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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?


	Weight of oven dry soil

Weight of oven dry soil

	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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