What Important Soil Measurement Determines How Much Water It Can Hold

What Important Soil Measurement Determines How Much Water It Can Hold?

Soil texture and organic matter are the key components that determine soil water holding capacity. In terms of soil texture those made up of smaller particle sizes such as in the case of silt and clay have larger surface area.Nov 11 2011

What important soil measurement determines how much water it can hold *?

Terms in this set (18) What characteristic of soil is most important in determining water-holding capacity? Soil texture determines water capacity. Clay holds more water as texture is a function of particle size.

Which physical property of soil determines how much water it will retain?

Soil water holding capacity is controlled primarily by the soil texture and the soil organic matter content. Soil texture is a reflection of the particle size distribution of a soil. An example is a silt loam soil that has 30% sand 60% silt and 10% clay sized particles.

Why water holding capacity of soil is important?

Water holding capacity is important to soil health. Soils that can retain a balanced amount of water are able to nourish crops and keep soil organic matter alive. Healthy soil structure forms into aggregates lessening the density in the soil to create more pores where water can filter in and out.

Why is soil depth important?

Deep soils hold more moisture and more nutrients than shallow soils with similar structure. The depth of a soil is measured by how far below the surface plant roots can extend before being stopped by barriers such as rock sand gravel heavy clay compacted dirt or cement.

Which soil has maximum water holding capacity?

sandy soil clay soil

The water holding capacity is highest in sandy soil clay soil loamy soil or mixture of sand and Loom so it is highest in clay soil.

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How does soil type affect water holding capacity?

Water-holding capacity is controlled primarily by soil texture and organic matter. Soils with smaller particles (silt and clay) have a larger surface area than those with larger sand particles and a large surface area allows a soil to hold more water. … Organic matter percentage also influences water-holding capacity.

How do you determine the physical properties of soil?

Pore size texture structure and the presence of impervious layers such as clay pan determines the permeability of a soil. Clayey soils with platy structures have very low permeability. Permeability is measured in terms of permeability rate or coefficient of permeability (cm per hour cm per day cm per sec.).

What is soil physical property?

Physical properties of soil include color texture structure porosity density consistence aggregate stability and temperature. These properties affect processes such as infiltration erosion nutrient cycling and biologic activity.

Why is it important to determine soil physical properties?

The physical properties of the soil are very important for agricultural production and the sustainable use of soil. The amount and rate of water oxygen and nutrient absorption by plants depend on the ability of the roots to absorb the soil solution as well as the ability of the soil to supply it to the roots.

How do you calculate water holding capacity?

Water holding capacity can be determined by measuring soil moisture at Filed capacity and at Permanent Welting Point. The difference between those two soil moisture values is the water holding capacity. Usually a soil water characteristic curve is developed for the soil to determine its water holding capacity.

How much water can my soil hold?

The Soil
Soil Textural Class Available Water Capacity (inches per foot of depth) Basic Intake Rates (inches per hour)
Fine sandy loam 1.50 – 2.00 0.35 – 0.50
Silt loam 2.00 – 2.50 0.25 – 0.40
Silty clay loam 1.80 – 2.00 0.10 – 0.30
Silty clay 1.50 – 1.70

How much water can the ground hold?

Roughly speaking for agriculture (top layer soil) soil is 25% water 25% air 45% mineral 5% other water varies widely from about 1% to 90% due to several retention and drainage properties of a given soil.

What is the average soil depth?

It differs significantly for different soil types. It is one of basic criterions used in soil classification . Soils can be very shallow (less than 25 cm) shallow (25 cm-50 cm) moderately deep (50 cm-90 cm) deep (90cm-150 cm) and very deep (more than 150 cm).

How do you measure soil depth?

Soil depth is easily measured in the field by digging a soil profile or in an auger hole. It can be also found in regular soil survey reports. Soil depth can greatly vary within the same field site or in the same soil mapping unit.

What factors determine the depth at which you collect a soil sample?

* If it is a pilot study: crop type and it’s root growth type are the main factors. If its shallow may be soil depth of 30 cm will be enough while if crop with deep roots system you need 0-30 30-60 and 60-90 cm …etc. * If it is a project with different crops you need to more depth.

Which soil has low capacity for holding water?


Sand has the lowest water holding capacity because they have coarse particles that leave a huge gap between the particles. Thus a large amount of water and nutrients easily escape from the soil and cannot be retained within the sand.

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Which one has the minimum water holding capacity?

