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AP 503/ SSAC 503 FUNDAMENTALS OF SOIL PHYSICS                                                                                 (3L+1P) I

Objective
  To impart knowledge (both theoretical and practical) about the mechanism governing the behaviour of soil and its role in the biosphere for its proper management.

Theory

UNIT I
  Basic principles of physics applied to soils viz. viscosity, surface tension, capillarity, stress-strain relations, gaseous diffusion, heat transport, thermodynamic principles; Properties of water in relation to porous media.

UNIT II
  Physical characterization of soil; Soil as a polyphase system; Mass-volume relationships

UNIT III
  Particle size distribution; soil texture; mechanical analysis; specific surface; clay-a colloidal surface; hydration of clays.

UNIT IV
  Soil structure and aggregation: genesis, classification and evaluation; soil structural stability and indices; soil tilth; soil conditioners.

UNIT V
  Geometry of pore space and pore size distribution; inter- and intra-aggregate pores; Soil consistency and its limits; consistency and deformation of cohesive soils; compaction and crusting in soils; soil strength and its measurement;

UNIT VI
  Geometry of  water phase; energy state of  soil water; water content and potential and their measurement; different components of soil water potential; Soil water characteristic, hysteresis and available water;

UNIT VII
  Flow of water in soil; Darcy’s law, hydraulic conductivity and water diffusivity; saturated and unsaturated flow and equations; Methods for saturated and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity measurement-both in situ and in laboratory; Capillary movement of water, contact angle.

UNIT VIII
  Entry of water into soil and its redistribution; permeability; evaporation from bare soil; modification of soil surface affecting infiltration and evaporation; field water balance;

UNIT IX
  Gaseous phase in soil, content and composition; renewal of  soil air and gaseous diffusion measurement of soil aeration; factors affecting soil aeration.

UNIT X
  Energy balance in bare soil; soil heat flux, heat capacity, specific heat and thermal diffusivity; soil temperature and its measurement, factors affecting; thermal regime in soil profile.

Practicals
  Particle size analysis of soil, Determination of bulk density, particle density and mass-volume relationships of soil, Soil aggregate analysis, Measurement of soil moisture content and soil moisture potential, Determination of soil-moisture characteristic curve, Determination of saturated and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of soil, Determination of Atterberg constants, Measurement of soil strength, Determination of infiltration characteristics of soil, Soil temperature measurement

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