what is the density & specific gravity of soil

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pacorz | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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I'm sorry, but no one can give you a correct answer for that question here. Soil comes in twelve major classes which are subdivided into hundreds of types. What type of soil develops in an area depends first and foremost on what the bedrock of that area is made of, since bedrock weathers into the sand that is the basis of soil. Over time organic matter becomes mixed with the sand, eventually forming soil. But the length of time the soil has been developing, the local climate, what plants grow in the area, and the water table and drainage characteristics of the area all contribute to the final soil type.

For a given soil sample, you can easily calculate these numbers for yourself.Dig into the soil until you are below most of the plant material. Carefully cut out a block of soil and gently lift it onto a piece of newspaper. Measure the length, width, and height of the block in centimeters and multiply them together to get the volume in cubic centimeters. Next weight the soil in grams. Dividing the weight by the volume will give you the density. If the soil is too loose to cut into a block, scoop some of it into a volumetric container and measure its volume in milliliters, and use that number for the volume.

Since specific gravity is the ratio of two densities, usually the ratio of a sample material to water, you can get the specific gravity of your soil sample by dividing the weight of the soil sample by the weight of an equal volume of water.

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