Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Settle Down: Turbidity and Water Quality

4.? Characterizing Soil Types

There are many different types of soils, each with their own characteristics. These include:

  • Sand
  • Sandy loam
  • Loam
  • Silt loam
  • Clay loam

Use a simple squeeze test protocol to determine which types of soil you find in your area. You can use the turbidity test to compare the sedimentation qualities of each soil type you find.

To characterize soil type, squeeze the soil into a ball. First squeeze the soil when it is dry; then add a small amount of water to make the soil moist (not soaked) and squeeze it again. Use the following Soil Analysis Chart to gauge what kind of soil is found at in your neighborhood or in your schoolyard.