The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening Science - Soils, Manure and the Environment
Chapter: Chapter 1: Earths and Soils

Testing the specific gravity of a soil

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1196. The specific gravity of a soil, or the relation of its weight to that of water, may be ascertained by introducing into a phial, which will contain a known quantity of water, equal volumes of water and of soil, and this may be easily done by pouring in water till it is half full, and then adding the soil till the fluid rises to the mouth; the difference between the weight of the soil and that of the water will give the result. Thus, if the bottle contains four hundred grains of water, and gains two hundred grains when half filled with water and half with soil, the specific gravity of the soil will be 2, that is, it will be twice as heavy as water; and if it gained one hundred and sixty-five grains, its specific gravity would be 1825, the water being 1000.