Encyclopedia of Soil Science

2008 Edition
| Editors: Ward Chesworth

Carbon Cycling and Formation of Soil Organic Matter

  • Ward Chesworth
  • Marta Camps Arbestain
  • Felipe Macías
  • Otto Spaargaren
  • Otto Spaargaren
  • Y. Mualem
  • H. J. Morel‐Seytoux
  • William R. Horwath
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-3995-9_88

Carbon (C) can form potentially endless hybridized atomic orbitals resulting in the potential to create a vast array of complex organic compounds. The diversity of C compounds no doubt influenced the evolution of life and the diversity of organisms. Carbon was not found on the primordial earth and only after the continuous bombardment by carbonaceous comets and asteroids did appreciable amounts of C accumulate (Anders, 1989). The extraterrestrial C was complex containing a vast array of hydrocarbons and important biological compounds such as amino acids and carboxylic acids, constituents required to assemble primitive life. Early Earth's atmosphere was thought to contain primarily simple hydrocarbons that were continuously altered through ultraviolet photolysis. In addition, the atmosphere contained appreciable amounts of carbon dioxide (CO 2) as a result of meteor and asteroid impacts and volcanic activity. The CO 2dissolved in water to form carbonic acid and may have been...

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Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ward Chesworth
  • Marta Camps Arbestain
  • Felipe Macías
  • Otto Spaargaren
  • Otto Spaargaren
  • Y. Mualem
  • H. J. Morel‐Seytoux
  • William R. Horwath

There are no affiliations available