Soil in the Environment
Crucible of Terrestrial Life

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Language: Anglais
Cover of the book Soil in the Environment

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272 p. · 18.4x26 cm · Hardback

Key for every course in soil science, earth science, and environmental disciplines, this textbook engages students to critically look at soil as the central link in the function and creation of the terrestrial environment. For the first time, Dr. Hillel brilliantly discusses soils as a natural body that is engaged in dynamic interaction with the atmosphere above and the strata below that influences the planet's climate and hydrological cycle, and serves as the primary habitat for a versatile community of living organisms.

Soil in the Environment offers a larger perspective of soil’s impact on the environment by organizing chapters among three main processes: Physical, Chemical and Biology. It provides students of geology, physical science, and environmental studies with fundamental information and tools for meeting the natural resource challenges of the 21st Century, while providing students of soil science and ecology with the understanding of physical and biological interactions necessary for sustainability.



  • First textbook to unite soil science and the environment beyond what is traditionally taught
  • Incorporates current knowledge of such hot topics as climate change, pollution control, human expropriation of natural resources, and the prospects for harmonious and sustainable development
  • Organized in a student-friendly format with examples, discussion boxes, and key definitions in every chapter
  • Full color throughout
1. Soil as a Living Body: Its Dynamic Role in the Environment
2. Soil Formation
Weathering, Soil-Forming Factors, Soil Profile, Pedogenesis
3. Soil Classification
Attributes and Criteria, Orders and Global Distribution
4. Soil Physical Attributes
Texture, Specific Surface, Clay, Ion Exchange, Soil Structure, Soil Air
5. Soil-Water Statics
Water Content, Energy Potential, Matric and Osmotic Effects
6. Soil-Water Dynamics
Water Flow in Saturated and Unsaturated Soils, Solute Transport
7. Soil-Water Cycle
Infiltration, Runoff, Redistribution, Drainage, Evapotranspiration, SPAC
8. Soil-Water and Soil-Energy Balances in the Field
Water and Energy Budgets, Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect
9. Soil Chemical Attributes and Processes
Organic Matter, Acidity, Oxidation-Reduction, Salinity, Sodicity
10. Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition
Essential Macro and Micro Nutrients, Fertilizers, Soil Amendments
11. Soil Biodiversity
Forms and Functions of the Soil Community, Sustaining Biodiversity
12. Soil and Water Management
Origin of Agriculture, Tillage, Irrigation, Water-Use Efficiency
13. Soil Erosion and Conservation
Water Erosion, Wind Erosion, Desertification, Soil Conservation
14. Soil Pollution and Remediation
Waste Disposal on Land, Inorganic and Organic Pollutants, Soil Remediation
15. Current Perspectives, Future Prospects
The Population-Food Dilemma, Water Resources, Climate Change
Advanced undergraduate professors who teach courses in Soil Physics, Soil Geography, Soil Ecology, Soil Chemistry, Geophysics, Environmental Geography, Environmental Science, Earth Science,
Physical Geography
Born in California and raised in Israel, Dr. Daniel Hillel acquired an early and lifelong love of the land and a commitment to understanding and protecting the natural environment. Through decades of work in some thirty countries, he has become an international authority on sustainable management of land and water resources. Dr. Hillel has served as professor of soil physics, hydrology and the environmental sciences at leading universities in the U.S. and abroad, and has been a consultant to the World Bank and the United Nations. Among the honors he has received are the Chancellor's Medal for Exemplary Service at the University of Massachusetts , a Guggenheim award, and Doctorates of Science honoris causa by Guelph University of Canada and Ohio State University . Dr. Hillel is an elected Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, the Soil Science Society of America, and the American Society of Agronomy and was granted the Distinguished Service Award by the latter societies. He has published well over 300 scientific papers and research reports, and authored or edited twenty two books. His definitive textbooks on environmental physics have been use by universities and research institutions throughout the world and have been translated into twelve languages.