Soil Characteristics

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Soil Characteristics

  1. 1. The Earth’s Crust Soil Characteristics
  2. 2. <ul><li>Soil Texture – describes how soil feels when it is rubbed between your fingers </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Particle size – the size of the particles in the soil – it affects how gritty a soil feels when you rub it between your fingers. </li></ul><ul><li>It also affects how large the spaces in the soil will be and how quickly water will pass through </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Texture and particle size affect how quickly water will drain through, or permeate , the soil. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. – if the soil is too sandy, rain water permeates too quickly. </li></ul><ul><li>If it has too much clay, the water will sit on top of the soil and will permeate slowly. </li></ul><ul><li>This is called the water holding capacity. </li></ul><ul><li>Table 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Watch this animation on permeation before answering the next question. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Did you watch the animation the last slide? Why could high water permeability be bad for your plants? (sandy soil) Why could low water permeability be bad for your plants? (clay)
  6. 6. <ul><li>Water holding capacity – a soil’s ability to hold water </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Water holding capacity – a soil’s ability to hold water </li></ul><ul><li>Soil with a low water holding capacity tends to be dry, or arid, most the time. (sandy soils) </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Water holding capacity – a soil’s ability to hold water </li></ul><ul><li>Soil with a low water holding capacity tends to be dry, or arid, most the time. (sandy soils) </li></ul><ul><li>Clay, on the other hand, has a high water holding capacity because its fine particles fill up most of the spaces in the soil, preventing the water from passing through. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>To grow most plants, farmers prefer a mixture of sand, silt, and clay, a type of soil referred to as loam , which allows water to permeate at a medium rate. </li></ul>

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