From a physical point of view, soil is a porous medium with structural elements of vastly different sizes. These elements are traditionally seen as a hierarchy which starts with primary particles and proceeds through aggregates, layers, and pedons (a representative soil element) to toposequences. The spatial scales associated with these structures extend over many orders of magnitude. Sizes of primary particles range from a fraction of a micrometer for clay to more than a millimeter for sand particles. Aggregates cover the range from a fraction of a millimeter to a few hundred millimeters and the thickness of soil layers varies from a few millimeters to well above one meter. The vertical extent of pedons runs from a few tens of millimeters to a few tens of meters and the horizontal size of toposequences ranges from tens of meters to a few kilometers. The last two elements open the connection to geomorphology and to hydrology.
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- Heterogeneity of Soils and its Role in Solute Transport
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg