The fourth day of the trip was spent examining soil science with Wageningen University. This day was the most outdoorsy in my opinion. We had the privilege of being guided by Wageningen student researchers: Jasper Candel and Marijn van der Meij. Our day was spent visiting seven sites in the Gelderse Valley between two large push moraines, examining first hand what this region’s landscape is composed of and how it got to be that way. Glaciers, rivers, flooding, outwash, and other factors heavily influenced the physical landscape composed of peat, cover sand, sediments, clay, silt, and soil.
I find the human-made soils (land raising) formed over centuries from humans spreading manure to be extremely fascinating. The soil, due to the fertilizer spreading, is extremely fertile: “plagensoil”.
At one of the stops we had a chance to taste some water from an artesian well, however it didn’t have the most amazing aftertaste. It was very cold, fresh water though.
The interesting landscape features viewed and explored really aided me in my better understanding of the physical Netherlands. This activity was a great way to learn about the earth in this region. The only thing that could have made this day better is if we got to hike from the bottom of the valley to the top of one of the moraines, observing how the ground composition changes ascending through to more glacial deposition along the way.
Here are some photos taken containing dig sites, soil samples, and cows.
Image Source: Dr Atkinson’s twitter account (@RU_PolarSEAL)