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According to him, soil should be called the "daily" or outward horizons of rocks regardless of the type; they are changed naturally by the common effect of water, air and various kinds of living and dead organisms.
Contrary to popular belief, light soils do not weigh less than heavy soils on an air dry basis nor do they have more porosity.The classification is based mainly on soil morphology as an expression pedogenesis.A major difference with USDA soil taxonomy is that soil climate is not part of the system, except insofar as climate influences soil profile characteristics.New avenues of soil research are compelled by a need to understand soil in the context of climate change, greenhouse gases, and carbon sequestration.Interest in maintaining the planet's biodiversity and in exploring past cultures has also stimulated renewed interest in achieving a more refined understanding of soil.It relies heavily on distinguishing the individual influences of the five classic soil forming factors.
This effort draws upon geomorphology, physical geography, and analysis of vegetation and land-use patterns.
Soil science is the study of soil as a natural resource on the surface of the Earth including soil formation, classification and mapping; physical, chemical, biological, and fertility properties of soils; and these properties in relation to the use and management of soils.
Sometimes terms which refer to branches of soil science, such as pedology (formation, chemistry, morphology and classification of soil) and edaphology (influence of soil on organisms, especially plants), are used as if synonymous with soil science.
Further refinement of the soil concept is occurring in view of an appreciation of energy transport and transformation within soil.
The term is popularly applied to the material on the surface of the Earth's moon and Mars, a usage acceptable within a portion of the scientific community.
Vasily Dokuchaev, a Russian geologist, geographer and early soil scientist, is credited with identifying soil as a resource whose distinctness and complexity deserved to be separated conceptually from geology and crop production and treated as a whole.