The written history of humanity over the last 10,000 years is little more than a footnote to the Neolithic Revolution which brought about the exploitation of soil for food. In our quest for a sustainable civilization we have taken over about a third of the Earth's soils for agriculture, and our crop and rangeland now covers virtually all of the best soils for that purpose. As a consequence, the human footprint has expanded into ever more vulnerable soils and the growth of human society has become an increasing threat to the well-being of the biosphere.
In manipulating soil we intervene in the biosphere at a critical point of constriction. Conceptually, soil sits in the neck of an hourglass, through which energy and materials flow in passing from one compartment of the terrestrial ecosystem to another. As our population grows to a projected 9 or 10 billion by 2050 we shall need all the best knowledge of soils we can muster if the sustainability of human society is to be more than a short-term phenomenon. The Encyclopedia of Soil Science is a vital resource in this regard.
From the reviews: "The encyclopedia contains about 190 academic articles ! . All items are illustrated with many tables, graphs, figures and colour photographs. ! a summary of the present knowledge in the field of soil science, authored by internationally well known scientists. It is a remarkable tool, not only for soil scientists, but also for agronomists, geologists and even archeologists dealing with soils. Especially for the already somewhat older soil scientists it is an excellent way for updating in an easy way their knowledge and references." (G. Stoops, PEDON Newsletter, Issue 19, February, 2008) "A nice addition to the numerous encyclopedias that have come recently. ! The topics overlap several other encyclopedias as well. There are many tables and figures, including a few color figures. The authors of the entries are international in scope, and well-respected soil scientists. ! the audience to include scientists, engineers, technology experts, as well as environmental and land use planners. Most full entries are geared toward college or higher level, including students and scientists who are not soil scientists ! ." (Sally Logsdon, Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 72 (3), 2008) "Encyclopedia of Soil Science is an updated version of R. W. Fairbridge and C. W. Finkl Jr.'s edited encyclopedia ! . It contains both lengthy research articles and shorter glossary definitions ! . This useful combination of research articles and definitions makes this title invaluable for users ! . Libraries ! will be interested in this volume edited by Chesworth. ! highly useful resource for both students and researchers in major programs in agriculture, geology, and environmental science. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above." (J. K. Oleen, CHOICE, Vol. 45 (11), 2008) "This book is well worth reading because it puts the content in wider context. ! The book is well produced. Even with 900 pages it can be held in one hand, and can be used as a stand up reference book. The illustrations are excellent, and nearly all in colour. The diagrams, maps and statistical presentations are clear. ! The market for this book will be for higher education and research, and for science based companies involved in agriculture."(John Goodier, Reference Reviews, Vol. 22 (6), 2008)
Excluding the ca. 430 glossary terms: Acid Deposition.- Acid Rock Drainage.- Acid Soils.- Acid Sulfate Soils.- Acidity.- Acrisols.- Activity Ratio.- Aggregate Stability .- Aggregation.- Agrogeology.- Agronomy.- Albeluvisols.- Alisols.- Algae.- Alkaline Soils.- Andosols.- Anthrosols.- Arenosols.- Applied Soil Geochemistry.- Base Saturation.- Biogeochemical Cycles.- Biospheric Role of Soil.- Buffers.- Bulk Density.- Calcareous Soils.- Calcisols.- Cambisols.- Capillary Pressure.- Carbon Cycle.- Carbon Sequestration.- Carbonates.- Chemical Analyses.- Chemical Composition.- Chernozems.- Chronology of Soils.- Classification of Soils: Basics.- Classification of Soils: FAO.- Classification of Soils: Soil Taxonomy.- Classification of Soils: World Reference Base.- Clay Mineral Decomposition.- Clay Mineral Formation.- Clay Mineral Structures.- Clay Minerals: Hydrous Oxides.- Clay Minerals: Non- & Para-Crystalline.- Clay Minerals: Silicates.- Clay-Organic Interactions.