DESCRIPTION OF COURSES
AP 503/ SSAC 503 FUNDAMENTALS OF SOIL PHYSICS (3L+1P) I
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.
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.
Physical characterization of soil; Soil as a polyphase system; Mass-volume relationships
Particle size distribution; soil texture; mechanical analysis; specific surface; clay-a colloidal surface; hydration of clays.
Soil structure and aggregation: genesis, classification and evaluation; soil structural stability and indices; soil tilth; soil conditioners.
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;
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;
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.
Entry of water into soil and its redistribution; permeability; evaporation from bare soil; modification of soil surface affecting infiltration and evaporation; field water balance;
Gaseous phase in soil, content and composition; renewal of soil air and gaseous diffusion measurement of soil aeration; factors affecting soil aeration.
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.
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