The soil is one of the main components of the Earth and of utmost importance for all the activities carried out by human beings. We could then say that the soil is a type of open system in which exchanges of matter and energy can take place . It is one of the main factors that are used to grow food and there are several types of them, one is clay soil .
What is clay soil?
Clay soil is a type of soil in which large amounts of clay are found together with another group of important minerals as opposed to larger ones such as silt and sand .
- Clay soil characteristics
- Components (edit)
- Where is it located
- What is it for
- How to improve a clay soil
- How to build a house on clay soil
- Clay soil in agriculture
- How it differs from silty soil
Clay soil is a type of earth in which a texture can be found in which particles that measure less than 0.002 millimeters are found in greater quantity, which are known as clays . They are soils that have a great capacity to store water which, without proper care, could result in drowning of the roots and waterlogging .
Clay soil characteristics
Among its main characteristics the following can be mentioned:
- They have little capacity to drain the water properly.
- They get puddled very easily.
- They are soils that have a very active surface and this gives them a greater capacity to exchange materials and nutrients.
- They give the soil a low permeability and for that reason they are able to retain water better.
- They have little aeration and are also susceptible to erosion .
- They have high levels of expansion and contraction .
- It takes them a long time to warm up .
In order to know for sure if a soil is clayey, it is necessary to look carefully at its texture . In the case of clay, they must have a proportion of clay particles between 25% and 45% of the total particles that are present. It is important to understand that depending on the amount of clay in the soil, the texture and structure will be defined .
It is common to find scaly phyllosilicates such as muscovite, biotite, chlorite, vermiculite and montmorillonite as part of the clay soil components . They are also composed of some quartz oxides such as calcite, gypsum and halite. As they are produced by volcanic ash , they also have cristobalite and some amorphous materials in their composition . The iron and a lesser degree the aluminum are within its components.
Where is it located
The geographical distribution of this type of soils is actually very variable and they are practically found throughout the planet Earth. It is common to find them in settling landscapes , in other words, in places where there are large plains in which the overflowing of rivers tends to occur.
What is it for
The clay soil is used for the manufacture of bricks, clay structures such as vases and small statues. It can be used in the field of agriculture but it will need a lot of care so that it works properly and does not damage crops.
How to improve a clay soil
One of the best ways to improve a clay soil is by adding lime , which causes this type of soil to break down, however, there are better measures that can make it more fertile. Adding adequate amounts of compost is undoubtedly the best option since it makes the soil have a greater and better porosity.
The humus is also a product that will help greatly to improve the level of fertility of the soil and good proportions of organic material. Another aspect that can be taken into account is to add adequate proportions of sand to avoid retaining excess water and at the same time increase its permeability .
How to build a house on clay soil
Clay soil needs a series of important procedures before carrying out any type of construction on it so that in this way they can support the weight that a home produces. For this, an adequate foundation is necessary through the use of bases and structures that are wide to prevent the construction from sinking.
It is important for this process remove about the first 50 centimeters located shallower shape and then be placed holes measuring between 10 centimeters in diameter and 2.50 cm deep, with a suitable including that at distance generally is 1.50 meters. Later, these holes must be filled using air lime . This is known as the infiltration process and then the holes will be filled with lime and sand .
Clay soil in agriculture
In the field of agriculture, clay soil can be used if a series of recommendations are followed that allow it to improve its acidity level and its water drainage capacity . One of the best crops that can be cultivated in clay soil is rice , sugar cane , sorghum and cotton are also added to the list . There are some types of crops, such as pineapple, that are very tolerant of acidity, so they adapt well to this type of soil.
Some trees such as apple , walnut and hazelnut can also be grown locally as well as flowering plants that have the ability to tolerate the large amounts of water that can accumulate in their roots well.
How it differs from silty soil
Their main difference is in terms of compaction since silty soils tend to be less compact than those that fall into the clayey category, in addition, they are very fertile and have high concentrations of silt , have a dark color and can filter water with very easily which makes them highly fertile soils. Clay soils tend not to remove water easily causing root problems , they are made up of different types of particles and it is a finer soil .
Its main importance lies in the fact that this type of soil is very fertile , which makes it suitable for agriculture thanks to its ability to retain moisture , as long as the rules are followed to improve its quality. This type of material is also used in pottery activities thanks to its characteristics that make it sticky when wet and very hard when completely dry, which makes it moldable and easy to handle.