Testing the physical properties of soil, such as texture and structure, plays a critical role in determining the character and make-up of the soil for effective land-use decisions.

The physical characteristics of soil affect the amount of water, air, and nutrients available for plants to grow. They also influence the chemical and biological properties of soil; hence, knowing soils composition is important to determine their suitability for agricultural, environmental, and engineering uses.

Soil texture and soil structure 

Two of the most important properties of soil are texture and structure. Soil texture is the relative proportion of sand, silt, and clay, and it affects the soil’s ability to hold onto water and nutrients (cation exchange capacity or CEC). Soil structure refers to the aggregation of sand, silt, and clay into blocks of soil in various sizes and shapes, which has a significant influence on pore space in soil, and how easily water, air, and roots can move through the soil. 

Testing soil texture and structure, and other physical properties of soil is especially important for agricultural purposes to determine crop suitability and to predict the response of the soil to environmental and management conditions such as fertilizer and other soil ameliorant requirements. 

Testing physical properties of soil

Element’s soil testing laboratories provide comprehensive testing services to help you determine the physical characteristics of your soil. Our experts are adept at applying a variety of testing methods, such as particle size distribution (PDS), to provide you with accurate and reliable results that are right the first time. 

We test soils for their texture, structure, and many other physical characteristics, including soil color, consistence, particle density, bulk density, pore space, Atterberg limits, and soil permeability. 

The Element advantage

Element’s diverse range of soil testing services extends to inorganics and organics testing in soil, microbiology and toxicity, soil preparation and sampling. These capabilities, coupled with our vast industry knowledge, make us the ideal testing partner for all of your environmental testing projects.  

For more information about the physical properties of soil, or to speak with one of our experts, contact us today. 

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