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INTRODUCTION

Soil moisture is the source of water that evaporates and transpires from the soil and vegetation into the
atmosphere, thus affecting the distribution of clouds and precipitation.

The soil moisture content of soil is the quantity of water it contains. Water content is used in a wide
range of scientific and technical areas and is expressed as a ratio, which can range from 0 (completely
dry) to the value of the materials’ porosity at saturation.

Moisture may be present as adsorbed moisture at internal surfaces and as capillary condensed water in
small pores. At low relative humidity’s, moisture consists mainly of adsorbed water. At higher relative
humidity’s, liquid water becomes more and more important, depending on the pore size.

Lastly, this experiment is designed to test the moisture content of the soil by measuring the weight of
soil sample before and after drying and by using gravimetric (oven drying) method.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Using a soil auger, a soil sample at 0-15 cm depth of the soil was obtained. The sample is placed
in polyethylene bag and it was brought in laboratory for moisture content determination. The
sample was air dry and crushed using mortar and pestle. The sample was passed into the sieve
and only those which will pass were set aside.

Meanwhile, 50 grams of the sample was put in the aluminium pan and weighed. The
weight of pan and the exact initial weight of sample are obtained. The sample was put in the
drying oven for 24 hours at 105˚C. After which, the sample from the oven is removed using a
laboratory tong, covered it and allowed it to cool in a desiccator.

Lastly, the final weight of the sample was obtained using the toploading balance. Also,
the moisture content is computed as percent by weight, %ϴm and percent by volume, %ϴv.

Results and Discussion

A. Soil moisture content determination


Following the procedures specified above, the moisture content of the soil sample
was determined as shown in the figures below.
Figure 1. The weight of the pan, soil sample and oven-dried soil sample

The image above shows the sequence needed to determine the moisture content of the
soil sample. First, the aluminium pan is weighed and it has a weight of 10 grams. Meanwhile,
after pressing the tare, the soil sample is put in the pan and its weight is equal to 50 grams.
Thereafter, the soil is put into the oven and after some time the sample is removed and weighed
consisting 55 grams with the weight of the pan.

Table 1: Percent by weight, %ϴm


Weight of moist soil (FW) 50g

Oven dry weight (ODW) 45g

Weight of pan 10g

As shown on the results above, the weight of moist soil is 50 grams and its oven dry
weight is 45 grams, the weight of the sample decreases to 5 grams. Therefore, using the
formula: %ϴm=[(FW-ODW)/ODW]×100, the percent by weight of the sample is equal to
11.11%.

Percent by volume, %ϴv assuming the soil have a bulk density of 1.2g/cm³ and 1.0g/cm³
specific gravity of water
BD = Bulk Density, g/cm³
DW = Density of water, g/cm³

As shown on the results obtained above, the soil has a bulk density of 1.2g/cm³ and
1.0g/cm³ specific gravity of water. Therefore, using the formula: %ϴv=%ϴm×BD/DW, the
percent by volume of the sample is equal to 51.43 percent.

CONCLUSION
REFERENCES

https://www.ukessays.com/essays/environmental-sciences/water-content-or-moisture-content-
environmental-sciences-essay.php

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/soil-moisture