Soil Chemistry

The chemistry of soils.

Soil chemistry is the interdisciplinary branch between soil sciences and chemistry and studies the chemical characteristics of soil.

Soil is made up of the solid particles and water, air, microorganisms and plant roots contained upper layer of the earth's crust, which is caused by erosion of the rocky subsoil. The soil chemistry can therefore be regarded as a part of the field of geochemistry.

The soil chemistry concerned with the chemical composition and chemical changes of these layers. Especially of interest are the chemical properties of the soil, such as the composition of the different soil types and layers, the exchange operations (delivery and absorption of nutrients, ion exchange, base saturation), the pH value and buffering.

In addition, natural and artificial chemical factors are considered and investigated, but which lead to changes in the soil and soil improvement.

Closely linked to the soil chemistry are other branches of chemistry, who are close to the soil ecosystem, such as water chemistry, agricultural chemistry, biogeochemistry, atmospheric chemistry or environmental chemistry.

The following directory lists online accessible information and resources on the chemistry of soils.


General Information
Lecture Notes, Tutorials
Historical Facts and Documents
Data and Databases
Software and Programs

General Information

Fertilizers and their use
Tutorial. IFA - Format: PDF

Glossary of Soil Science Terms
Searchable glossary; Tables, Figures, Appendices and more. SSSA

Soil Formation and Classification
Information resources. NRCS

Lecture Notes, Tutorials

Soil and Environmental Biogeochemistry
Lecture notes. Stanford

Soil Chemistry
Lecture notes: Chemistry of Soils

Soil Chemistry
Lecture notes: interactions between soil solids, precipitates and solution phases including: mineralogy, ion exchange, adsorption, weathering and buffering, soil colloidal behavior, acidic and basic soils, salinity, and models of solution and solid phase interactions. University of California, Davis

Soil Education
Information about Soil Sciences. NRCS

Soil Humic Substances
Lecture notes

Historical Facts and Documents

A Brief History of Soil Chemistry
A short introduction

Historical Aspects of Soil Chemistry
The Origins of Agricultural Chemistry - Format: PDF

Data and Databases

Canada: National Soil DataBase
... is the set of computer readable files which contain soil, landscape, and climatic data for all of Canada. NSDB

Soil Data On-line
Access datasets. ISRIC

World Soil Information
Soil data and information database. ISRIC

Software and Programs

Chemical Equilibrium of Species and Surfaces. CHESS is a speciation model specifically developed to simulate the equilibrium state of complex aquatic systems, including oxides or minerals, organics, colloids and gases

Geochemical Software
Water Resources Geochemical Software. USGS

... is a equilibrium speciation model that can be used to calculate the equilibrium composition of dilute aqueous solutions in the laboratory or in natural aqueous systems. EPA

A spreadsheet program for modeling speciation of soil solution. University of Wisconsin

Visual Minteq
... is a chemical equilibrium model for the calculation of metal speciation, solubility equilibria etc. for natural waters. KTH


Australian Journal of Soil Research
... is an international journal for the publication of soil research relating to primary production, land and water management, environmental pollution, and site remediation. CSIRO

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Soil Science - Hydrology - Geomorphology focusing on Geoecology and Landscape Evolution. Elsevier

European Journal of Soil Science
Published on behalf of the British Society of Soil Science (and the National Societies of Soil Science in Europe). Wiley-Interscience

... a global journal of soil science, welcomes authors, readers and soil research from all parts of the world, encourages worldwide soil studies, and embraces all aspects of soil science. Elsevier

Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science
... publishes reviews, high-standard original papers, and short communications covering the entire spectrum of plant nutrition and soil science. Wiley-Interscience

Soil and Tillage Research
An international journal on research and development in soil tillage and field traffic, and their relationship with land use, crop production and the environment. Elsevier

Soil Biology and Biochemistry
... publishes original and scientifically challenging research articles and short communications that present new findings and their possible applications. Elsevier

Soil Science Society of America Journal
... publishes papers on original research, issue papers, reviews, comments and letters to the editor, and book reviews. SSSA


International Fertilizer Industry Association

International Humic Substances Society

International Union of Soil Sciences
IUSS is the global union of soil scientists

Soil Science Society of America

Related Books and Scientific Literature: Soil Chemistry

Book recommendation

Garrison Sposito

Chemistry of Soils

There have been many advances in soil chemistry since Oxford published the first edition of The Chemistry of Soils in 1989 (RTD: 6,747). The physical-chemistry approach to soil chemistry taken in the book, groundbreaking for its time, has been adopted by nearly every soil chemistry book published since. This book offers a thorough update of all topics covered in the previous edition. In the last 16 years, soil chemistry as a discipline has assumed major significance in connection with global climate change. The 2nd edition addresses the emergent issue of global climate change by exploring the interaction between organic carbon and soil. The largest repository of organic carbon on earth is still soil, and the process by which organic carbon is sequestered by soil, thus preventing the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, is one of the proper concerns of soil chemistry. Thus, the revision provides a rigorous discussion of soil chemistry in its broader environmental and biogeochemical contexts.

Oxford University Press, USA; 2008

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Last update 30.04.2016

Keywords: Soil Chemistry, basics, information, research

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