Processes

Most processes of the pedosphere functioning operate in an open system, and although some appear to be cyclic and reversible, for example, biogeochemical cycling of C and N, many of them are unidirectional and irreversible, such as weathering of silicates in a soil and leaching of substances out of a soil. Due to the open and irreversible nature of the processes, there are many residual products, especially solid-phase materials, both organic and mineral, that are produced and retained in the parent materials. The annual formation of such components is very small and hardly detectable; however, when the soil-forming processes occur for a long time (102-106 years), the gradual long-term accumulation of pedogenic solid compounds alters parent materials in soil horizons and profiles. Such processes of solid-phase macrofeature

Soil system behavior in time

Figure 2 Functioning of a soil system and possible future condition of a soil body.

Soil system behavior in time

Figure 2 Functioning of a soil system and possible future condition of a soil body.

formation during long-term multiphase functioning of a soil system can be perceived as a synergetic self-organization of the system - pedogenesis. Pedogenic features making up the solid-phase structure and composition of portions of the pedosphere are more pronounced where the upper unconsolidated layer of the lithosphere has been neither renewed by erosion or sedimentation nor mixed with deeper layers. Where landscapes have been stable and have had long-term functioning of soil-forming processes, gradual accumulation of pedogenic products occurs and well-differentiated soils form. The general development of the pedosphere is conceptually a sequence. There is an accumulation of earthy materials that over time are altered by processes of interaction with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. A general rule of pedogenesis is: interacting factors ! open system processes ! formation of pedogenic properties and features (Figure 2). Eventually a three-dimensional anisotropic structure, the pedosphere, covers the terrestrial and shallow aqueous land areas.

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