An evolving, living organic/inorganic covering, soil is in dynamic equilibrium with the atmosphere above, the biosphere within, and the geology below. It acts as an anchor for roots, a purveyor of water and nutrients, a residence for a vast community of microorganisms and animals, a sanitizer of the environment, and a source of raw materials for construction and manufacturing. To develop lasting solutions to the challenges of balanced use and stewardship of the Earth, we require a fundamental understanding of soil-from its elastic, porous three-phase system to its components, processes, and reactions. Now in two volumes, Handbook of Soil Sciences, Second Edition is a comprehensive and cohesive reference on the discipline of soil science. It contains definitive descriptions of each major area in the discipline, including fundamental principles, appropriate methods to measure each property, variations in properties in different soils throughout the world, and guidelines for the interpretation of the data for various applications in agriculture, engineering, and environmental sciences. Completely revised and updated, the handbook assembles core knowledge from all fields encompassed within the soil sciences. The first volume presents fundamental principles and recent advances in the traditional areas of soil science: soil physics, soil chemistry, soil mineralogy, soil biology and biochemistry, and pedology. The second volume covers interfacial interactions between the physical, chemical, and biological regimes within the soil; the factors that control the availability of plant nutrients and microelements; interdisciplinary aspects of soil science, including salinity, sodicity, and soil erosion; and soil databases for assessing worldwide soil resources. Critical elements addressed in each section include: * Descriptions of concepts and theories * Definitions, approaches, methodologies, and procedures * Data in tabular and figure format * Extensive references Compiled by leading scientists, this handbook provides a resource rich in data and gives professional soil scientists, agronomists, engineers, ecologists, biologists, naturalists, and students their first point of entry into a particular aspect of the soil sciences.