We step on soil all the time but not a lot of us know that there are types of soil density. You see, if you are into gardening and the like, you will surely be able to identify these types of soil density. However, if you are not that much of a gardener or a farmer, you might not be able to fathom how important these types of soil density are to be able to come up with the right plants that you can benefit from a lot.
We all know that density is equal to mass divided by volume. This is taught to us in science. But when it comes to the types of soil density, there are two main ways that this can be expressed. Of course, the same formula applies. But the value of these types of soil density will always be cm3 or cubic centimeters.
Particle density pertains to the types of soil density that shows importance to the weight of the solid portion of the soil. The normal value of these types of soil density is known to be 2.65 grams/cm3. However, if there are minerals and other substances present in the soil, of course this value changes. Some of the minerals that are known to be able to change the value of these particle types of soil density include limonite, magnetite and hematite. Just remember that the particle density value will decrease when the organic matter amounts that are present on the soil increases. Clay soil has a particle density of 2.837; Fine sand has a particle density of 2.659; and Silt soil has a density of 2.798.
The bulk types of soil density, on the other hand, pertain to the dry weight of the soil. Remember that this doesn’t just mean that the soil must be dry. The soil must be oven dried. This value also includes the pore spaces that are present in the soil. You see, it is a widely known fact that these types of soil density are always smaller compared to the above mentioned particle density. There will also be changes in the values when there are minerals present in the soil, of course. This only means that when the minerals become finer, the value of the soil bulk density will decrease as well. Clay soil is known to have a bulk density of 1.1; Loam soil is known to have a bulk density of 1.4; and Silt loam soil is known to have a bulk density of 1.3.
There are three factors that affect the bulk density values of the soil. Pore space is the most important of the three. Remember that when the pore space is of a higher value, the density will be lower. The texture of the soil will matter a lot as well. Remember that when the soil is finer the bulk density number will be higher. Lastly, organic matter present in the soil matters as well. When there are more of them on the soil, there will be a higher pore space value and a higher pore space value means lower bulk density values as well.