Unit 2 - Practical Skills

Skills are centered around treating soil.

In June 2011, 21 of the 60 marks was on soil, and based on this knowledge! It caught loads of people out, so make sure you know it for easy marks! ;)

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  • Created on: 28-04-12 19:41
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Unit 2 ­ Practical Skills: Soil Analysis
Obtaining a Sample
1. Obtain permission from landowner
2. Clear vegetation and dig down vertically (to regolith if required)
3. Place soil sample in plastic bag to return to lab.
Measuring Water Content
1. Crumble soil into pre-weighed crucible, weigh together
2. Leave in oven overnight at temp. around 105oC
3. Weigh crucible and cooked soil
4. Difference between before and after = volume of water held
5. (Weight Loss / Weight of wet soil) x100 = % water in soil
Organic Content
1. Grind soil with pestle and mortar, place into crucible and weigh
2. Burn over Bunsen burner for half an hour to incinerate organic matter
3. Remove excess carbon, and weigh
4. Difference between before and after = weight of organic matter
5. (Weight loss / Weight of dry soil (before)) x100 = % organic matter in soil
Soil pH (Chemistry)
1. Add small soil sample to test tube and dissolve in distilled water
2. Add Barium Sulphate and an indicator (Universal)
3. Shake test tube and leave to stand until clear
4. Read of pH based on indicator colour
Soil Texture
1. Take DRY sample from water content experiment and grind with pestle and mortar
2. Place into coarsest sieve and sieve for 10 minutes
3. Empty remnants into container, and repeat sieving with products in a less coarse sieve
4. Weigh each category of size of soil, and plot histogram or use soil triangle:-

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