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Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology

Institute of Computing and Engineering

Soil Analysis BSCE IV-B

Leader: Owen Francis Maongat
Asst. Leader: Regine Pagas
Secretary: Giezyl Lumapas
Documenter: Edrose Mae Caina
Laboratory Personnel: Ariel Sialongo
Reporter: Mary Eunice Garcia
Liason: Argie Alterado

1.) When samples come in from the field arrange them:

i) according to date;

ii) within the dates organize by location and site number.

2.) Get a tray and a plastic bag (wipe down the bag with a moist towel) for the sample. Open

the bag and pour the sample onto the tray ON the plastic bag. Place the tag near the edge of

the bag so that you know which sample is which. Spread the sample over the bag in order for

the sample to dry evenly. Make sure to break down big clumps of soil so that they dry properly.

IF you have Electrical Conductivity tests requested for a sample take the soil out first, so that

you don’t have to add more H20. Just make sure to fill the E.C. container full of soil.

3.) Once the samples are dried take soil for the tests requested.

4.) After the soil is taken for the entire tests place the tag (WRITING FACING OUT) in a

sample container and fill the container with soil. The extra soil is thrown out. Write the sample

number on the container and its lid. Then put the samples in the sample drawer.

IF there were stones after they have been weighed and the percent stones calculated place

the stones in a little plastic bag and put it with the sample in the container.

5.) Most procedures require that samples be air-dried. This entails spreading the soil on trays

of plastic sheeting, mixing and rolling to break up clods. The sample is gently crushed and
sieved until only coarse fragments (>2 mm) remain. These coarse fragments are weighed and

recorded as “% stones”. Some procedures require samples to be oven-dried and ground to

pass a .42 mm (40 mesh) sieve.

The procedures mentioned above are common in the preparation of mineral soil samples. In

the case of organic samples, a portion of the soil in the undisturbed state must be stored in a

freezer for fiber analysis. When the soil is to be analyzed for minor elements, nylon or stainless

steel sieves should be used.

I. Documentation

I. Principle

The calculation of the result of soil analysis is done on basis “Oven dry soil”. The
moisture content of the sample should be determined shortly before analysis.

Main Principle

The moisture content of a soil is assumed to be the amount of water within the pore
space between the soil grains which is removable by “oven-drying” at a temperature not
exceeding 110̊ C. The moisture content has a profound effect on soil behavior.

The oven-drying method is regarded as standard laboratory practice.

II. Apparatus

Moisture Tin Cans Drying Oven

or Flasks with fitting lid

III. Procedure

Step 1: Clean and dry the container, then weigh it to the nearest 0.1 g. (m1)

Step 2: A representative sample shall be crumbled and loosely placed in the container.

 For fine-grained soils the sample shall be min. 30 g.

 For medium-grained soils the sample shall be min. 300 g.
 For coarse-grained soils the sample weight shall be min. 3 kg.

Step 3: The container with sample shall immediately be weighed (m2) and placed in the
oven to dry at 105̊ C for minimum 12 hours.

Step 4: After drying, weigh the container and the contents (m3).
IV. Documentation

Mass of wet soil and container:

S.s #1 S.s #2 S.s #3

Dry soil sample + container

V. Calculation


Container No. 1 2 3
Mass of wet soil +
container (m2)

Mass of dry soil +

container (m1)
Mass of moisture

Mass of dry soil


Mass of container

The moisture content in wt(%) is obtained by:

𝑚 2 − 𝑚3
𝒎𝒐𝒊𝒔𝒕 (𝒘𝒕 %) = × 100
𝑚3 − 𝑚1

𝑚𝒐𝒊𝒔𝒕 (𝒘𝒕 %) = × 100

Moisture Content=_________


M1= is the mass of the container (in g.)

M2= is the mass of the container and wet soil (in g).

M3= is the mass of the container and dry soil (in g).

3-1. Principle

A fluid of known density will drive into dry vacuumed sample, and the difference
between saturated and dry sample can give us the pore volume.

3-2. Apparatuses

 Graduated Cylinder
 Beaker
 Water

3-3. Procedure

 Clean and dry the rock.

 Weigh the rock in its dry state to give the dry weight, Wdry.
 Fully saturate the rock in a wetting fluid.
 Weigh the saturated sample after drying any excess fluid from its surface to give its
saturated weight, Wsat.
 Determine the density rfluid of the saturating fluid by weighing a known volume of it.

3-4. Documentation
3-5. Calculation

If the total volume of the sample saturated with water displacement is determined, the
value of the porosity can be calculated. For the measurement the drawback that the
saturation time consuming.




The amount of water held in soil is an important component of biological and ecological
processes, and is used in applications such as farming, erosion prevention, flood control, and drought

Soils typically contain a finite amount of water, which can be expressed as the soil moisture
content. Moisture exists in soil within the pore spaces between soil aggregates, called inter-aggregate
pore space, and within pores in the soil aggregates themselves, called intra-aggregate pore space. If
the pore space is occupied entirely by air, the soil is completely dry. If all of the pores are filled with
water, the soil is saturated.

The measurement of the amount of water held within the soil, or the soil moisture content, is
essential to the understanding of soil characteristics and the types of plants and microorganisms that
reside in it.


The porosity of a rock is the fraction of the volume of space between the solid particles of the
rock to the total rock volume. The space includes all pores, cracks, vugs, inter- and intra-
crystalline spaces. The porosity is conventionally given the symbol f, and is expressed either as a
fraction varying between 0 and 1, or a percentage varying between 0% and 100%. Sometimes
porosity is expressed in ‘porosity units’, which are the same as percent (i.e., 100 porosity units
(pu) = 100%). However, the fractional form is ALWAYS used in calculations

It should be noted that the porosity does not give any information concerning pore sizes, their
distribution, and their degree of connectivity. Thus, rocks of the same porosity can have widely
different physical properties.


 Laboratories of Dr. Ian Pepper and Dr. Charles Gerba - Arizona University
Demonstrating Author: Bradley Schmitz

 Dr. Paul Glover, “Petrophysics MSc Course Notes: Porosity”.PDF