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    Module 25 Soils

    10.31.19 quiz

    1. What rocks would you commonly find here on the island of Hawai’i?
    2. Which of the three types of rock are these?
    3. Why would a house near the epicenter see more damage than one a few miles away (hint: the energy is not that different, it is about the waves)
    4. Explain the formation of the Hawaiian island chain
    Next: Rocks Module 25
    Igneous (fire)
    Sedimentary (layers)
    Metamorphic (Kafka rocks, just kidding: changed by heat and pressure)
    Click for full-size image




    Igneous= directly from magma, can be either basalt (low melting point, like our island or oceanic plates) or granite (lighter, what continents are made of)
    Granite breaks down into light colored sand, makes for fertile soil. Basalt (like us) can make sand too, but less fertile (e.g. black sand beach).

    Sedimentary= just like it sounds, from mud, sand or dust, usually in layers.

    Metamorphic= changed by heat and/or pressure (slate, marble or coal)

    Soil-formed by weathering (chemical or physical) of parent rock
    Erosion can be by water or air (wind)

    Click for full-size image


    These used to be just A, B, C layers
    E layer was added (eluviated layer-where water washes out nutrients)
    O layer was added (overlayer-detritus)

    Latest version:



    Soil structure (physical analysis)


    Click for full-size image
    n.b. the trick to reading the lines is always look clockwise...

    Finer soils drain slowly (capillary action), hold nutrients (because of reduced water flow), and settle last in rivers
    Coarse soils (e.g. sand) drain quickly, are nutrient poor (water washed the nutrients away) and settle first in rivers
    Loam is the term for a perfect balance of these inorganic soil types
    Farmers refer to "tilth" of a soil, which includes ability to hold water, organic content and more:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilth

    Organic matter is not included here: it holds water and decomposes, releasing nutrients
    For healthy soil, we need both the physical (above), organic and chemical systems to balance.

    Chemical analysis:
    N=nitrogen: critical for plant growth
    P=phosphorus: roots and fruits
    K= Kalium=Potasssium=potash: plant immunity

    pH is the Hydrogen ion content: pH of 7 is neutral water, others may have other values
    Hydroponics use a term EC for Electrical conductivity, which is a measure of dissolved ions in solution.
    1.5-2.5 is ideal for most hydroponic systems, depending on plant types

    See also CEC: Cation exchange capacity

    Lab:
    Physical tests----
    • Gross analysis: how does the soil feel in your hands: like clay or sand? Does it have organic matter? Can you squeeze it and have it hold shape (tilth)? What color do you see?
    • Percolation test: time it takes water to move through a soil sample, measured in cm/second. Measure the seconds, and the cm depth of your soil, divide.
    • Sedimentation test: settled layers after mixing with water, measure total thickness, then layer thickness, present at percentage of total
    • Dry sifting test: drop your sample into the sifter column, measure mass of each layer
    Chemical tests----
    • Decant (pour off) liquid from the sedimentation test above, use for the pH test kit
    • N test: same with the N soil test kit
    • P test: same with the P soil test kit
    • K test: same with the K soil test kit
    • (optional) organic matter test: bake the sample, mass before and after, difference is organic matter

    Desertification:
    Usually from removal of native plants, overgrazing and/or over-irrigation with well water (salinization)
    Solutions:

    Click for full-size image

    Click for full-size image

    See also chapter 12 in the Froggie book...

    Comments

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