Problem Set 4 - Solutions - Name Discussion Section 100...

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Name: ___ / 100 points Discussion Section: Problem Set 4 ESPM 15: Introduction to Environmental Science Due in hardcopy at the beginning of lecture (9:10 am) on Friday, March 4, 2016 Note: The answers in bold are what needed to be said to get full credit. The answers not in bold are additional information from lecture that may be useful when reviewing this problem set. 1. Answer the following questions about soil mineral particles. ___ / 14 points a. What process forms soil mineral particles? Weathering (4 points) b. Do sand or clay particle have a greater surface area to volume ratio? Why? Clay (3 points) , because clay particles are much smaller than sand particles (3 points) c. Are sand or clay particles more chemically reactive? Clay (4 points) Explanation: clay particles have been more weathered 1) physically/mechanically, so they have a smaller size and therefore a greater SA/V ratio, and so they have a greater area where chemical reactions can occur, and 2) chemically, so they have more charges. 2. List and briefly describe three ways organic matter improves soil quality. ___ / 12 points (4 points each: 2 points for naming/listing and 2 points for the description) 1. Reservoir for nutrients: SOM provides limiting nutrients to plants 2. Holds water: SOM acts as a sponge and provides water to plants 3. Binds mineral particles into aggregates: SOM acts as glue; forming aggregates creates essential pore space (for roots to grow and for water and air to circulate).
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