SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Soil triangle diagram. This diagram is used to work out the type of soil in an area. A sample of soil is left to settle in water. Larger particles settle out of suspension faster than smaller ones. Soil particles are placed in three categories depending on their size: sand (largest), silt and clay (smallest). Once the layers have settled, the depth of the layer is used to work out its percentage as a component of the soil. The three percentages are then read off the axes of the triangle: clay horizontally, silt towards bottom left and sand towards top left. Loams are the best soils for cultivation.
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