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Science & Tech > Earth > Soils

Now updated for CSW19. New words, if any, and new inflections of existing words, are shown in red.

arenaceous having the appearance or consistency of sand.
arenose arenous sandy; containing much sand.
argillaceous containing clay; clay-like.
blackland a heavy, sticky black soil such as that covering large areas of Texas.
blaes blaise blaize a kind of clay, livid or red in colour. N.B. these do not take an —S.
bolar relating to clay.
brickclay a clay containing sand and a good deal of iron; any clay used for brick-making.
brickearth a clayey alluvium used for brick-making.
brunizem a prairie soil.
calmy clayey > CALMIER, CALMIEST.
cam caum calm pale bluish-grey clay; (verb) to whiten with this.
catlinite a red clay of the Upper Missouri region, the sacred pipestone of some indigenous American peoples.
channer gravel, shingle.
chernozem tschernosem a very fertile soil of sub-humid steppe. [Russian 'black earth'].
chesil shingle, gravel.
clayey of or like clay > CLAYIER, CLAYIEST.
clayish partaking of the nature of clay, or containing particles of it.
claylike like clay.
claypan a layer of stiff, compact, relatively impervious clay which is not cemented (unlike CALICHE or HARDPAN).
clunch an indurated clay.
diluvion diluvium a deposit of superficial loam, sand, gravel, stones, etc., caused by former action of flowing waters, or the melting of glacial ice. The pl. of DILUVIUM is DILUVIA or DILUVIUMS.
edaphic of or pertaining to the soil.
edaphology the study of soils.
fango clay or mud from thermal springs in Italy, used in curing gout. [Ital. fango, mud]. Pl. FANGOS.
glei gley a sticky clay soil.
gleisation the process of making a GLEI.
gleyed having undergone GLEYING.
gleying the development of GLEY, a sticky clay soil.
graile gravel.
gravel a mixture of rock fragments that is coarser than sand; (verb) to cover with gravel > GRAVELED/GRAVELLED.
gravelly of or like GRAVEL.
gumbotil a dark sticky clay, formed by the weathering of boulder clay or glacial drift.
gyttja (Swedish) sediment found on a lake bottom.
hardpan a relatively hard layer of soil at or just below the ground surface, cemented by silica, iron oxide, calcium carbonate, or organic matter.
humous of or like HUMUS, the generally dark, more or less stable part of the organic matter in a soil.
humus a dark brown or black colloidal mass of partially decomposed organic matter in the soil. Pl. HUMUSES.
humusy having much HUMUS > HUMUSIER, HUMUSIEST.
illuvial relating to ILLUVIUM, material removed from soil layer by rainwater and deposited in lower layer.
illuviate to deposit ILLUVIUM.
illuvium material removed from soil layer by rainwater and deposited in lower layer. PL. ILLUVIUMS or ILLUVIA.
kieselguhr kieselgur a soft diatomaceous earth used as an absorbent in explosives, a filtering medium, etc.
laterite a highly weathered red soil rich in iron and aluminum oxides, typically formed in a tropical to temperate climate where intense chemical weathering is common.
lateritic consisting of, containing, or characterized by, LATERITE; as, lateritic formations.
laterize laterise to convert into LATERITE.
latosol a tropical soil.
latosolic of or like LATOSOL, a tropical soil.
leachy permitting liquids to pass by percolation; porous > LEACHIER, LEACHIEST.
lithosol a type of soil.
loam to cover with loam.
loaminess the state of being LOAMY.
loamless having no loam.
loamy like loam, fertile soil > LOAMIER, LOAMIEST.
loess a fine-grained wind deposit of clay, sand, and silt.
loessal loessial loessic relating to LOESS, a fine-grained wind deposit of clay, sand, and silt.
malm a calcareous loam used in making brick.
malmstone calcareous loam; earth of this kind, formerly used for making brick.
malmy resembling MALM > MALMIER, MALMIEST.
