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Determine the ratio of soil components

Soil volume and density

The volume and density of soil matters a great deal for both forestry and agriculture as well as soil and water management studies. Soil generally contains solid mass, humidity and air, and the ratio of all different components defines in large part if the soil is suitable for its intended use.

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Why the ratio of soil components matters

In general, soil consists of various substances:

• Solid mass: mineral- and organic parts
• Humidity: mainly water
• Air: a mixture of several gasses and vapors

If there's not enough water and air, growth is hampered. But if the ground is too porous, its strength is reduced which also makes it less suitable for agriculture. It's important, therefore, to know the ratio between the amount of solid mass, water and air in a given volume. This helps to determine how suitable the soil is for a certain purpose and can provide insight for possible soil improvement.

Kory Enneking

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