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How Soil Is Soil?

explanatory Essay
1418 words
1418 words
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What is soil? “Soil is a complex mixture of eroded rock, mineral nutrients, decaying organic matter, water, air, and billions of living organisms, most of them microscopic decomposers.” (Miller and Spoolman, 211). As stated, soil is made when a mixture of items such as eroded rock and mineral nutrients come together. Soil is used in a plethora of ways. Soil is where many of the nutrients plants need to grow comes from, soil purifies water, and even absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to be stored as carbon compounds (Miller and Spoolman, 211). Scientists study soil to develop a better understanding how this crucial factor in human’s survival functions and how to make sure humans don’t waste this precious resource (Miller and Spoolman, 211).
The very first step taken by the group was to collect a soil sample. Group member Diwani volunteered and got soil from his backyard. Diwani made sure to record data about his backyard like the slope, amount and type of vegetation, moisture level, temperature, and current land use. This step was taken because it was necessary if we wanted to complete any of the other tests.
The second step we took was to weigh the soil in both a wet state and a dry state. The group did this because we wanted to learn whether or not the soil would lose weight once it had been dried. The process was very simple, we measured several cups of wet soil until we were around the target weight we hoped to achieve (300 grams). After we were finished weighing the soil, we left it to dry in a windowsill for a day. Once we returned, we weighed the soil again.
After weighing the soil, we went directly to the determining soil texture by feel test. This test was arguably the easiest of the tests. The group simply held t...

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...how clay holds water. But we were unable to complete this test due to time constraints.
What did we learn throughout this lab? We learned that soil plays an integral role in not only agriculture (Miller and Spoolman, 211) but also our whole lives (Miller and Spoolman, 211). We learned how different environmental factors like moisture, slope, and location can impact how a soil forms or deforms. This information is incredibly useful for several reasons. As mentioned earlier in this report, studying soil is important because of how important soil is to humans. Scientists need a strong understanding how soil works and functions to make sure we don’t lose it. “There are no technological substitutes for fertile and uncontaminated topsoil.” (Miller and Spoolman, 211). Because of this, we need to make sure we don’t waste this precious and vitally important natural resource.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that soil is a complex mixture of eroded rock, mineral nutrients, decaying organic matter, water, air, and billions of living organisms, most of them microscopic decomposers.
  • Explains diwani's first step was to collect soil samples from his backyard. he recorded data about the slope, amount and type of vegetation, moisture level, temperature, and current land use.
  • Explains that the group weighed the soil in both a wet and dry state to learn whether or not it would lose weight once it had been dried.
  • Explains that the determining soil texture by feel test was arguably the easiest of the tests. the group held the soil sample in their hands and followed a flowchart with questions.
  • Explains how the group determined soil consistence based on different environmental factors. the group took a dry soil sample between their forefinger and thumb, and squeezed down.
  • Describes how the group moved on from soil consistence to soil structure. one group member took a piece of dry soil between their thumb and forefinger and rubbed.
  • Explains how the group created a 1:1 solution using distilled water to 5g of soil, stirred it thoroughly, and used special kits to test phosphorus and nitrogen.
  • Explains that diwani's backyard had a flat slope, moss and grass, was very moist and cold, and was currently being used as residential backyard.
  • Explains that the soil texture by feel test revealed that our soil was clay. the flowchart we followed was very cut and dry.
  • Explains that the soil consistence test revealed three points: dry, friable, sticky, and sticky. the soil structure test concluded that when a dry sample was crushed, it broke apart into sturdy, angular clumps.
  • Explains that soil chemical tests established three calculations. the ph of the soil was 5 meaning that it was slightly acidic.
  • Explains that the group noticed a 79.8 gram difference in the soil when it changed from wet to dry state. this is due to the water present in soil evaporating in sunlight.
  • Explains that diwani's backyard likely has a large clay concentration, but this doesn't necessarily impact his family. the consistence of the soil was not surprising.
  • Explains that the chemical test for ph was surprising. they had expected the ph to be relatively basic but instead, it was 5. this means the soil is slightly acidic.
  • Explains that soil plays an integral role in agriculture and our lives, and that scientists need a strong understanding of how soil works and functions to ensure we don't waste it.
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