Course code LauZ2057

Credit points 3

Forest Soil Science

Total Hours in Course120

Number of hours for lectures16

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes16

Number of hours for laboratory classes16

Independent study hours72

Date of course confirmation22.03.2021

Responsible UnitInstitute of Soil and Plant Science

Course developer

author Augsnes un augu zinātņu institūts

Aldis Kārkliņš

Dr. habil. agr.

Prior knowledge

Fizi2037, Physics and Meteorology

Ķīmi1016, Chemistry II

Ķīmi2017, Chemistry I

Course abstract

Introduction in soils and geology. The main properties of Earth’s crust. Basics in geomorphology and hydrogeology. Geological structure of Latvia territory. General scheme of the soil  forming processes and soil  forming factors. Soil profile development. Soil morphological features. Mineral phase of soil. Soil organic matter. Formation, composition and properties of soil humus. Soil chemical composition. Soil colloids. Soil absorbing processes, soil reaction, buffer capacity of the soil. Soil solution. Soil physical properties. Water in soil. Soil gaseous phase. Soil temperature. Soil genesis and classification. Automorphic, Semihydromorphic and Hydromorphic soils of Latvia. Soil degradation and conservation.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knowledge and understanding about the basic geological processes of soil formation and genesis, principal soils’ properties, about soil classification, mapping. To obtain skills in morphological, physical and chemical analytical methods, in critical analysis of obtained information, in data processing and interpretation methodology. Development of ability for decision making and advisory activities in the field of soil related issues.

Course Content(Calendar)

Theoretical part (16 h)
1. Introduction. Soil – ecosystem component.
2. Basics of geology (minerals and rocks).
3. Basics of geology (geomorphology).
4. Soil formation – overall scheme.
5. Factors of soil formation.
6. Texture and mineralogy of soils and soil forming rocks.
7. Soil organic matter.
8. Soil chemical composition. Soil colloids.
9. Soil structure. Soil physical properties.
10. Soil hydrophysical properties and soil water. Soil air and aerophysical properties. Soil thermosphysical properties and heat regime.
11. Soil solution and redox properties.
12. Soil fertility.
13. Soil genesis and evolution.
14. Soil classification.
15. Soils of Latvia.
16. Soil degradation.

Laboratory activities (16 h)
1. Soil sample preparation. Coarse fragments of soil.
2. Particle density of soil minerals.
3. Hygroscopic moisture.
4. Soil structure. Water resistance of soil structure.
5. Soil humus.
6. Soil acidity.
7. Soil carbonates.
8. Pyromorphological analysis of soil constituents.

Practicals (16 h)
1. Methods of soil examination: colour, pH and carbonates – field test, oxi- and reductimorphic properties.
2. Soil texture – field test.
3. Soil morphological properties and features.
4. Soil physical properties: consistency, plasticity, density, hardness.
5. Morphological characterisation of soil profile. Soil description. Soil classification.
6. Automorphic soils: morphological characterisation, profile description (type and subtype).
7. Semihydromorphic soils: morphological characterisation, profile description (type and subtype).

8. Hydromorphic soils: morphological characterisation, profile description (type and subtype).

Requirements for awarding credit points

During semester – home work, seminar, tests. Individual work. Cumulative grade (tests, individual work, activity score). All laboratory, practical tasks and tests successfully completed. Final exam – score 4 or higher.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

1. During semester – presentation of protocols related to the laboratory works and practicals.
2. Tests related to laboratory works and practicals.
3. One test related to the theoretical part of studies.

4. Final exam – written.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Cumulative exam, includes assessment of one theoretical test, individual studies, activity score and final exam.

Compulsory reading

1. Bambergs K. (1993). Ģeoloģija un hidroģeoloģija. Rīga: Zvaigzne. 327 lpp.
2. Nikodemus O., Kārkliņš A., Kļaviņš M., Melecis V. (2008). Augsnes ilgtspējīga izmantošana un aizsardzība. Rīga: LU Akadēmiskais apgāds. 256 lpp.
3. Latvijas augšņu noteicējs (2009). A. Kārkliņa red. Jelgava: LLU. 240 lpp.
4. Augsnes diagnostika un apraksts (2008). Sast. A. Kārkliņš. Jelgava: LLU. 336 lpp.
5. Augsnes diagnostika un apraksts: Lauku darbu metodika (2007). Sast. A. Kārkliņš. Jelgava: LLU. 120 lpp.
6. Kārkliņš A. (2012). Zeme, augsne, mēslojums: Terminu skaidrojošā vārdnīca. Jelgava: LLU. 477 lpp.
7. Ģeoloģija, augsne, agroķīmija: Metodiskie norādījumi mācību praksei (2008). Prof. A. Kārkliņa red. Jelgava: LLU. 88 lpp.
8. Latvija: Zeme, daba, tauta, valsts. O. Nikodemus, M. Kļaviņš, Z. Krišjāne, V. Zelčs (zin. redaktori). Rīga: LU Akadēmiskais apgāds, 2018. 752 lpp.

9. Materiāli E-studiju vietnē.

Further reading

1. Mežals G. (1980). Meža augsnes zinātne. Rīga: Zvaigzne. 174 lpp.
2. Blum W.E.H., Schad P., Nortcliff S. (2018). Essentials of Soil Science. Borntraeger Science Publishers, Stuttgart. – 171 p. LLU.
3. Buol S.W., Hole F.D., McCracken R.J., Southard R.J. (1997). Soil Genesis and Classification, 4th ed. Ames: Iowa State University Press. 527 p.
4. Harpstead M.I., Sauer T.J., Bennett W.F. (1997). Soil Science Simplified, 3rd ed. Ames: Iowa State University Press. 210 p.
5. Soil Atlas of Europe (2005). European Soil Bureau Network, European Commission. 128 p. INTERNET
6. Soil Atlas of the Northern Circumpolar Region (2010). European Soil Bureau Network, European Commission. 144 p. INTERNET
7. European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity (2010). European Soil Bureau Network, European Commission. 128 p. INTERNET
8. Switoniak M., Kabala C., Karklins A., Charzynski P. et. al. (2018). Guidelines for Soil Description and Classification: Central and Eastern European Students’ Version. Polish Society of Soil Science, Torun. 286 p.
9. Encyclopaedia of Soils in the Environment (2005). Ed.-in-chief D. Hillel. Elsevier Academic Press. Vol. I – 548 pp.; vol. II – 542 pp., vol. III – 570 pp., vol. IV – 459 p.
10. Soil Sequences Atlas II, Ed. by M. Switoniak, P. Charzynski. Torun, 2018. 248 p. INTERNET.

11. Soil Sequences Atlas IV, Ed. by M. Switoniak, P. Charzynski. Torun, 2018. 262 p. INTERNET

Periodicals and other sources

1. Minerālu, iežu un augsnes objektu kolekcijas.
2. Augsnes profilu kolekcija.
3. Tematiskās planšetes.
4. Informācija katedras vitrīnās.
5. Materiāli E-studiju vietnē.

6. Zinātniskās publikācijas, periodika, INTERNET resursi.


Compulsory (Part A) professional higher education (BS level) study program “Forest Science” (IKK43623), specialization – Forestry. Full time studies – 4 semester.