Difference between soil and rock.

Soil and rock are spoken of as important elements of the earth's crust. These formations are interconnected, but there are good reasons to consider each of them as a separate natural body.


Soil is a multicomponent layer of the lithosphere formed on the basis of rocks under the influence of a number of factors.


Rocks are dense or loose formations that are the result of ongoing geological processes. Examples: sand, chalk, granite.

One of the rocks - granite



The formation of the discussed natural bodies is carried out over a long time. And the difference between soil and rock lies in exactly how this process takes place. The composition in each case is also different.

Formation of rocks

These masses, composed of mineral or organic particles, appear first. Some rocks (igneous) are solidified magma that poured out within the earth's crust or exited from a volcano. Another group (sedimentary rocks) is formed by particles precipitated from aqueous solutions, weathering products, and organic elements.

In addition, there are metamorphic rocks. They appear in conditions when magmatic or sedimentary formations change qualitatively under the influence of some factors: with powerful heating, pressure or contact with certain chemical compositions.

Soil formation

Numerous rock particles, separated from the total mass as a result of weathering, become the basis for the formation of the soil layer. Then the interaction of the source material and various living organisms is carried out. Plants appear, which, after dying off, turn into humus. The worms mix the soil mass.

Climate plays an important role in soil formation. It affects the rate of weathering of parent rocks, heating and moisture supply of the soil, and its biological composition. The features of the terrain where the soil layer is created are also of some importance. In addition, a person often participates in the whole process, cultivating the land, fertilizing it.

The whole process of soil development on rock material can be seen in the section:

Composition of the soil

A unique natural body consists of several components. The solid part of the soil is represented by residual particles of the parent rock and humus. The underground pores are filled with water and gases. And, of course, the soil is the habitat of many living things: bacteria, beetles, worms, moles and others.

What is the difference between soil and rock? The fact that only the soil, in which living and nonliving matter form a single whole, has fertility. As a valuable substrate for plants, it is irreplaceable in agricultural production. The quality and quantity of the harvest depends on the characteristics of the soil masses.


Soil Rocks
Result of interaction between living and nonlivingResult of geological processes
Formation factors: presence of parent rock, activity of living organisms, relief, climate, human activityFormed in a certain physicochemical environment
Components: particles of the base rock, humus, liquid, gases, biological beingsMay consist of mineral and organic particles
FertileNot fertile