Advances in Soil Science: Volume 12 by S.K. Jalota
Soil is formed from the physical and chemical weathering of rocks-processes described historically becau'se they involve eons of time-by glaciation and by wind and water transport of soil materials, which are later deposited in deltas and loessial planes. Soil undergoes further transformations over time and provides a habitat for biological life and a base for the development of civilizations. Soil is dynamic-always changing as a result of the forces of nature and particularly by the influences of man. Soil has been studied as long as history has been documented. Numerous references to soil are found in historical writings such as Aristotle (384-322 Be), Theophrastus (372-286 Be), Cato the E1der (234-149 Be), and Varro (116-27 Be). Some of the earliest historical references have to do with the erosional forces of wind and water. The study of soils today has taken on increased importance because a rapidly expanding population is placing demands never before experienced on the soil. This has led to an increase in land degradation. Land degradation is one of the most severe problems facing mankind. Volume 11 of Advances in Soil Science was devoted entirely to this critical area of soil science. This series, Advances in Soil Science, was established to provide a forum for leading scientists to analyze and summarize the available scientific information on a subject, assessing its importance and identifying additional research needs.