Geology, soil and seismic risk

The soil

soils in Emilia-RomagnaThe soil we tread upon is a natural, living body, produced by a complex interaction between geology, climate, vegetation, life forms (including Man) and time. Its cycle of formation and evolution involves extremely variable time scales, from tens of thousands of years to just a few months, and determines the weathering and fragmentation of rocks and the formation and transformation of organic matter through chemical, physical and biological processes. The soil consists of mineral particles (sand, silt and clay), decomposed organic substances (humus), living organisms, air and water. It can vary in depth from a few centimetres to a number of metres, divided into horizons or layers that can be distinguished from the parent material (rock or sediment). Soil formation is the result of processes of addition, loss, transfer and transformation of energy and matter.

The role of the Geological, Seismic and Soil Survey is to produce and update knowledge on regional soils, to improve understanding of soil behaviour and promote appreciation of its value. Sharing awareness of the role and function of soil is our way of protecting it.




  • The Earth Beneath Your Feet
    Newsletter about soil and environmental sustainability carried out by the Sustainability Education Unit of the ARPAE (Regional agency for prevention, environment and energy of Emilia-Romagna Region , Italy) in collaboration with the European Network on Soil Awareness (ENSA)

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      last modified 2024-05-24T16:24:37+02:00
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