- Compaction.- Computer Modelling.- Computerized Tomogaphy.- Conductivity: Electrical.- Conductivity: Hydraulic.- Conductivity: Thermal.- Conservation.- Crusts.- Cryosols.- Denitrification.- Diffusion Processes.- Duricrust.- Durisols.- Earth Cycles.- Edaphic Constraints.- Edaphology.- Energy Balance.- Envelope-Pressure Potential.- Enzyme Activity.- Enzymes and Proteins.- Erosion.- Evaporation.- Farming by Soil.- Fauna.- Ferralsols.- Fertilizer Raw Materials.- Fertilizers: Inorganic.- Fertilizers: Organic.- Field pH.- Flocculation.- Flow Theory.- Forest Soils.- Geography of Soils.- Geochemistry in Soil Science.- Gleysols.- Gypsisols.- Heat Capacity.- Histosols.- Horizon Designations: FAO.- Humus.- Hydric Soils.- Hydrologic Cycle.- Hydrophility, Hydrophobicity.- Hygroscopicity, Hygroscopic Constant.- Imbibition.- Infiltration.- Ionic Activities.- Iron Oxides.- Irrigation.- Journals of Soil Science.- Kastanozems.- Kinetics of Solute Sorption.- Labile Pool.- Landscape and Soils.- Law of The Minimum.- Leptosols.- Lime, Liming.- Lixisols.- Luvisols.- Macronutrients.- Management of Soils.- Metal Complexing .- Microbial Ecology and Clay Minerals.- Microbiology.- Microhabitats.- Micrometeorology.- Micromorphology.- Micronutrients.- Microstructure Manipulation.- Mineral Analysis.- Mire.- Moisture Management.- Near Neutral Soils.- Neolithic Revolution.- Nitisols.- Nitrification.- Nitrogen Cycle.- Nitrogen Fixation.- Nutrient Cycling.- Nutrient Potential.- Organic Fertilizers.- Organic Matter.- Particle Density.- Particle Size Distribution.- Peat.- Pedology.- Pedogenesis.- Pedogenesis: Redox-pH Aspects.- Pedogenic Grid.- Pedoturbation.- Percolation.- Periodic Table.- Permeability.- Phase Rule.- Phaeozems.- Phosphorus Cycle.- Physical Chemistry.- Planosols.- Plant Nutrients.- Plant Roots.- Plinthosols.- Podzols.- Pollution.- Pore Size Distribution.- Pore Space, Drainable.- Pore-Size Distribution.- Profile: Physical Modification.- Puddling.- Radiocarbon Dating.- Radioisotopes.- Redox Chemistry of Soils.- Redox-pH Diagrams for Soils.- Regosols.- Rhizosphere.- Root Soil Interface.- Salt Affected Soils.- Saprolite.- Silicates.- Simulation of Soil Systems.- Sludge Disposal.- Soil.- Soil and Health Problems.- Soil Biology.- Soil Chemistry.- Soil Color.- Soil Conservation Service.- Soil Drainage.- Soil Engineering.- Soil Fertility.- Soil Forming Factors.- Soil Health.- Soil Mapping and Survey.- Soil Mechanics.- Soil Microbiology.- Soil Mineralogy.- Soil Physical Conditions.- Soil Physics.- Soil Pores.- Soil Quality.- Soil Reaction.- Soil Root Interface.- Soil Salinity and Salinization.- Soil Science.- Soil Science and Society.- Soil Solution.- Soil Stabilization.- Soil Variation.- Soil Water.- Soil Water Management.- Soils: Non Agricultural Uses.- Soils of Coastal Environments.- Soil-Solvent Interactions.- Soil-Water Management.- Solonchaks.- Solonetz.- Sorption Phenomena.- Sorption-Desorption Kinetics.- Surface Soil Water Content.- Sulfur Transformations and Fluxes.- Tests and Testing.- Thermal Regime.- Thermodynamics of Soil Water.- Thionic Soils.- Thixotropism.- Tillage.- Trace Elements.- Transport Processes.- Tropical Soils.- Umbrisols.- Ventifacts.- Vertisols.- Water Budget in Soil.- Water Content and Retention.- Water Erosion.- Water Fluxes.- Water Movement.- Weathering Systems.- Wetting Front.- Wind Erosion.- Zeta Potential.
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Ward Chesworth is Professor Emeritus of Geochemistry at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He co-edited Weathering, Soils and Paleosols, and three volumes of the annual Hammond Lecture Series broadcast in part by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: Malthus and the Third Millennium, Sustainable Development, and The Human Ecological Footprint. He co-wrote Perspectives on Canadian Geology. In 2003 he received the Halbouty Prize of the Geological Society of America, of which he is a Fellow. Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph (Selected GSA Fellow in 2005) "Ward Chesworth's contributions are based on research as a geochemical petrologist focusing on soil petrology, defining conditions for sustainable agriculture through reducing stresses, demands, and abuses on Earth, including water, soil, and the environment. He has made major basic contributions to the application of geology for sustainable societies."