Soil Absorption Lab
  In this lab you will examine how much water various types of soil can hold before it becomes saturated.


1. Weigh your empty beaker.  Record its weight.

2. Fill a beaker with 75 to 100 mL soil.  Again weigh the beaker with the soil. Record the total weight.

3. Add water to it until the soil appears saturated.

4. Dump the soil from the beaker and let it drain for 2 full minutes.  Do not try to squeeze any water out of the soil; it must come out on its own.

5. Weigh the moist soil.  Record its weight.

6.  To find the weight of the soil, subtract the weight of the beaker from the total weight of the beaker and soil.

You are now ready to begin processing the data.

7.  Subtract the weight of the dry soil from the weight of the wet soil.  This will give you the mass of the water.

8.  Divide the mass of the water by the mass of the dry soil for each soil type.  This gives you the ratio of the water to soil.  The larger the ratio, the greater the amount of water the soil will hold.


Which of the soil types do you think will hold the most water?  What do you base this on?

Raw Data:

Soil Type         <beaker>             <beaker + soil>             <soil>
#1 (dry)


#2 (dry)


#3 (dry)


#4 (dry)


#5 (dry)


Processed Data:

Soil Type  Ratio of water to soil





Postlab conclusions:

Which type of soil retained the most amount of water for its mass?  Why do you think that is?

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