3 soil formation

 Engineering

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1. FCE 311 GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING 3. SOIL FORMATION Department of Civil & Construction Engineering University of Nairobi 2. 3.1 Definition of Soil Formation ã…
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  • 1. FCE 311 GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING 3. SOIL FORMATION Department of Civil & Construction Engineering University of Nairobi
  • 2. 3.1 Definition of Soil Formation • Soil formation is the process by which soil is created. The formation of soil happens over a very long period of time. Soil is formed from the weathering of rocks and minerals.
  • 3. 3.2 Weathering • Weathering is the process of breaking down rocks. • Weathering occurs in situ or “with no movement”, and thus should not be confused with erosion, which involves the movement of rocks and minerals by agents such as water, ice, wind, and gravity.
  • 4. Physical Weathering Involves the breakdown of rocks and soils through direct contact with atmospheric conditions, such as • heat, • water, • ice and • pressure, This is without any change in chemical condition.
  • 5. Physical Weathering - Cont’d The soil formed due to physical weathering will be cohesionless (sand and gravel). Physical agencies causing mechanical weathering of rocks are; • Daily and seasonal temperature changes. • Flowing water, glaciers and wind, which produce impact and abrasive action on rock. • Splitting action of ice. • Growth of roots of plants in rock fissures,
  • 6. Chemical Weathering Chemical weathering changes the composition of rocks by decomposing the parent minerals, transforming them into new compounds such as clay silica particles, carbonates and iron oxides. The decomposition of rock is the result of the following reactions; • Oxidation • Carbonation • Hydration • Leaching
  • 7. 3.3 Residual and Alluvial Soils Residual Soils • Are those which have remained over the parent rock from which they have been formed. They are relatively shallow in depth. They are characterized by a gradual transition from soil through partially weathered rocks, fractured and fissured rock, to bedrock.
  • 8. Alluvial Soils • Are the soils which have been transported and subsequently deposited by flowing water. • An alluvial fan is formed when the velocity of a soil-laden stream suddenly deceases due to abrupt decrease in gradient. • Flood-plains are formed on the sides of a stream due to overflowing of flood water. A delta is formed just before a stream reaches the standing water of the sea.
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