Fundamental Soil forming Processes
Humification: Humification is the process of transformation of raw organic matter into humus. It is extremely a complex process involving various organisms.
First, simple compounds such as sugars and starches are attacked followed by proteins and cellulose and finally very resistant compounds, such as tannins, are decomposed and the dark coloured substance, known as humus, is formed.
Eluviation: It is the mobilization and translocation of certain constituent’s viz. Clay, Fe2O3, Al2O3, SiO2, humus, CaCO3, other salts etc. from one point of soil body to another. Eluviation means washing out. It is the process of removal of constituents in suspension or solution by the percolating water from the upper to lower layers. The eluviation encompasses mobilization and translocation of mobile constituents resulting in textural differences. The horizon formed by the process of eluviation is termed as eluvial horizon (A2 or E horizon).
Translocation depends upon relative mobility of elements and depth of percolation.
Illuviation: The process of deposition of soil materials (removed from the eluvial horizon) in the lower layer (or horizon of gains having the property of stabilizing translocated clay materials) is termed as Illuviation. The horizons formed by this process are termed as illuvial horizons (B-horizons, especially Bt) The process leads to textural contrast between E and Bt horizons, and higher fine: total clay ratio in the Bt horizon.
Horizonation: It is the process of differentiation of soil in different horizons along the depth of the soil body. The differentiation is due to the fundamental processes, humification, eluviation and Illuviation.