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...
... middle of paper ...
...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.