Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Soil, Soil Everywhere

Here is a link to a great website telling of the 12 Soil Orders:

A soil type that is very common to Georgia is Ultisols. According to this website, ultisols are "strongly leached, acid forest soils with relatively low native fertility." They are found primarily in humid regions. It is often a red clay soil. Here is an example:

Here is a soil map of the state:

One way we can determine soil type is by simply looking at the color of the soil. Through the color, we can also determine the the types and amounts of organic materials and minerals within the soil, as well as the climate which the soil came from and the amount of moisture present. The soil color types are brown, orange, red, purple, and yellow. The Munsell Soil Color Chart is an extremely helpful tool when trying to find the exact color, hue, and chroma of the soil. Here is a link to a PDF of the color chart:

Another way to determine soil type is through a soil texture dichotomous key. By following the steps on the key and seeing how the soil they are dealing with measures up, one can experimentally determine soil type. Here is a link to one of these helpful keys:

Finally, here is a picture of a soil texture diagram. By looking at the amounts of sand, clay and silt within a sample of soil, one can use this diagram to determine the soil type.

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