Sand soil has the least water retaining capacity. The soil’s ability to hold water depends on the size of its particles. Sandy soils have coarse particles so they have low water and nutrient holding capacities.

What factors affect soil permeability and water holding capacity?

Factors Affecting Permeability of Soil
  • Size of Soil Particle.
  • Specific Surface Area of Particles.
  • Shape of Soil Particle.
  • Void Ratio.
  • Soil Structure.
  • Degree of Saturation.
  • Water Properties.
  • Temperature.

How does particle size and composition of the soil affect its water capacity and rate of erosion within a watershed?

The smaller the pore size the more energy it takes to remove the water. Soil has an effect on the water cycle by influencing the rate at which water evaporates from or moves into and through the soil to saturated zones or aquifers.

Which physical property of soil is important to us texture or water holding capacity?

Moisture Texture


Texture decides the water holding capacity of the soil.

How is soil texture determined?

Soil textures are classified by the fractions of each soil separate (sand silt and clay) present in a soil. … If the percentages of sand clay and silt in the soil sample are known then the triangle can be used to determine the soil texture classification.

What are physical properties of water?

Physical properties
Selected physical properties of water
melting point 0.00 °C
boiling point 100.00 °C
maximum density (at 3.98 °C) 1.0000 grams per cubic centimetre
density (25 °C) 0.99701 grams per cubic centimetre

What characteristics affects the ability of soil to drain water?

Just as soil texture affects soil’s ability to hold water it’s structure has an influence as well. Organic matter including decomposing plant material is a component of soil and its presence influences soil structure and in turn the soil’s ability to hold water.

What is the chart used to determine the soil color?

The most widely used method for determining soil colors is comparison of soil samples with the color chips in the Munsell soil color charts. In the Munsell color system color is expressed in terms of hue (basic color) value (lightness or darkness) and chroma (intensity of basic hue).

Why do we need to know how much water water content is in the soil?

The soil moisture content of soil is the quantity of water it contains. … In soil science hydrology and agricultural sciences water content has an important role for groundwater recharge agriculture and soil chemistry. If the moisture content of a soil is optimum for plant growth plants can readily absorb soil water.

What soil property is most important for determining soil fertility?

If soil properties are grouped and the mean measure is determined the most important properties are the ones making up soil apparent electrical conductivity (ECd and ECs) -0.81 followed by texture properties (sand silt and clay content) -0.27 CEC -0.17 OM 0.53 and finally the primary nutrients (TN AP and …

What soil physical property is described as the amount of water in the soil and is said to be the most variable soil physical property?

The water-holding capacity of a soil refers to the amount of water contained in a soil and is determined largely by texture structure porosity soil depth and organic matter content.

What does water in soil contain?

Soil water is divided into several basic types which are chemical hygroscopic membraneous cappilary and gravitational water. Chemical water is divided into water of crystallization (CaSO4 x 2H2O) and water of constitution (OH-).

How do you calculate water holding capacity of soil?

Available water-storage capacity (AWSC) expressed on a gravimetric basis by the core method can be predicted with an SE of 1.54% by the regression equation AWSC = 14.01 + 0.03 (silt x clay) – 8.78(BD) (r 2 = 0.83) which is related to sieved soil AWSC by the following equation with SE of 1.00% (r 2 = 0.92): AWSC core

How far does 1 inch of rain penetrate the ground?

between 6 and 15 inches

One inch of water should penetrate the soil somewhere between 6 and 15 inches deep. But your soil type can dramatically affect this. Clay soils which are denser won’t be as deeply penetrated by a 1-inch rain event as loamy and sandy soils.

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What is effective soil depth?

The effective depth of a soil for plant growth is the vertical distance into the soil from the surface to a layer that essentially stops the downward growth of plant roots. The barrier layer may be rock sand gravel heavy clay or a cemented layer (e.g. caliche).

How does soil vary with depth?

The most important factors is soil formation are parent material time climate organisms and slope. How does soil vary with depth? Soil varies in composition texture and color at different depths. … Soil associated with drier regions and characteristics by an accumulation of calcium carbonate in the upper horizons.

Where is soil deepest?

The deepest soil layer the C horizon consists of decomposed rock parent material that has characteristics of the subsoil above it and the bedrock beneath it. This parent soil is mostly responsible for the texture natural fertility rate of formation acidity and depth of the soil horizons above.

To determine Water holding capacity of soils


Soil Basics: Soil Moisture

Soil Science 3. Measuring Soil Moisture and Organic Content

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