Encyclopedia of Soil Science
Soil as the basis of civilization, is the most important resource of the solid earth that we use. It is the source of most of our food and fiber, much of our building materials, and the repository of most of our wastes. Over the last 10,000 years we have learned to manipulate it for our purposes to such a degree that our ecological footprint has notably modified about two thirds of the soils of the Earth. At the beginning of the 21st century, with the issue of the sustainability of human society, it has never been more important for there to be a global understanding of the soil and its processes amongst the educated public in general, and the scientist and technologist in particular.
The Encyclopedia of Soil Science brings together approximately 190 longer articles, together with some 350 definitions of common terms used in soil science. In effect, it is a combination of an encyclopedia and glossary of terms. Furthermore, the book emphasizes the study of soils as an integral part of the earth sciences, and it does this without ignoring the agricultural, environmental and technological aspects of the subject.
Individual soil types are keyed to the World Resource Base (WRB) Classification with concordance to soil taxonomy, in order to meet the needs of an international audience. Appropriately an international roster of authors, from North and South America, from Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia, has been assembled, and the soils and soil landscapes of all continents are considered.