4 Types of Soil


Soil

Soil is a loose grainy surface material that covering the surface of most land of the earth. It consists mixture of organic matters, inorganic matters, weathered rocks, minerals, liquids and gases. Soil provides the structural support to living organisms, live plants and is also support their source of water and nutrients.

Generally Soil consists 5% organic matter, 50% empty voids or spaces and 45% minerals. Soil is formed by weathering of rocks likes Mechanical Weathering, Chemical Weathering or Biological Weathering.


Soil Mechanics

Soil mechanics is the branch of civil engineering which deals with study of physical properties of soil, behavior of soil, utilization of soils, mechanical properties of soil, hydraulic properties of soil, performance of structures on soil, stability of soil, influence of soil etc.

To understand soil mechanics, you should have complete knowledge of physics and applied mechanics. Soil mechanics is used for design of foundation, deciding types of foundation for buildings or bridges, Design of retaining wall, dams, canals and tunnels.


Four Types of Soil

There are 4 types of soil like clay soil, silt, sandy soil and loam soil. Clay soil and silt soil is a fine grain cohesive soil while sandy soil is a coarse grain cohesionless soil and loam soil is a mixture of clay soil, silt and sandy soil.

All Four types of soil are described in detail below.

1. Clay Soil

Clay soil is a fine-grained natural types of soil which consists more than 30 percent fine clay particles and it has a high plasticity characteristics and it is very sticky. It shows high swelling and shrinkage characteristics during wet and dry conditions. Size of clay particles are smaller than 0.002 mm in diameter.

Uses of Clay Soil

  • It is used for the growth of plants, because it consists high nutrients and minerals.
  • When water is mixed with clay soil, it can be molded into different shapes and structures, so it is used in ceramics industries.
  • Clay is also used to make bricks for construction.
  • Also used for creating Sculptures.
  • Clay minerals are used in the industry of medical and medicine.
  • Clay is also used for landscaping, because it does not allow water or air to pass through it easily.

2. Silt

Silt is made up of mineral particles that are smaller than sand particles and larger than clay particles. It is a smooth and fine quality of soil which has medium plasticity characteristics and holds water better than sandy soils. The size of Silt particles are between 0.002 to 0.075 mm in diameter.

Uses of Silt Soil

  • Silt is used for growing crops, because it is more fertile than other types of soil.
  • It is used for production of glass-ceramics and green concrete.
  • Silt soil is often used for boost crops yield and cultivating crops such as fruits, grains, vegetables and forage plants.

3. Sandy Soil

Sandy soil is a coarse grained cohesionless types of soil which particles size is greater than clay soil and silt. Sandy soil is formed due to weathering action of rocks like quartz, limestone and granite. The size of Sand particles are between 0.075 mm to 2 mm in diameter.

Uses of Sandy Soil

  • Sand is mostly used for construction for making mortars and concrete.
  • It is very good for the drainage system.
  • Sand containing silica which is used for making glass.
  • It works like an abrasive, so it is used to filter water.
  • Sand is also used for aesthetic purposed.

4. Loam Soil

Loam soil is a mixture of clay soil, silt and sandy soil. It consists 40% sand minerals, 40% silt minerals and 20% clay minerals. This proportion is not fix, it can vary. According to proportion of minerals, loam soil is divided into different types like clay loam, silty loam, silty clay loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam etc.

Uses of Loam Soil

  • Loam soil is a types of soil which is very good for growing crops, trees, grass, flowers, because it contains high nutrients and minerals.
  • It is also used in construction in villages.
  • It is mostly used for gardening and agricultural uses.

FAQs :

What is Soil ?

Soil is a loose grainy material that covering the surface of the earth. It consists mixture of organic matters, weathered rocks, minerals, inorganic matters, liquids and gases. Soil is formed by weathering of rocks likes Chemical Weathering, Mechanical Weathering or Biological Weathering.

What is Soil Mechanics ?

Soil mechanics is the branch of civil engineering which deals with study of physical properties of soil, mechanical properties of soil, behavior of soil, utilization of soils, performance of structures on soil, stability of soil, hydraulic properties of soil, influence of soil etc.

What are the 4 types of soil?

There are four types of soil like clay soil, silt, sandy soil and loam soil. Sandy soil is a coarse grain cohesionless soil while clay soil and silt soil is a fine grain cohesive soil and loam soil is a mixture of clay soil, silt and sandy soil.

What is Clay Soil ?

Clay soil is a fine-grained natural types of soil which consists more than 30 percent fine clay particles. It shows high swelling and shrinkage characteristics during wet and dry conditions. It has a high plasticity characteristics and it is very sticky. Size of clay particles are smaller than 0.002 mm in diameter.

What is Silt ?

Silt is made up of mineral particles that are smaller than sand particles and larger than clay particles. The size of Silt particles are between 0.002 to 0.075 mm in diameter. It is a smooth and fine quality of soil which has medium plasticity characteristics and holds water better than sandy soils.

What is Sandy Soil ?

Sandy soil is a coarse grained cohesionless types of soil which particles size is greater than clay soil and silt. The size of Sand particles are between 0.075 mm to 2 mm in diameter. Sandy soil is formed due to weathering action of rocks like quartz, limestone and granite.

What is Loam Soil ?

Loam soil is a mixture of clay soil, silt and sandy soil. According to proportion of minerals, loam soil is divided into different types like clay loam, silty loam, silty clay loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam etc. Generally It consists 40% silt minerals, 40% sand minerals and 20% clay minerals.


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