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NC State Soil Science: SSC–012: Principles of Soil Science

SSC 012 Practice Exam 1

Question #1: An ideal soil contains a mineral fraction, organic matter, water and

A). rocks
B). colluvium
C). air

Question #2: The soil horizon of maximum biological activity is

A). A
B). B
C). C


Question #3: An example of physical weathering is

A). Minerals dissolved by water
B). Oxidation
C). Frost wedging

Question #4: A well-developed O horizon is more likely to be found in

A). A forest
B). A corn field near Raleigh
C). Neither of the above

Question #5: By definition a soil must

A.). Contain living matter
B). Contain rocks
C). Both of the above


Question #6: An example of a primary mineral is

A). Granite
B). Feldspar
C). Clay

Question #7: The horizon of maximum clay accumulation or illuviation is the

A). A
B). B
C). C
D). D

Question #8: The C horizon is also called

A). Solum
B). Topsoil
C). Zone of loss
D). Parent material

Question #9: Pedology refers to

A). Study of soils as natural bodies in the landscape
B). Using soils to grow plants
C). Adaptation of plants to different soil types

Question #10: A solid homogenous crystalline chemical element or compound is a

A). Mineral
B). Rock
C). Regolith

Question #11: Minerals that crystallize from cooling magma are

A). Primary minerals
B). Secondary minerals
C). Rocks

Question #12: A two-dimensional vertical section of a soil showing its horizons is a

A). Profile
B). Pedon
C). Polypedon

Question #13: An example of a secondary mineral is

A). Granite
B). Quartz
C). Clay

Question #14: The most common soil parent material in the Piedmont and Mountains of North Carolina is

A). Unconsolidated sediment
B). Residual rock
C). Organic deposits

Question #15: Which of the following is an igneous rock?

A). Gneiss
B). Feldspar
C). Granite

Question #16: Which type of weathering process is dominant in areas with temperate climates and adequate rainfall?

A). Chemical
B). Physical

Question #17: The soil parent material not found in North Carolina is

A). Glacial outwash
B). Marine sediments
C). Sedimentary rocks

Question #18: Alluvium is

A). Deposited on flood plains of rivers
B). Wind blown sand
C). Wind deposited silt
D). Material accumulated at the bottom of steep hills

Question #19: Colluvium is

A). Deposited on flood plains
B). Wind blown sand
C). Moved by gravity and accumulates at the foot of a slope

Question #20: A greater supply of plant nutrients would be expected in soils formed from

A). Light colored igneous rocks
B). Dark colored igneous rocks

Question #21: Loess is deposited by wind. Its dominant particle size is

A). Sand
B). Silt
C). Clay

Question #22: Organic parent material generally accumulates under

A). Saturated conditions
B). Well drained conditions
C). Tropical climates

Question #23: The material responsible for red and yellow color in soils is

A). Quartz
B). Mica
C). Oxidized iron

Question #24: The five soil forming factors _____________to determine soil characteristics.

A). Interact
B). Act independently

Question #25: The percentage of organic matter in the A horizons of well drained soils is greater in

A). Warm climates
B). Cool climates

Question #26: As snow melts, north facing slopes remain covered longer than south facing slopes. This illustrates the effects of

A). Soil color
B). Depth to the water table
C). Slope aspect

Question #27: Which vegetation type is more likely to develop thick A horizons with greater amounts of organic matter.

A). Grasslands
B). Forests

Question #28: Which process of horizon differentiation is illustrated by illuviation?

A). Translocation
B). Transformation

Question #29: Which process of horizon differentiation is illustrated by formation of clay minerals from primary minerals?

A). Translocation
B). Transformation

Question #30: Sand grains consist primarily of

A). Quartz
B). Iron oxides
C). Gneiss

Question #31: Rocks formed from pre-existing rocks by heat and pressure are

A). Igneous
B). Metamorphic
C). Sedimentary

Question #32: A deposit formed where a river flows into a larger body of water is

A). Colluvium
B). Eolian
C). A delta

Question #33: Decomposition of plant residue by soil microorganisms may

A). Improve soil texture
B). Improve soil structure
C). Both of the above

Question #34: Soil texture could be changed in a flower bed by

A). Adding sand, silt or clay
B). Adding peat
C). Either of the above

Question #35: The surface area of the particles in a given volume is greater for

A). Sand
B). Silt
C). Clay

Question #36: Which textural class has the capacity to hold the greatest amount of water and nutrients?

A). Sandy loam
B). Clay

Question #37: In a soil profile with A, E and B horizons the least amount of clay will be in the ____________ horizon.

A). A
B). B
C). E

Question #38: The natural aggregation of soil separates into peds is called

A). Soil textural class
B). Soil separates
C). Soil structure

Question #39: The structural type most common in the B horizon of N.C. soils is

A). Platy
B). Blocky
C). Prism like

Question #40: Soil permeability refers to

A). Stickiness and plasticity of soil
B). Total pore space
C). Movement of air and water through soil

Question #41: Soil consistence refers to

A). The degree of plasticity and stickiness of a soil
B). Movement of air and water through soil
C). The occurrence of similar soil profiles in similar landscape positions

Question #42: Incorporating crop residues into the soil

A). Improves soil structure
B). Improves soil texture
C). Improves both of the above

Question #43: Soil permeability is affected by

A). Soil texture
B). Soil structure
C). Soil texture and structure

Question #44: Soil bulk density relates the oven dry weight of solids to total volume of soil. How is bulk density calculated?

A).

	Weight of oven dry soil
-----------------------
Volume

B).
		Volume
-----------------------
Weight of oven dry soil

C).
	Weight of oven dry soil  X  Volume

Question #45: If 100 cm3 of soil has an oven dry weight of 135 grams, what is its bulk density?

A). 13,500 g/cm3
B). 0.75 cm3/g
C). 1.35 g/cm3

Question #46: Soil bulk density is greatest for

A). Sand
B). Clay
C). Peat

Question #47: Soil compaction results in an_______________________in soil bulk density.

A). Increase
B). Decrease

Question #48: A soil with a large total amount of pore space is always permeable.

A). True
B). False

Question #49: Soil color is used as an indicator of

A). Soil texture
B). Structure
C). Consistence
D). Drainage

Question #50: Sandy loam is an example of

A). Soil texture
B). Soil structure
C). Soil textural class

Question #51: Which kind of soil parent material is not found in North Carolina?

A). Transported
B). Residual
C). Glacial outwash

Question #52: The smallest volume that represents the range of characteristics of a soil in the landscape is

A). Ped
B). Pedon
C). Order

Question #53: An example of a soil separate is

A). Sandy
B). Sand
C). Loam

Question #54: Soils named for locations, such as Cecil and Norfolk, are examples of

A). Soil series
B). Soil orders
C). Soil suborders

Question #55: The soil order most common to the southeastern U.S. is

A). Spodosol
B). Mollisol
C). Ultisol

Question #56: If a soil is classified as a typic fluvaquent, what is the soil order

A). Ultisol
B). Entisol
C). Aridisol

Question #57: The volume used to calculate soil bulk density includes

A). The solid material and the pore space
B). Density of the solid particles only
C). Only the pore space

Question #58: Particle density is the

A). Solid material and the pore space
B). Density of the solid particles only
C). Total pore space

Question #59: If a 100 cm3 soil sample is saturated (all the pore space is filled with water) contains 40 grams of water, what is the percent pore space?

A). 60%
B). 40%
C). 30%

Question #60: Gray colors throughout the B horizon of a soil profile are an indication of

A). Well drained soil
B). Very poorly drained soil
C). Soil color doesn't mean anything


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