Leaching (pedology)

Leaching (pedology)

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In pedology
Pedology (soil study)
Pedology is the study of soils in their natural environment. It is one of two main branches of soil science, the other being edaphology...

, leaching is the loss of mineral and organic solutes due to percolation
Percolation
In physics, chemistry and materials science, percolation concerns the movement and filtering of fluids through porous materials...

. It is a mechanism of soil formation
Pedogenesis
Pedogenesis is the science and study of the processes that lead to the formation of soil ' and first explored by the Russian geologist Vasily Dokuchaev , the so called grandfather of soil science, who determined that soil formed over time as a consequence of...

. It is distinct from the soil forming process of eluviation, which is the loss of mineral and organic colloids. Leached and elluviated materials tend to be lost from topsoil
Topsoil
Topsoil is the upper, outermost layer of soil, usually the top to . It has the highest concentration of organic matter and microorganisms and is where most of the Earth's biological soil activity occurs.-Importance:...

 and deposited in subsoil
Subsoil
Subsoil, or substrata, is the layer of soil under the topsoil on the surface of the ground. The subsoil may include substances such as clay and/or sand that has only been partially broken down by air, sunlight, water, wind etc., to produce true soil...

. A soil horizon
Soil horizon
A soil horizon is a specific layer in the land area that is parallel to the soil surface and possesses physical characteristics which differ from the layers above and beneath. Horizon formation is a function of a range of geological, chemical, and biological processes and occurs over long time...

 accumulating leached and eluviated materials is referred to as a zone of illuviation.

See also

  • Bioleaching
    Bioleaching
    Bioleaching is the extraction of specific metals from their ores through the use of living organisms. This is much cleaner than the traditional heap leaching using cyanide...

  • Biomineralisation
    Biomineralisation
    Biomineralization is the process by which living organisms produce minerals, often to harden or stiffen existing tissues. Such tissues are called mineralized tissues. It is an extremely widespread phenomenon; all six taxonomic kingdoms contain members that are able to form minerals, and over 60...

  • Leaching (agriculture)
    Leaching (agriculture)
    In agriculture, leaching refers to the loss of water-soluble plant nutrients from the soil, due to rain and irrigation. Soil structure, crop planting, type and application rates of fertilizers, and other factors are taken into account to avoid excessive nutrient loss.Leaching may also refer to ...

  • Groundwater recharge
  • Soil salinity control