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Febrilyn L.

Pagualayan Principles of Soil Science May 06, 2019

Laboratory Report 4

Sol Texture Determination


Soil texture is the relative proportion of sand, silt, and clay in a soil. Within each of these
soil separates there is a continuum of particle sizes. Thus, there is a particle size distribution in
soil ranging from the largest sand particles to the smallest clay particles. Texture is considered to
be a permanent characteristic of a soil since weathering only very slowly changes particle size.
Furthermore, cultivation and other management practices do not alter the sizes of individual soil
particles. In some cases, however, erosion or deposition may rapidly alter the particle size

Texture is an important property of soils because particle size determines the surface area
of solids per unit volume or mass of soil. Texture also influences the pore size distribution in soil.
A sandy soil is dominated by large individual soil particles and, therefore, has a relatively small
total surface area and large pore spaces between soil particles. At the other extreme, a clay soil
consists of tiny individual particles and has a large total surface area but small pore spaces.
However, small soil particles tend to be associated with one another to form aggregates of soil
particles. Thus, the pore space in a clay soil consists of small intra-aggregate pores and much
larger inter-aggregate pores.

The most important measure of soil is texture and size distribution of mineral particles.
This is because the divided soil particles have a greater surface are per unit mass than the
combine particles (Coarse particles). Therefore it can be said that a large mass of gravel or sand,
will be less relevant in relation to chemical reactions than a minor amount of fine silt and clay.
This is because it allows for better exposure to nutrients and the retention of moisture.

Soil texture is the categorization of soil particles into three groups. Firstly, clay which is
less than 0.002mm. Secondly, silt which is between 0.002 and 0.005, and third, sand which is
between 0.005 and 2mm. With the use of Stoke’s law that is the governing rate of sedimentation
of particles that are suspended in water. The amount of water in the soil sample will determine
the percentage of moisture. In general, we can then determine the soil texture with both the feel
method and the jar test method.

The objectives of this laboratory exercise is to determine soil texture using jar test method and to
determine the textural class of a soil using the textural triangle diagram after knowing the
percentages of sand, silt and clay. Also, to determine soil texture by “feel” and “roll” method.

Materials and Methods

In jar test method weigh 50 grams of soil (free from stones, roots and other foreign
material) in triplicate. Using the sieve, determine the percentage of the soil separates comprising
the soil sample 1. Pour the soil sample at the top of the sieve and sift the soil. Weigh each soil
which will remain at the topmost, middle and bottom layers. Then get the percentage of each soil
separate. Using the sample 2, place the soil in the jar then add water. See to it that the soil will
occupy just at most ¾ of the jar space so that there will still be space for the water. Place the
cover of the jar and mix vigorously. Allow the mixture to settle for 1 minute, 30 minutes and 24
hours to get the depth of sand, silt and clay respectively. Disregard any floating materials that
may appear. In “feel” and “roll” method. “Feel” method involves rubbing a moist soil in your
palm and the characteristics feel of each of the soil separates is used to estimate the texture of the
soil. Sand feels gritty, silt is smooth and floury, while clay is sticky when wet and plastic when
moist. Soil texture determination by “roll” method. This is done to confirm feel method. Moisten
about 10 g of pulverized soil and knead thoroughly until the moist soil can be shaped easily into
a ball. Roll the well kneaded soil in between your palms or against smooth surface and form a
soil wire and mold it into a ring.

Results and Discussion

Jar Test Method

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3

Feel and Roll Method

Figure 5
Figure 4

Figure 6
Figure 7