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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Development and Calibration of an Irregular Hole Bulk Density Sampler1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 48 No. 2, p. 374-378
    Received: May 9, 1983
    Accepted: Oct 2, 1983

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  1. Alan L. Flint and
  2. Stuart Childs2



Existing methods for measuring soil density and rock fragment content are often imprecise or difficult to use on steep slopes and in skeletal soils. A portable device was developed for measuring these physical properties using an irregular hole technique. The method employs a direct volume measurement using lightweight 3- to 6-mm diameter epoxy spheres. A sample volume of 1.5 × 10−2 m3 can be measured and rock fragments up to 85 mm in diameter can be sampled. The combination of direct volume measurement and surface calibration before measurement allows determination of sample volume to 1% accuracy. Measurements made with the new device compare well with sand cone and core sample measurements under conditions considered favorable for all methods. The device is particularly useful on steep slopes and where rock fragment contents greater than 15% limit the standard methods.

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