set out to write a textbook on the processes of soil profile genesis and should be applauded for accomplishing this objective.
The many questions and problems in each chapter – together with extensive answers and solutions – are the clear strength of Soil Formation. Questions delve into the fundamental tenets of pedology, challenge the reader to connect basic processes to contemporary features, and lead students through the relative merits of conflicting theories on the formation of specific soil features.
As a professor trained in soil genesis, I found the questions almost uniformly interesting, challenging, and penetrating. Working through the questions and problems in this book would provide a rigorous training for any advanced pedology graduate student (and for many pedology professors as well). The broader organization of the book makes it relatively easy to find the appropriate chapter for a topic of interest. No other pedology text provides a collection of questions and problems remotely comparable to those included in Soil Formation.
(David J. Brown, Montana State University, Soil Science Vol. 169 No. 4)