Plant & Soil Sciences eLibraryPRO
control panel control panel

Soils - Part 2: Physical Properties of Soil and Soil Water

Rate Me


Porosity or pore space refers to the volume of soil voids that can be filled by water and/or air. It is inversely related to bulk density. Porosity is calculated as a percentage of the soil volume:

                                                              Bulk density            x 100 = % solid space
                                                            Particle density

                                                         100%  –  % Solid Space  =  Percent Pore Space

Loose, porous soils have lower bulk densities and greater porosities than tightly packed soils. Porosity varies depending on particle size and aggregation. It is greater in clayey and organic soils than in sandy soils. A large number of small particles in a volume of soil produces a large number of soil pores. Fewer large particles can occupy the same volume of soil so there are fewer pores and less porosity.

Compaction decreases porosity as bulk density increases. If compaction increases bulk density from 1.3 to 1.5 g/cm3, porosity decreases from 50 percent to 43 percent. Aggregation also decreases porosity because more large pores are present as compared to single clay and silt particles that are associated with smaller pores.

Pores of all sizes and shapes combine to make up the total porosity of a soil. Porosity, however, does not tell us anything about the size of pores.


Be the first to write a comment...

Control Panel cancel

Create activities for your moodle courses. Moodle Go to moodle
Select and group e-Library Lessons to create your own package... My Communities
Community Blogs Community Media

My Joined Communities

My Blogs - a journal of my thoughts... My Blogs
My Comments - my thoughts expressed as a feedback... My Comments
Classes that I am taking Registered Classes
Class Blogs Class Media
Check the scores of assesments that you have taken Taken Assessments
Please confirm your selection.