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Garden with Insight Kurtz-Fernhout Software
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Garden with Insight v1.0 Help: Browser pictures side with soil - materials

When a soil patch or soil type is selected in the browser, the pictures side of the browser is showing, and the display mode of materials is selected, the browser displays a soil profile (a simulated vertical section of the soil patch through the soil layers) showing a breakdown of the proportions of different materials in the soil by the fraction of the total soil volume.

The browser pictures side showing soil materials for a soil patch

The total volume of soil is taken up by two general classes of material: soil solids and pore spaces. Soil solids are further made up of mineral matter (sand, silt, clay, and rocks) and organic matter. Pore spaces can be filled with air, water, or both. Think of the soil like a sponge, with soil solids leaving spaces between. When the soil is wet, much of the space between the particles is taken up by water.

The constituents of soil volume

The browser soil profile with soil materials shows you a breakdown of these soil materials by soil volume. The categories read from left to right: rocks, organic matter, sand, silt, clay, water, and air. If you watch this soil profile while the simulation is running you can see how the water percolates through the soil. (Try updating the drawing every day by choosing Daily redraw from the Run menu on the garden window to get a closer look at the water movement.)

To show or hide the distinctions between soil layers, click the layers gif/00000152.gif button. To show the values as continuous lines, click the line graph gif/00000150.gif button; to show the values as bars for each layer, click the bar graph gif/00000151.gif button. To rescale the values to use the entire display, click the rescale gif/00000153.gif button.

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Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.