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Soil - Water Characteristics - Lesson Summary

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Soil-Water Characteristics Curve
When relative humidity is maintained, the water content of soils change. However, relative humidity is not the only controlling factor for the water retention of a soil mass. The water content of soil also depends on the capillary mechanism and height of the soil mass. Soil-water potential can be defined as the amount of work done per unit mass in bringing some mass, m, from a reference point to another point in question. Soil-water potential is synonymous with total suction. Total suction = Matric suction + Osmotic suction. The matric suction consists of the capillary mechanism and electro Osmotic mechanism. Osmotic suction is due to the presence of salt in pure water. The suction corresponding to the point where air enters into the largest pore of a soil system is called the air entry suction. The soil-water characteristic curve depends on whether the soil is on a wetting or drying path.