Soil Physical Properties

Soil Physical Properties - SoilPhysicalproper/es...

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Soil Physical proper/es.
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Soil sampling
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Soil sampling Earth Day 2007 “Sunnyside” the representa5ve soil for the District of Columbia U.S. Na5onal Arboretum.
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Soil sampling
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Soil Texture Soil Texture = %Sand, Silt & Clay in a soil. Soil texture is the single most important physical property of the soil. Knowing the soil texture alone will provide information about: 1) water flow potential, 2) water holding capacity, 3) fertility potential, 4) suitability for many urban uses like bearing capacity
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Texture The Percent of sand, silt, clay in a soil sample Critical for understanding soil behavior and management Soil texture is not subject to change in the field but can be changed in potting mixes.
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Particle Diameter Size Soil particle diameters range over 6 orders of magnitude 2 m boulders Coarse fragments > 2 mm Sand < 2 mm to 0.05 mm Silt < 0.05 mm to 0.002 mm Clay < 0.002 m
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Coarse Fragment > 2 mm Gravels, cobbles, boulders Not considered part of fine earth fraction (soil texture refers only to the fine earth fraction or sand, silt & clay) Boulders left in valley of Big Horn Mts.(Wy) by a glacier.
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Sand < 2 mm to > 0.05 mm Visible without microscope Rounded or angular in shape Sand grains usually quartz if sand looks white or many minerals if sand looks brown, Some sands in soil will be brown, yellow, or red because of Fe and/or Al oxide coatings.
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Sand Feels gritty Considered non- cohesive – does not stick together in a mass unless it is very wet.
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Sand Low specific surface area Sand has less nutrients for plants than smaller particles Voids between sand particles promote free drainage and entry of air Holds little water and prone to drought
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Silt < 0.05 mm to > 0.002 mm Not visible without microscope Quartz often dominant mineral in silt since other minerals have weathered away.
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Silt Does not feel gritty Floury feel –smooth like silly putty Wet silt does not exhibit stickiness or plasticity or malleability
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Silt Smaller size allows rapid
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Soil Physical Properties - SoilPhysicalproper/es...

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