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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Historical Highlights in American Soil Physics, 1776–19761


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 41 No. 2, p. 221-229
    Received: Nov 4, 1976
    Accepted: Feb 5, 1977

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  1. Walter H. Gardner2



Although there was some practice of soil physics in the first century of the nation's existence, soil physics as an identifiable discipline had its beginning in this country at the start of its second hundred years, with the most rapid growth coming in the early part of the 20th century. Particle size distribution and soil structure have been major themes in the development of the science, but these have been gradually replaced by water. Increasing attention has been given to the effect of physical properties on plant growth. Development and acceptance of theoretical concepts regarding water flow and retention in soils were enhanced by the development of instruments of measurement in the 1920's and 1930's. Modern needs appear to be for development of more comprehensive mathematical models of plant growth which may be used to help identify areas of needed research in soil physics.

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