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Listed under:  Science  >  Earth and space  >  Earth structure  >  Earth's crust  >  Soil

Acidity in the soil

This short unit of three lessons explores soil pH and introduces the pH scale as an international standard. The first two lessons explore the concepts of acidity and alkalinity in foods and in soil. Students research plants that prefer acidic or alkaline soil conditions. A reference sheet for the teacher explains the pH ...


Cracked soils

This brief video segment from Catalyst demonstrates how scientists have developed probes to measure the water content of soils and therefore monitor the effectiveness of irrigation and the efficiency of water usage.

Teacher resource

Saving our Soils

This is a unit of work about the characteristics of soil and the important role soil plays in supporting life on Earth. The unit is divided into seven activity sequences that explore the definition of soil; the characteristics of soil types; the effects of soil nutrients on plant growth; and the role of ground cover in ...


EnviroNorth: soils of the savannas

This is a website about the soil in Australia's tropical savannas. It provides information about the formation of soil; the process of soils losing and regaining nutrients; different soil types; characteristics of savanna soils; impacts of soil on grazing; and a glossary of soil terms. Images and maps support the information. ...

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Soils: a hidden resource

This is a video about the importance of soil, its role in global food security and the requirements for its sustainable management. Describing soil as a natural resource slow to develop but quickly destroyed, the video points out the increasing demands being placed on soil to feed the world's rising population and the threats ...

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Vegetables Victoria: soil health

This video of 6.5 minutes includes interviews with vegetable growers who have been in the industry for a long time, talking about the development of fertiliser practices from collecting manures and spreading them by hand to the use of chemical fertilisers. The farmers talk about the extra benefits of manures for soil health ...


Redworm on soil

This is a colour photograph of a redworm or tiger worm ('Eisenia foetida') lying on the soil surface. The worm is reddish brown with prominent darker bands on the body. There is a white girdle-like structure towards one end of the body. The worm does not have a clearly defined head or tail.


Soil mite

This is a colour photomicrograph of a soil mite showing its head, body and appendages. (Classification - Phylum: Arthropoda; Class: Arachnida; Order: Oribatida.)

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BBSRC: Chris Packham' soil metagenomics

This YouTube video explores the emerging use of genetic sequencing to obtain rapid and comprehensive information about soil organisms. The video shows broadcaster, naturalist and author Chris Packham collecting soil samples around his house, then personnel at the Genome Analysis Centre describing the genetic results and ...

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Soil: healthy dirt makes healthy plants

Have you ever taken a close look at the ground you walk on? Explore the hidden world of soil, a 'life-support system' for plants. Find out what soil is made of and what lives within it. Discover how and why you should improve your soil.

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Geology's role in studying soil and finding fuels

Understand how geologists can build a picture of the past that helps us to solve environmental problems such as soil salinity and to discover resources such as coal and oil. See how geology reveals problems with soil in farming areas. Watch how coal, oil and natural gas are formed underground, and how geologists identify ...

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CSIRO: Uncovering the dirt on soil and water

This is a CSIRO vodcast of more than 9 minutes that shows, using simple models and demonstrations, how water moves through the soil profile. It then discusses how this understanding can be used to improve the efficiency of crop irrigation by minimising water losses to deep drainage. It also follows the development of a ...

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Feeding soils to grow hungry crops

How do today's farmers improve their crop yields? One school of thought is to go high-tech and use agricultural technologies designed to improve efficiencies and yields. See the role that soil condition plays in gaining those high yields.

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Treating your soil like dirt

Does the overuse of chemicals threaten our agricultural soils? Listen to views of biological farming advocates such as Dr Maarten Stapper. Find out why they believe that an active, healthy soil is vital to ensuring sustainable and productive crops.

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Who loves soil? Tim does!

Listen as Tim Overheu describes a day in his life as a soil scientist. He is passionate about keeping soils healthy and spreading his message to others. Find out how to conduct a soil test.

Interactive resource

Soil types [no spoken instructions]

Build sandcastles from three different soil types: sand, loam and clay. Compare results when adding water or compacting soil. Explore soil properties of density and stickiness.

Interactive resource

Soil types [includes spoken instructions]

Build sandcastles from three different soil types: sand, loam and clay. Compare results when adding water or compacting soil. Explore soil properties of density and stickiness.

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Turning rock into soil

How long does it take to wear away a mountain? Discover the forces of nature that can turn rock into soil and a mountain into a small hill. Watch as the presenter demonstrates some of those forces that can change the face of the Earth. Find out that even plants and animals play a role in creating soil.


Vine weevils in soil

This is a colour photograph of seven vine weevil ('Otiorhynchus sulcatus') larvae in soil. The larvae are small c-shaped grubs, which are creamy white in colour. Their bodies are semi-translucent, have a distinct brown head and are segmented.


Adult springtail on soil

This is a colour photograph of an adult springtail, in soil. The animal is small, possibly less than 6 mm in length. It is colourless and translucent, with six legs and a hard segmented body.