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

SSC 012 Practice Exam 2

Question #1: Which of the soil materials listed below is likely to have the smallest bulk density?

A). sand
B). silt loam
C). peat

Question #2: If large amounts of sand are incorporated into a flower bed the bulk density would

A). increase
B). decrease
C). not change

Question #3: Compaction of a soil due to golf cart traffic would cause the bulk density to

A). increase
B). decrease
C). not change

Question #4: Compaction of a soil causes the water holding capacity to

A). increase
B). decrease
C). not change

Question #5: The total pore space in a soil is equal to

A.). the percent solids
B). the particle density of the sand
C). the percent water by volume when a soil is saturated


Question #6: An increase in soil water content causes soil strength to

A). increse
B). decrease
C). not change

Question #7: The cohesive and adhesive properties of water are due to the

A). slight polarity of the individual molecules
B). capillary forces
C). gravity

Question #8: As soil moisture increases the soil air

A). increases
B). decreases
C). stays the same

Question #9: Water has a high specific heat, which means

A). a relatively small amount of heat is required to change its temperature
B). a relatively large amount of heat is required to change its temperature
C). no specific amount of heat is required to change temperature

Question #10: he temperature of a wet soil increases more slowly than a dry soil in the spring because of

A). the high specific heat of water
B). the high conductivity of water
C). wetness does not influence warming of soil in the spring

Question #11: Which soil separate has the greatest total water holding capacity?

A). sand
B). clay
C). silt

Question #12: Gravitational water in soil move through the

A). micropores
B). macropores

Question #13: Water held against the force of gravity in micropores is

A). heavy water
B). gravitational water
C). capillary water

Question #14: Water tightly held in thin films around soil particles is

A). hygroscopic water
B). gravitational water
C). capillary water

Question #15: Capillary rise of water is due to the forces of

A). cohesion
B). adhesion
C). cohesion and adhesion

Question #16: Which type of water includes that which is available to plants

A). hygroscopic water
B). gravitational water
C). capillary water
D). all of the above

Question #17: Capillary water in the soil is that which is found in the

A). macropores
B). micropores
C). root channels

Question #18: Water holding capacity of a soil is affected by

A). texture
B). organic matter
C). both of the above

Question #19: The osmotic potential of soil water is affected by

A). salt content
B). barometric pressure
C). clay content

Question #20: When soil is saturated the dominant force affecting water movement is

A). chemical bonding
B). capillary tension
C). gravity

Question #21: The water held between - 1/3 and - 15 bar is called

A). gravitational water
B). plant available water
C). wilting point

Question #22: Transpiration ratio indicates

A). the amount of water transpired by a crop divided by 10
B). the amount of water required to produce 1 pound of dry weight of plant material
C). the amount of water in a bushel of corn

Question #23: A layer of sand in a silt loam soil

A). restricts saturated flow
B). has no effect on water movement
C). restricts unsaturated flow downward

Question #24: In order for water to move from the silt loam through the sand layer the moisture content of the silt loam must be

A). air dry
B). near saturation
C). at the wilting point

Question #25: A clay layer in the silt loam would restrict water movement because

A). capillary forces are greater in the silt loam
B). small pores in the clay transmit water slowly
C). larger pores in the clay restrict movement

Question #26: At field capacity , a root channel would be filled with

A). water
B). air

Question #27: Gravitational water is not considered available to plants because

A). it moves out of the root zone quickly in well drained soils
B). no oxygen is available for root respiration while the soil is saturated
C). both of the above

Question #28: Horizontal and upward movement of water in soil is nearly as great as downward movement when the soil is

A). saturated
B). unsaturated

Question #29: More hygroscopic water would be present in

A). sand
B). silt
C). clay

Question #30: One indicator of wetland soils is

A). silt loam textural class
B). gray colors within one foot of the surface
C). red colors in the B horizon

Question #31: The criteria required to define for jurisdictional wetlands are hydrology, hydric soils and

A). water standing on the surface
B). clay subsoils
C). wetland vegetation
D). all of the above

Question #32: Wetland soils usually have

A). greater amounts of organic matter than well drained soils
B). less organic matter than well drained soils

Question #33: When saturated conditions occur in a soil above an impermeable soil layer such as clay, it is referred to as

A). a perched water table
B). the capillary fringe
C). the aquic zone

Question #34: The plant nutrients which are of concern when they are present in excess amounts in lakes, rivers and estuaries are

A). nitrogen
B). phosphorus
C). both N and P

Question #35: Nonpoint source pollution may come from

A). sewage outfalls
B). runoff and drainage from farms and urban areas

Question #36: A wet zone in soils above the water table resulting from capillary rise is called the

A). capillary fringe
B). perched water table
C). aquafina

Question #37: If a sandy loam soil and a clay soil are both at field capacity, the percent moisture will be

A). greater in the sandy loam
B). greater in the clay
C). the same in both soils

Question #38: Equal amounts of water applied to a sandy loam soil and a clay loam soil will percolate to a greater depth in

A). the sandy loam
B). the clay loam
C). there would be no difference

Question #39: The inner film of water around a soil particle is held by

A). cohesion
B). adhesion

Question #40: Hygroscopic water can be removed from soil by

A). drainage tile
B). air drying
C). oven drying


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