Soil is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids, and organisms that together support life.
Soil is formed from the breakdown of rocks into tiny pieces called sediments.
The rocks are broken down through the process of weathering due to exposure to extreme temperature changes, windblown particles, precipitation and flowing water, and ice.
Important properties of soil are given below:
Percolation Rate of Water: The amount of water drained through the water in unit time is known as the percolation rate of water in the soil. The percolation rate of water can be calculated using the formula given here.
Percolation rate (mL/min) = Amount of water in mL/Time taken to percolate
The percolation rate of water in sandy soil is fastest and in clayey soil is slowest.
Moisture present in soil: The amount of water present in the soil is known as the moisture present in the soil.
The amount of moisture present in clayey soil is more than in sandy soil.
Absorption of water: Different soil particles absorb different amounts of water. Clayey soil absorbs the highest amount of water because it has a higher water retention capacity whereas sandy soil absorbs the least amount of water because of it has a lower water retention capacity.
Soil contains air: Air is present in the spaces between soil particles. The air provides oxygen required for respiration by the roots of plants and other microorganisms living in the soil.
Sandy soil has large spaces between its p[articles which are filled with air due to which it provides more air to the roots. Clayey soil has smaller particles that are tightly packed, so they have little spaces between its particles hence provide less air.
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