Investigation 2: Characteristics of Soil
Adapted from Applications in Biology/Chemistry,
Center for Occupational Research and Development, Waco, Texas
How can we determine the
texture of a soil sample?
The following represent the Lab Procedures and Topics for Lab Reports
|Table 1 Description of Collection Site
|A. Date collected: __________________________ |
B. Collection site: ________________________________________________________
C. Slope: _______________________________________________________________
D. Amount and type of vegetation: __________________________________________
E. Moisture level: ________________________________________________________
F. How the land is being used: ______________________________________________
- Crumble soil sample into small pieces.
- Spoon enough loose soil to fill pint-size bottle half full.
- Fill the bottle almost to the top with tap water.
- First cap the bottle. Be sure the cap is screwed on tightly. Shake
the bottle. Dry hands before handling the bottle.
- Place the bottle upright on the lab table.
- Describe the appearance of soil sample after mixing with water. Use
Data Table 2.
- Allow mixture in the bottle to settle until distinct layers of soil
have formed beneath the water. If sample has not formed distinct layers
after 30 minutes, label it and keep it until the next lab period.
- After the mixture has settled, hold a piece of cardboard next to
the bottle. Mark short horizontal lines on the cardboard to indicate
the level of each soil layer. Next to each layer write the type of soil
particle found in the layer: clay, sand, silt. Measure the depth of
each layer. Record data on Table 2.
- To discard materials do not empty directly
into the sink. Use newspaper to form a funnel, pour material into a
container. Cap container. Then discard.
|Table 2 Results
|A. How did sample look after being mixed with water? __________________________
B. Total depth of soil, in mm. ___________________________
_________ mm.sand _________ % sand
_________ mm.silt _________ % silt
_________ mm.clay _________ % clay
C. Soil Type ______________________________________________