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Soil - Earth Weight and Composition

Typical weight and composition of soil.

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Approximate Weight

Type of SoilApproximate Weight
Loose earth 75 1200
Rammed earth 100 1600

Typical Composition

ElementApproximate Content (%)
Aluminum 6 - 10
Calcium 1 - 7
Iron 2 - 10
Magnesium 0.1 - 3
Oxygen 44 - 49
Potassium 1.5 - 3
Silicon 22 - 36
Sodium 2.4 - 2.5

Soil Classification

SoilSeeve Size (mm)
Silt 0.002 - 0.06
Sand 0.06 - 2.0
Gravel 2.0 - 60
Cobbles 60 - 200
Boulders 200 -

Soil Volume Relationships

Void Ratio

e = Vv / Vs         

   = n / (1 - n)             (1)


e = void ratio

Vv = Va + Vw = volume of water and air in soil (m3)

Va = volume of air in soil (m3)

Vw = volume of water  in soil (m3)

Vs = volume of solids in soil (m3)

n = porosity


n = Vv / V          

= e / (1 + e)            (2)


n = porosity

V = total volume of soil - inclusive water and air (m3)

Degree of Saturation

S = Vw / V                      (3)


S = degree of saturation

V = total volume of soil - inclusive water and air (m3)

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