Tag: soil characteristics

Soil acts as an engineering medium, a habitat for soil organisms, a recycling system for nutrients and organic wastes, a regulator of water quality, a modifier of atmospheric composition, and a medium for plant growth. Since soil has a tremendous range of available niches and habitats, it contains most of the Earth’s genetic diversity. A gram of soil can contain billions of organisms, belonging to thousands of species.[citation needed] Soil has a mean prokaryotic density of roughly 1013 organisms per cubic meter, whereas the ocean has a mean prokaryotic density of roughly 108 organisms per cubic meter. The carbon content stored in soil is eventually returned to the atmosphere through the process of respiration, which is carried out by heterotrophic organisms that feed upon the carbonaceous material in the soil. Since plant roots need oxygen, ventilation is an important characteristic of soil. This ventilation can be accomplished via networks of soil pores, which also absorb and hold rainwater making it readily available for plant uptake. Since plants require a nearly continuous supply of water, but most regions receive sporadic rainfall, the water-holding capacity of soils is vital for plant survival.

Grade-A Restoration

Grade-A Restoration

America is losing wetlands at an accelerating rate. The average annual rate of loss between 2004 and 2009 increased by 25% over the five-year period ending in 2004, a US Geological Survey study recently reported. The USGS study included coastal wetlands on the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts. All have

Holding Steady

Holding Steady

Weather can wreak havoc on slopes. Here and abroad, erosion control specialists are constantly working to shore up what weather events have shaken up. In some cases, slope stabilization is performed on new construction sites as a type of insurance policy against a weather event destroying the slope. In either

Urban Floodplain Management

Urban Floodplain Management

Flood events cause more than 3.5 billion dollars, or 90%, of property damage in the United States every year (FEMA 2009). Since 2004, more than 40% of annual natural disasters in the US have been related to flooding. With increasing local, state, and federal expenditures for flood disaster relief, flood

Connected and Safe, Above and Below

The construction industry is pulling in data display devices as big as notebooks and as small as cell phones, and using them to become more efficient on the job.

With ruggedized notebooks like Panasonic Toughbook 30 Plus and Dell Latitude XFR, among others, a contractor can bring the office to the

Project Profile: Synthetic Turf Meets a Landfill Erosion Challenge

After four years as landfill district manager for IESI Corp., Delaney Lewis was discouraged. Although one of the Louisiana landfills for which he was responsible exhibited ideal geology, the soil characteristics were not conducive to side slope maintenance.  The soil of the LaSalle/Grant landfill in Jena, LA, was highly erodible,

International Approaches to Erosion

As Donna Blankinship notes in her article on the International Arid Lands Consortium , research in land use and erosion control is under way in many parts of the world, sometimes with unlikely partners crossing political boundaries to solve mutual dilemmas. And although US government agencies, universities, and private companies

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