Newswise — July 16, 2018 – If your summer has included travel, you may have noticed a difference in the soil beneath your feet. The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) July 15 Soils Matter blog explains why different areas have such different soil.

“The color and texture of a soil (and many other properties that relate to soil’s ability to produce food) are intertwined with that specific location,” says blogger Andrea Basche, USDA-NIFA. There are five local elements that influence a soil: climate, organisms, relief, parent material, and time.

“All these factors taken together are why I like to describe soil as the living crust of the earth,” Basche says.

Basche notes that soil can even change dramatically within a state. “Western Washington has frequent rains; eastern Washington has much less rainfall. Western Washington has a quite varied relief, with mountains and even a volcano. Eastern Washington is much more flat. So it’s no wonder that the soils in those regions are different as well.”

To read the entire blog post, visit

Follow SSSA on Facebook at, Twitter at SSSA_Soils. SSSA has soils information on, for teachers at, and for students through 12th grade,

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members and 1,000+ certified professionals dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. The Society provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.

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