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Soil is a mixture of minerals, organic matter, gases, liquids, and countless organisms that together support life on Earth. Soil is a natural body called the pedosphere which has four important functions: it is a medium for plant growth; it is a means of water storage, supply and purification; it is a modifier of Earth's atmosphere; it is a habitat for organisms; all of which, in turn, modify the soil.

Soil has been called the Skin of the Earth [1] as it interfaces with the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, and the biosphere.[2]


  1. Miller, Austin (1953). The Skin of the Earth (1st ed.). London, United Kingdom: Methuen. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  2. Chesworth, Ward (2008). Encyclopedia of soil science. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. ISBN 978-1402039942. Retrieved 11 June 2017.

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