Lesson 1/Learning Event 1
Learning Event 1
EVALUATE RELATIVE STRENGTH OF SOILS BASED
ON PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
Soil is a heterogeneous (non-uniform) accumulation of non-adhesive grains that are separated by voids
of varying sizes. These voids may contain air, water, or organic matter. Different soil types contain
different mixes of these components.
THE MAJOR COMPONENTS
A unit volume of soil is made up of three major components: air, water, and solids produced by
disintegrated and decomposed rocks. Separating a mass of soil into its components sexes as the basis for
weight-volume relationships (Figure 1) which you will use in later lessons.
FIGURE 1. MAJOR SOIL COMPONENTS
Of the three components, the solids will contribute most to the strength of the soil. Therefore, the more
solids per unit volume, the higher the density of the material will be. The higher the density, the greater