AP Environmental Science : Types of Soil

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Environmental Science

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Types Of Soil

What are the three main types of soil?

Possible Answers:

Clay, humus and loam

Silt, clay and humus

Loam, silt and sand

Sand, silt and clay

Silt, loam and parent material

Correct answer:

Sand, silt and clay

Explanation:

Silt, clay and sand are the three main types of soil. Loam is actually a soil mixture with a high clay content, and humus is organic matter present in soil (particularly in the top organic "O" layer), but neither are a main type of soil.

Example Question #1 : Types Of Soil

List these types of soil by their particle size from largest to smallest.

Possible Answers:

Silt, sand, clay

Clay, sand and silt

Sand, clay and silt

Clay, silt, sand

Sand, silt, clay

Correct answer:

Sand, silt, clay

Explanation:

Sand is defined as having a diameter ranging from 0.05 mm to 2 mm, silt as having a diameter ranging from 0.05 mm to 0.002 mm, and clay as having a diameter smaller than 0.002 mm. Therefore, sand particles are the largest, followed by silt, and then clay being the smallest particles in the spectrum.

Example Question #2 : Types Of Soil

__________ soil is considered ideal for food production, usually nutrient-rich, and holds both air and water well.

Possible Answers:

Loamy

Sandy

Alkaline

Clay-rich

Silty

Correct answer:

Loamy

Explanation:

Loamy soil is a mixture between sand, silt, and clay. It is rich in organic matter, and the properties of sand and clay combined allow it to hold air and water well.

Example Question #4 : Types Of Soil

Soil horizons 01

List the soil horizons in order.

Possible Answers:

Unweathered sediment, organic material, plough zone, zone of accumulation, weathered sediment

Organic material, plough zone, weathered sediment, zone of accumulation, unweathered sediment

Organic material, zone of accumulation, plough zone, weathered sediment, unweathered sediment

Plough zone, zone of accumulation, weathered sediment, unweathered sediment, organic material

Organic material, plough zone, zone of accumulation, weathered sediment, unweathered sediment

Correct answer:

Organic material, plough zone, zone of accumulation, weathered sediment, unweathered sediment

Explanation:

Soil horizons labeled with brief descriptions:

Soil horizons answers 01

Example Question #2 : Types Of Soil

Brett has been collecting soil samples from various city parks for his chemistry class. The chemistry class will measure the amount of nutrients, such as potassium and nitrogen, in each soil sample. The park with the best quality soil will be the location of a community garden. By measuring the soil nutrients, what soil property is Brett trying to quantify?

Possible Answers:

Soil porosity

Soil compressibility

Soil strength

Soil fertility

Soil infilitration

Correct answer:

Soil fertility

Explanation:

The correct response is soil fertility. The amount of nutrients in the soil is a measurement of soil fertility. Soils with high nutrient content (especially with respect to nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium) are considered fertile soils. Soils with low nutrient content are considered infertile soils. Soil porosity refers to the amount of air space between soil particles. Soil infiltration refers to its infiltration (absorption of water) capacity. Soil compressibility, as the name suggests, is the ability for a soil to be compressed. Soil strength involves the capacity of a soil to withstand sheer stress forces, which is influenced by many parameters including those mentioned above.

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