SWE 202: Soil Physics

Course IDCourse NameInstructorRoom NumberTime
SWE 202Soil PhysicsDr. Shakil Uddin AhmedDepartment of Soil, Water and Environment2:30-4:50 P.M. (Sunday), 9:00-9:50 A.M. (Monday), 12:00-12:50 P.M. (Tuesday), 10:00-10:50 A.M. (Thursday)

Soil Physics in Perspective: Definition of Soil Physics, History of Soil Physics; Soil Physical properties.

Phases of Soil: Soil – a three-phase disperse system:
      Descripton of the three phases; Mass and volume relations of soil constituents.

The solid phase:
      Texture – Definition, Primary particles; specific surface of soil particles; particle size analysis and expression of resuits, Stokes’ law, Determination of Textural class of a soil.
      Structure – Definition, Classification, Genesis, and agricultural significance of soil structure.
      Soil Consistence – Atterberg’s constants and their practical significance.
      Soil Compaction – Occurrence of soil compaction in agricultural fields, Consequences of soil compaction, Control of soil compaction.

The Liquid phase:
      Molecular properties of water– Structure. H-bonding, States of water.
      Fluid properties of water– Surface tension, Capillarity, Viscosity, Density, Derivation of capillary rise equation.
      Soil water content– Definitions and measurement.
      Energy state of water in soil– Soil water potential -definition, components, measurement.
      Water retention in soil– Water release curve, hysteresis.
      Water movement in soil– Saturated flow, Poiseuille’s equation, Darcy’s law, Water flux through a uniform homogeneous soil profile, Flux through a layered soil profile, Hydraulic conductivity, Determination of saturated hydraulic conductivity in the laboratory.

The Gaseous Phase: Composition of soil air and atmospheric air, Aeration, Mechanisms of soil gas exchange.

Soil Temperature: Introduction, Heat capacity, Thermal conductivity, Thermal diffusivity, Factors affecting soil temperature.

Soil Colour: Causes and significance of soil color, Munsell’s Colour Chart.

Suggested Readings:
Environmental Soil Physics – Daniel Hillel
Soil Physics Agricultural and Environmental Applications – H. Dan Scott
Soil Physics – Helmut Kahnke.
Soil Physics – L.D. Baver, B. H. Gardner and W.R. Gardner
Methods of Soil Analysis, Part I – C.A. Black and others

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