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Bulk Density

Bulk density is defined as the dry weight of soil per unit volume of soil. Bulk density considers both the solids and the pore space. whereas, particle density considers only the mineral solids. Figure 2.6 illustrates the difference between bulk density and particle density. http://passel.unl.edu/pages/informationmodule.php?idinformationmodule=1130447039&topicorder=6 For our ideal soil, one-half of it is solids, and one-half is pore space. Using our example of a 1 cm3 volume, the ideal soil would have 0.5 cm3 of pore space and 0.5 cm3 of solids. Pore space filled with air weighs 0 g. Organic matter is a very small portion of the solids, so it is usually ignored in this calculation. The mineral solids would weigh 1.33 g when dry, and is determined by multiplying particle density by the volume of solids: 2.66 g/cm3 x 0.5 cm3 = 1.33 g The bulk density, then, is the dry weight of soil divided by the volume of soil: 1.33 g / 1 cm3 = 1.33 g/cm3

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