Observing Soil Horizons

By Mark Skiles

Objective: You will understand and recognize the differences that exist between soils from different layers of the soil profile.

Materials: 4 soil samples (A horizon, B horizon, C horizon, D horizon), dissecting scope, pencil, text.


  1. Use the appropriate pages in your text to study the different soil horizons (layers) and learn about their differences.
  2. Observe each of the soil samples using the dissecting scope and create a detailed drawing of what you see in the space provided. Be as detailed as possible.

A horizon:

B horizon:

C horizon:

D horizon:

Short Answer Question:

In your own words and using your text as a guide, explain the development that has occurred in each horizon of the soil.