Soil type


Soil type

In terms of soil texture, soil type usually refers to the different sizes of mineral particles in a particular sample. Soil is made up in part of finely ground rock particles, grouped according to size as sand,and clay. Each size plays a significantly different role.

For example, the largest particles, sand, determine aeration and drainage characteristics, while the tiniest, sub-microscopic clay particles, are chemically active, binding with water and plant nutrients. The ratio of these sizes determines soil type: clay, loam, clay-loam, silt-loam, and so on.

In addition to the mineral composition of soil, humus (organic material) also plays a crucial role in soil characteristics and fertility for plant life. Soil may be mixed with larger aggregate, such as pebbles or gravel. Not all types of soil are permeable, such as pure clay.

There are many recognized soil classifications, both international and national.

See also

*Brown earth
*Terra preta

External links

* [http://clic.cses.vt.edu/icomanth/02-AS_Classification.pdf Soil classification systems]
* [http://www.itc.nl/~rossiter/research/rsrch_ss_class.html A Compendium of On-Line Soil Survey Information Soil Classification for Soil Survey]
* [http://landscaping.about.com/cs/cheaplandscaping1/f/three_soils.htm Determining Soil Types]


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