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A horizon

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Soil horizon
A soil horizon is a layer generally parallel to the soil surface, whose physical characteristics differ from the layers above and beneath. Each soil type usually has three or four horizons. Horizons are defined in most cases by obvious physical features, chiefly colour and texture. These may be described both in absolute terms (particle size distribution for texture, for instance) and in terms relative to the surrounding material, i.e. ‘coarser’ or ‘sandier’ than the horizons above and below. The differentiation of the regolith into distinct horizons is largely the result of influences, such as air, water, solar radiation, and plant material, originating at the soil-atmosphere interface. Since the weathering of the regolith occurs first at the surface and works its way down, the uppermost layers have been changed the most, while the deepest layers are most similar to the original regolith (i.e., parent material).

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WordNet 2.0 Dictionary

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A horizon

Noun
1. the top layer of a soil profile; usually contains humus
(synonym) A-horizon
(hypernym) soil horizon
(substance-meronym) humus

 
A-horizon

Noun
1. the top layer of a soil profile; usually contains humus
(synonym) A horizon
(hypernym) soil horizon
(substance-meronym) humus



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