Soils Lab

YaQi Xiong and Tchnavia D. Merrick

After going through various capillary chamber designs, we finalized our structure and decided to use it to collect quantifiable data. The five types of sand that we are studying are silica-based coarse sand, silica-based fine sand, Atlantic crushed coral sand, white crab sand and colored crab sand. The first quantitative data we collected were conductivity versus height of soil profile. Conductivity was measured using Arduino-interfaced probe and height was measured using a paper scale inserted into a plastic straw. The conductivity reading was not consistent even after calibrating the probe in distilled water. The second quantitative data we collected were type of sand versus water-level rise. We noticed capillarity is not uniform in the three-dimensional cross section of the soil samples. We then took pictures at different angles to qualitatively compare the differences in capillary rise at different locations in the soil profile. The third measurement we performed was time versus capillary rise. The rate of capillary rise was very rapid, which made the data collection a bit challenging. In addition to the physical quantitative measurement, we improved our Arduino program by building in different tunes. This extension to our existing program can be used as an inspirational tool in the classroom.

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