STUDY GUIDE FOR TEST 1
See syllabus for readings. Additional information from lecture and
lab will be added to this list as we go on. This information will be
provided in a timely manner. At minimum plan to be able to address:
Be able to define soil (in several ways).
What is the range of diameters of sand, silt, and clay? Of very
coarse sand, coarse sand, medium sand, fine sand, very fine sand?
Which particle sizes can be seen with the naked eye? What other field
techniques/tests are used to identify the presence of those particles too
small to see? Which particles are most mobile in the soil? Why?
What is the soils plasma? The soil skeleton? What is the
"fine earth fraction"?
What are the four components of a soil? Where do they come
from? What is their composition? What processes do each control
or partially control?
Be able to define ped, pedon, solum.
Identify the common cementing agents in soils that produce peds.
What are the master horizons? What are the key processes/physical
characteristics associated with each? What morphological indications
are used to define these horizons in the field?
Be able to navigate through tables in SSS Chapter 3 regarding soil
morphological characteristics discussed in the field and lecture (refer to
the cheat sheets you prepared for the field).
What are the descriptive components of soil competence? What are the
terms and field tests used to quantify competence?
What is the definition of few, common, many as far as roots, nodules, or
other additions is concerned? Of weak, strong, moderate structural
grade? Of the soil boundary terms abrupt, clear, gradual, diffuse,
smooth, wavy, irregular, broken?
Be able to sketch the five basic ped shapes. Know the size limits
that go with very fine, fine, medium, coarse, and very coarse. Given
a grade, size, and shape be able to draw a ped to scale.
Given a blank soil textural triangle, be able to completely fill it
out. Given a pair of texture classes, be able to identify the
relative amount of sand, silt, and clay (greater than/less than).
Be able to accurately hand-texture soil samples provided using techniques
developed in the field.
Given an appropriate Munsell page, be able to accurately estimate soil
color in a hand sample. What is the difference between hue, chroma,
There are numerous observations that must be made in the field and included
in your field notes. What are they and why are the important?
I'll think of more so keep checking