The relation between the vapour pressure and water content of soils

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Puri, A. N., Crowther, E. M. and Keen, B. A. 1925. The relation between the vapour pressure and water content of soils. The Journal of Agricultural Science. 15 (1), pp. 68-88.

AuthorsPuri, A. N., Crowther, E. M. and Keen, B. A.

Much of the modern work on the physical properties of soil has been interpreted on a colloidal basis and more recently this hypothesis has been extended by the thermodynamical studies of Wilsdon and also by the investigations of two of us on an indirect measurement of the vapour pressure of capillary systems. There is evidence that the colloidal portion of the soil can be regarded as possessing a reticulate structure, possibly analogous to that shown by Zsigmondy to exist in silica gels. The pore space in soils is therefore an assemblage of voids and irregular capillaries ranging from ultramicroscopic dimensions in the colloidal portions to the macroscopic interstices between adjacent compound particles and the larger mineral fragments. Whereas in studies of evaporation and movement of water the total intersticial space is operative, the vapour pressure of soils at different moisture contents is very largely controlled by the minute pores associated with the colloidal portion and the larger voids have comparatively little influence. Vapour pressure measurements therefore afford a promising line of attack on the physical relations between the colloidal soil material and water, especially when the measurements are made on soils subjected to a variety of preliminary treatments, known to have a considerable effect on other physical properties. The effect of successive wetting and drying, heating and addition of salts are of especial interest in this connection.

Year of Publication1925
JournalThe Journal of Agricultural Science
Journal citation15 (1), pp. 68-88
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
PublisherCambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press (CUP)

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