Digging into the soil of wetlands

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Detailed Description

Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey Wetland and Aquatic Research Center (www.usgs.gov/warc) study important aspects of wetlands, such as the flow and quality of water, the chemistry of soil, and the plants and animals which call this ecosystem home. In this video, we explore the world beneath our feet by taking a close look at the anaerobic soils you’ll find in wetlands. What does anaerobic mean, you ask? Watch this video to find out!

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Note: Some content in this video was taken prior to March 2020.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:00:52

Location Taken: Gulf of Mexico, US

Video Credits

No additional permissions needed. Footage by USGS WARC and CWPPRA staff. Music royalty free from www.bensound.com. Script and voice by Kelly Guilbeau (Contractor for USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center)


Do you ever stop and think about the world right under your feet? It’s not just dirt! We often take soil for granted, but it’s  full of important minerals, nutrients, and even living organisms. In wetlands, soils play an especially important role. When soil is flooded for long enough, it becomes anaerobic, which means “without air.” The oxygen-deprived soil you’ll find in wetlands supports the growth of plants which can survive without oxygen. Scientists at the USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center regularly study the chemistry of soil to better understand how healthy soils contribute to a healthy wetland.   

Next week, we’ll grow our knowledge of wetland plants!