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In this section of the soils tutorial questions are submitted to our experts in the field of Soil Science.
Q: Is Dirt Soil or is Soil Dirt?
A: Soil is a naturally occurring body at the earth's surface due to the combined effects of climate and biotic activity acting upon a parent material modified by topography over time. This dynamic body is teeming with biological, chemical, and physical activity which provides for this material to serve as a medium for plant growth, a repository for wastes, and an important component of the hydrologic cycle and associated water treatment. Dirt is soil out of place; dirt possesses few of the original soil attributes. One does not want to recycle our water through dirt.
The moral of the story: don't treat soil like dirt!
This question was answered by Dr Randall J Miles, Associate Professor in the Department of Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
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