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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 29 No. 6, p. 641-645
    Received: Mar 22, 1965



The Influence of Soil Moisture, Soil Texture, Drying Conditions, and Exchangeable Cations on Soil Strength1

  1. C. J. Gerard2



Empirical relationships expressing soil strength for different combinations of silt-clay and sand mixtures as functions of soil moisture, drying conditions, and exchangeable Na+ content of the silt-clay fraction were determined. Soil strength data indicate that moisture content, drying conditions, texture, and kind and level of exchangeable cations of the soil and interactions of these factors play significant roles on soil strength and the soil strength-moisture relationships. Strength of briquets increases (i) with decreasing soil moisture, reaching a maximum when moisture content was reduced to 2 to 3 monomolecular layers of water; (ii) with increasing silt and clay and exchangeable Na+ content; and (iii) by slow drying. The cohesive actions of water molecules during slow drying, similar to the dispersing action of Na+, increase close-packing of soil particles and, therefore, soil strength. Fast drying produces briquets of lower strength due to disruptive action of rapidly escaping water molecules on the arrangement of soil particles.

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