4 Mineral SoilIs never saturated with water for more than a few days and contains less than 20 % (by weight) organic carbonIf saturated with water for longer periods or artificially drained and excluding live roots, has an organic-carbon content of:Less than 18 % if the mineral fraction contains 60% or more clay;Less than 12 %, if the mineral fraction contains no clays; orLess than 12 + (clay percentage multiplied by 0.1) %, if the mineral fraction contains less than 60%.Soil material containing more than the above organic carbon is an organic soil.
6 Describing Soil Morphology for Mineral Soil Soil Texture and Coarse Fragment ContentSoil Structure (Type, Size and Grade)Soil ColorConsistencyRedoximorphic FeaturesBoundaries
7 What is Going On in this Photo? What is the Soil Structure?How do we Describe Structure?Soil structure is another aspect of soil description that must be considered in order to evaluated a soil for its ability to treat and dispose of wastewater.What is Going On in this Photo?
8 Soil Structure“Structure is the naturally occurring arrangement of soil particles into aggregates (peds) that result from pedogenic processes.The grouping or arrangement of individual soil particles into a larger grouping. The soil peds are a cluster or grouping of sand, silt, clay, organic material, biological slimes, and fungal masses.Three general groupsNatural Soil Structural Units (pedogenic structure)StructurelessArtificial Earthy Fragments or ClodsDescription of structure (as with texture) follows the NRCS description on categories. “Structure is the naturally occurring arrangement of soil particles into aggregates (peds) that result from pedogenic processes. Three general groups: Natural Soil Structural Units (pedogenic structure); Structureless; Artificial Earthy Fragments or Clods. It is the first two that we will spend the vast amount of time discussing.
9 Describing Soil Structure Type – shape of the structureSize – relative size of the structureGrade – how well the structure is expressed in place.Soil structure is describing using 3 components: type, size, and grade.When described in a soil profile the full description of the structure is describe in the following order – grade, size, shape. Such as: weak medium subangular blocky (WHAT??)
10 Soil Structure Type Size Grade Grade refers to how well expressed or how stable the structure is. There are 4 groups of structure grade.
12 Photo – Thank you Dr. Lindo - NCSU GranularSmall Polyhedrons or Spheroids Bounded by Curved or Irregular SurfacesSymbol for Structure (gr)Typical granular structure. Most often found in the surface layers.Photo – Thank you Dr. Lindo - NCSU
13 Blocky Subangular or Angular Subangular Blocky – the three dimensions are about the same size, but polyhedrons are subrounded. Symbol (sbk)Angular Blocky – the three dimensions are about the same size, but edges are shape and faces appear flattened. Symbol (abk)Typical granular structure. Most often found in the surface layers.
14 Platy – Flat and Tabular- Units Platy structure is wide than deep.Structure has a horizontal dimension that is longer or greater than the verticaldimension. The plates tend to parallel the surface. Typical Symbol (pl or PL)Photo on the Right – Thank you Dr. Lindo - NCSU
15 Photo – Thank you Dr. Lindo - NCSU Wedge StructuresElliptical Interlocking lenses that terminate in acute angles, bounded by slickensides. This structure isNot limited to Vertic martials or Vertisols. Symbol: WEGSoil: Has a High Clay Content- withExpanding clays.Wedge structure has eliptical interlooking peds the often show slickensides.Photo – Thank you Dr. Lindo - NCSU
16 Prismatic Structure Symbol pr or PR Photo 1Photo 2Typically associated with fragipan and other similar horizons. These are prismlikeStructural units where the length and width is significantlyLess than the depth.(Vertical Structures) These structures have flat tops or caps. Water movement tends to be associated with movement along the vertical contact between units.XYZPrismatic structure is vertically elongated.Photo on the Left – Thank you Dr. Lindo - NCSUA soil with a prismatic structure may also have secondarystructural units – Photo 2 has a platy secondary structure.
17 Columnar Symbol cpr or COL Prism-like structural units where the length of the unit in the x and y direction are much less than the z direction.The units tend to have rounded tops.YXColumnar structure is similar to prismatic but the unit tops are frequently rounded and bleached due to the high salt content.ZPhoto on the Right – Thank you Dr. Lindo - NCSU
18 Structureless (0) Single Grain (non-coherent) Massive (coherent mass) Massive - Rock Controlled Fabric- May be a saprolite.Structureless soils are broken into 2 official groups; Single Grain, Massive and one suggested (by the author) group Massive - Rock Controlled Fabric. Single grain refers to sands whereas massive refers to any soil that does not break apart into any predictable and repeatable type or shape. Massive rock controlled structure is used for soil developed from saprolite.
19 Single Grain Symbol sg or SGR Lacks Structure- Loose On rupture- more than50 % of the mass is singleGrain – example beach sand.Material is NON-Coherant.Single Grained
20 Massive Symbol m or MA Structureless material that is coherent, but is not cemented.Massive – dark gray- glacial till.
21 Massive Rock Controlled Fabric Structureless material that is coherent,but is not cemented or weakly cementedIn this case the material contains the original apperance of the bedrock material, but lacks the strength.Possible – Cr Horizon – SaproliteRock controlled fabric. Unlike massive a preferred orientation of the minerals can be seen. The material may easily break into the individual mineral grains.Photo on the Right – Thank you Dr. Lindo - NCSU
22 E Horizons Compacted Horizons and Bx HorizonsBx horizonsAngular blocky structure. The faces are sharp and they fit together well.
23 Soil Structure Type Size Grade Grade refers to how well expressed or how stable the structure is. There are 4 groups of structure grade.
24 Section of Size Criteria Depends on Soil Structure SizeVery Fine (Very Thin)Fine (Thin)MediumCoarse (Thick)Very Coarse (Very Thick)Size is broken into 5 groups.Section of Size Criteria Depends onthe Structural Units.
25 Soil Structure Size (Granular and Blocky) Image Source: NRCS, Ver. 2.0, 2002Size is broken into 5 groups.
26 Soil Structure Size (Platy and Prismatic) Image Source: NRCS, Ver. 2.0, 2002Size is broken into 5 groups.
27 Soil Structure Grade Structureless = 0 Single Grain (non-coherent) Massive (coherent)Massive - Rock Controlled FabricWeak = 1Moderate = 2Strong = 3All structureless soil have a grade of 0. The others range from 1 to 3.
28 Description of Structure Three class of grade (Excluding Structureless (0) ):Weak (1)– the units are barely observable in place and when gently disturbed, the soil parts into a mixture of whole and broken units.Moderate (2) – The units are well formed and evident in undisturbed soil. When disturbed, the soil material parts into a mixture of whole with some broken units.Strong (3) – The units are distinct in undisturbed soil. They separate cleanly when the soil is disturbed and when removed the soil separates into whole units.
29 Describing Soil Structure Grade – how well the structure is expressed in place.Size – relative size of the structure.Type – shape of the structure.Soil structure is describing using 3 components: type, size, and grade.
30 Soil Structure Presented by: Mr. Brian Oram, PG, PASEO Wilkes University GeoEnvironmental Sciences and Environmental Engineering Department Wilkes - Barre, PASoils and Hydrogeological Work Jack Frost
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