Environmental - Soil Lab - AP Environmental Science Title...

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AP Environmental ScienceTitle: Soil Analysis 11/2/15Introduction: The purpose of this experiment is to determine the soil texture, the soil pH, and primary soil nutrients. Soil is made up of 4 components: air, water, minerals and organic matter. The texture is determined by the levels of sand (the larges particle), silt (medium sized particle) and clay (the smallest particle). pH is determined by the amount of Hydrogen ions in the soil. Nutrients get in the soil by various ways, for example, Nitrogen gets in the soil when bacteria break apart N2, Nitrogen Fixation. Materials and Methods To determine the texture, first place 20mL soil sample in a 50 mL graduated cylinder. Then add water until the total volume of soil and water is about 40 mL. Then cover the top of the graduated cylinder with a piece of plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band. Then invert the cylinder several times until the soil is thoroughly suspended in the water. Shake the cylinder to mix the water and soil thoroughly. Then place the cylinder onthe table and let the soil material settle for at least thirty minutes. Then estimate the volume of the sand, silt and clay layers using the marks on the graduated cylinder. There should be at least three reasonably distinct layers in the graduated cylinder representing sand (bottom), silt (middle) and clay (top). There may also be a dark humus layer above

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