Deserts, where arid soils are found in, cover roughly 1/5-1/3 of the worlds land. Roughly, 8% of the United States contains arid soils, which includes the western states like Texas, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Idaho, California, and Washington (Teacher’s Guide). Interestingly worldwide over 1 billion people live in these deserts and try to make a living out of the arid soils. Any vegetation that arid soils may have will vary depending on the temperature and elevation. Overall, arid soils have different attributes that distinguish them from one another. Some arid soils may be deep, shallow, salty or covered with desert pavement, or have crusts or cement-like horizons near the surface (Teacher’s Guide). Arid soils are most commonly formed from windblown sediments, as well as sediments from rivers (Teacher’s Guide). For this reason, arid soils found in deserts may be either very old or relatively young in age.
To understand the characteristics of arid soils, we need to understand how des...
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...n occurs more than five times the annual precipitation from rain and snow (Teacher’s Guide). Arid soils are not only prevalent in hot deserts like the Sahara, but it can also be found in cold deserts like Antarctica or somewhere in between like Wyoming. Most arid soils can sustain plant growth for approximately 90 days due to limited amount of water found in the soil (Soil Management). An example of plant growth is following a rainfall the entire desert will bloom, but those plants will quickly die if the next rainfall does not come soon.
"K-12 Soil Science Teacher Resources." Teacher 's Guide. Web. 10 Apr. 2016. .
"Chapter I. The Arid Environments." Chapter I. The Arid Environments. Web. 5 Apr. 2016.
"Desertgeology." Desertgeology. Web. 01 May 2016.
"Arid Soils (Aridisol)." Soil Management. Web. 01 May 2016.
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