Technogenic Soil – Soil of the Year 2020

Commission of Soil Genesis, Classification and Cartography of the Soil Science Society of Poland has chosen Technosol as the Soil of the Year 2020 in Poland. Over 60% of Polish citizens live in urban-industrial agglomerations, where all elements of the environment, including soils, are transformed or created by humans. Earthworks related to the construction of houses, industrial plants and other commercial facilities, as well as roads and railways, cause the soil disturbances and admixture of the artefacts to soil profile. It causes transformation of the morphology and physicochemical properties of soils that may alter many of their environmental functions. In the most drastic cases, natural soils are being completely destroyed, and replaced by mining, industrial, construction or municipal wastes, which became the parent material for new soils. Sometimes, soils are intentionally created by man on engineering structures, e.g. on bunkers, “green” roofs, animal crossing bridges, over the underground parking lots and tunnels, etc.

Such defined technogenic soils (in the international WRB classification: Technosols) develop as a result of intense non-agricultural human activity and occur in a huge variety of forms. They are relatively young soils and usually are featured by poorly developed profile and highly variable properties, depending on the parent material and kind of admixtures. As some of them are acidic, nutrient poor and even heavily contaminated with chemicals, the others could be as fertile as good garden soils.

author: Cezary Kabała

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