marl a mixture of clays, carbonates and ground-up shells used as a fertilizer; (verb) to marble.
marlacious containing MARL.
marlite marl with 25% to 75% clay, plus chalk.
marlitic partaking of the qualities of MARLITE, marl with 25% to 75% clay, plus chalk.
marlstone a sandy calcareous stratum, containing, or impregnated with, iron, and lying between the upper and lower Lias of England.
marly of or like MARL > MARLIER, MARLIEST.
moder a layer of HUMUS intermediate between MOR and MULL.
moondust moon soil.
mor HUMUS forming a discrete layer on top of the soil with little mineral soil mixed with it, characteristic of coniferous forests and generally strongly acid.
mudflow a flow of mud.
mudslide an avalanche of mud.
mull a layer of humus formed by rapid decompostion, through the actions of a rich soil fauna, in near-neutral or alkaline conditions.
murram a tough clayey gravel used as road metal in tropical Africa.
paleosol palaeosol a buried soil horizon of the geologic past.
peat vegetable matter partly decomposed in wet acid conditions in bogs and fens to form a firm brown deposit resembling soil.
peaty of or like PEAT > PEATIER, PEATIEST.
pedalfer a type of soil, typical of a humid region.
pedocal a generic term used to describe the soils typically found in an arid or semiarid region.
pedocalic of or like PEDOCAL.
pedogenesis the process of soil generation. Pl. PEDOGENESES.
pedogenic relating to PEDOGENESIS, the process of soil generation.
permafrost soil conditions prevailing in area whose mean annual temperature is 0o C.
pipeclay a fine white clay forming a ductile paste with water, used esp. for making tobacco-pipes and whitening leather etc; (verb) to whiten with pipeclay.
planosol a type of soil.
podsol podzol a leached soil formed in cool, humid climates.
podzolization podzolisation podsolisation the process by which soils are leached of bases and become acidic.
podsolic podzolic relating to PODZOL, a leached soil formed in cool, humid climates.
podzolize podzolise podsolise podsolize to make into a PODZOL, a leached soil formed in cool, humid climates.
regar regur the rich black cotton soil of the Indian subcontinent.
regosol a type of soil.
reh an efflorescence of salts on soil in India.
rendzina a fertile soil-type derived from calcium-rich bedrock.
sabuline sandy.
sabulose sabulous sandy; gritty; growing in sandy places. [L. sabulum, sand].
sandlike like sand.
sandy of or like sand > SANDIER, SANDIEST.
sandyish somewhat sandy.
sierozem a type of soil, grayish at the top and brownish below, based on a carbonate or hardpan layer. [Russian 'grey earth'].
silt a fine deposit of mud, clay, etc., esp. one in a river or lake; (verb) to fill or become filled with silt.
silty full of silt > SILTIER, SILTIEST.
soil unconsolidated materials above bedrock.
solifluction the turbulent movement of saturated soil or surficial debris.
solonchak a pale or grey soil type found in arid to subhumid, poorly drained conditions.
solonets solonetz an alkaline soil-type having a hard dark subsoil under a thin friable topsoil. Pl. SOLONETSES, SOLONETZES.
solonetzic relating to SOLONETZ, a soil type.
solum the surface layer of soil in which topsoil formation occurs. Pl. SOLUMS.
spodosol a type of ashy soil.
terramara a dark earthy deposit formed under prehistoric pile-dwellings in Italy. Pl. TERRAMARE, not TERRAMARAS*. But TERRAMARE is also a singular, see below, with pl. TERRAMARES.
terramare = TERRAMARA.
tschernosem see CHERNOZEM.
ultisol a reddish-yellow acid soil.
underclay a stratum of clay lying beneath a coal bed, often containing the roots of coal plants, especially the Stigmaria.
undersoil the soil beneath the surface; subsoil.
vertisol a type of clayey soil.
yarfa yarpha in Shetland, peaty soil; clayey, sandy or fibrous peat. [ON jorfi, gravel].