Not your typical soil probe

Posted on September 18th, 2013 by

No, these students are not

No, these students are not at a funeral. They’re studying a soil pit and learning how topography affects soil formation.

What happens when you ask a local farmer if you can take a soil sample from his field? He says he has something better than a soil probe: he has an excavator and he’ll dig you a 6-foot trench. So students in GEG-105 Physical Geography: Earth System Science this week were treated to a view of a soil profile at this field site. The soil here is a “muck”–a very deep organic soil that developed in a lake environment (bits of shells from former lake organisms were readily apparent in the soil profile). The top several inches of soil were moist from the rain we’ve received in the last week, while the next several feet of soil were dry. Despite the drought this summer, moisture was abundant about four feet down.


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