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Soil Properties Practical - Essay Example

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As such, it is vital to human activities that the properties and conditions of soil are accurately determined so as to ascertain what type of economic activity can take…
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Download file to see previous pages There are different and diverse characteristics of soil; (1) Particle Size, (2) Bulk Density, (3) Consistence, (4) Texture and (5) Water-holding Capacity. This lab will concentrate in determining 4 different types of solid from the 4 samples provided using the mechanical analysis technique. This technique is founded on the concept that different sizes of soil particles fall out of suspension at different speeds. Mechanical analysis of the texture of soil places a mixture of soil and water in a glass cylinder which is shaken to the point where suspension particles appear. These suspension particles gradually settle to the bottom of the cylinder once placed on a flat surface and is undisturbed.
According to Stokes Law, different sizes of particles fall out of suspension at different speeds. These speeds are clearly defined by this law. This law fundamentally states that larger particles will tend to settle faster out of suspension as opposed to smaller particles. Therefore, due to the fact that sand particles are larger than clay or silt, they will tend to form a distinct layer at the bottom once its settles out of suspension. This method uses a hydrometer.
Step 3: Added 5 ml of a dilute Calgon solution. The Calgon was to help disperse the soil particles so that they would fall independently of each other. This is necessary because this is a fundamental assumption of Stokes law.
Step 4: Filled the blender cup with distilled water so the top of the suspension is about 10 cm from the top. Placed the top on the blender and blend for about 5 minutes. This step is designed to thoroughly disperse the soil particles.
Step 7: Placed a rubber stopper over the end of the cylinder and re-suspended the mixture by turning the cylinder end to end several times vigorously. Then set the cylinder back down and recorded the exact time (to the second).
Step 8: Immediately after setting the cylinder down, carefully inserted the hydrometer into ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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