Survival of the mankind is intricately linked to healthy soil - a ﬁnite non-renewable resource. On the one hand per capita availability of this resource is decreasing because of increasing population, on the other large areas are being degraded. It is not only impacting production and productivity but also has serious environmental implications. While physical, chemical and biological properties together determine the quality of soils, testing soils for their physical properties has become an integral part of the assessment of soil degradation and design management strategies to maintain or improve soil quality. In fact, success of any research or management program in Natural Resource Management rests on testing soil physical properties. Soil physics, a branch of soil science that studies soil physical properties and processes, applies the basic principles of physics, physical chemistry, engineering, and meteorology to resolve practical problems in agriculture, ecology, and engineering. 'S0il Physical Properties: Standard Methods of Laboratory and Field Investigations‘ and a State-of-the-Art compendium on measurement methods of soil physical properties. It is a companion publication of a previous publication of the authors titled ‘Standard Methods for Analysis of Soil Plant and Water’.
The motivation to prepare this book has come from the fact that a number of manuals are available to address the need of soil chemical analysis but only a handful talk about soil physical properties that too only in a sketchy manner. The compendium is divided into l5 Well deﬁned chapters, each chapter dealing with few interrelated properties. The procedures described in this manual reﬂect the current knowledge on soil physical tests. In most cases, more than one method of determination is included enabling the technicians and researchers to make a knowledgeable decision while choosing a particular method. A new feature of the manual includes guidelines values of various soil properties. It should help the analysts and readers to be able to interpret the results and make sound recommendations. The manual has been compiled keeping in view the need primarily of agricultural, engineering and environmental sciences laboratories. The author earnestly hope that the information contained in this book will be helpful to the technical staff of the soil testing laboratories in doing their day-to-day analytical work. Teachers, researchers, research students, ﬁeld scientists and practicing engineers especially in the agriculture, engineering and environmental science streams will ﬁnd this as a handy reference and text book for practical classes.
Table of Contents
Soil Sampling Techniques
Soil Proﬁle and Soil Colour
Soil Densities and Related Properties
Soil Texture and Structure
Soil Moisture Constants
Soil Moisture Measurement
Drainable Pore Space
Aeration or Excess Water Stress