Rights: © Copyright 2015. University of Waikato. All Rights Reserved Published 30 June 2015 Download

Professor Louis Schipper from the University of Waikato explains how soil is formed.



Soil is produced by a combination of a variety of factors. It starts with what your parent material is, so it might be different kinds of rocks, it might be wind that’s blowing in dust and depositing it or perhaps water has eroded soils off the hills and deposited it onto low-lying areas.

And then with time, those soils or those rocks start to develop, so they start to break down and form new minerals. Then it’s going to depend a little bit on climate as well. If you get a lot of rainfall, it’ll strip nutrients out or change the way that the soil is formed through time.

Biology is important as well, because the way that the plants are interacting with the soils will also change the formation of those soils. And then lastly, it’s going to be about the topography, the kind of slopes that you might have and whether water is going to strip away some of those topsoils or whether it’s going to deposit other soils on top.

Professor Louis Schipper, University of Waikato