Biology Graphs: Soil Texture

Soil texture is determined by the amount of clay, silt, or sand that a sample of soil contains. An equal mixture of clay, silt, and sand produces a type of soil called loam, which is the best type of soil for growing crops.

On the left side is clay, increasing from bottom to top. On the right is silt, increasing from top to bottom. On the bottom of the graph, sand is increasing from left to right.

In order to read this graph, you have to reference all three sides of the triangle to determine the percentage of clay, silt, or sand that each type of mixture on the inside is composed of. For example, look at clay loam. Clay loam is made up of 30 to 40% clay, 35 to 70% sand, and 60 to 70% silt. In other words, following the lines that outline the clay loam shape to the edge of each side of the graph and estimate what percentage that would be for each type of soil.

General Questions
 Which soil texture has the largest area on the graph?
 1

 Between what percents of clay, sand, and silt can loam be found?
 2

 If a soil mixture contained 35% clay, 75% silt, and 80% sand, what would it be classified as?
 3

 Is sand composed of 100% sand, 0% silt, and 0% clay?
 4

C Roach

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