Summer on a Shoestring

How to dig a quantitative soil pit (in pictures)- by Cole Adams
July 20, 2010, 11:10 pm
Filed under: Soil Pits

How to Dig a Soil Pit

1)      Carry a couple hundred pounds of bulky equipment into the field.

2)      Find a place to put all the equipment which you just carried into the field.

3)      Take a ten minute power nap to recover.

4)      Measure out location and stake the pit. A pit can’t be placed within 40 cm of a tree with a diameter of greater than 10 cm. And three stakes must firmly hold the pit in place. If the location selected doesn’t meet these criteria, then another location must be chosen.

5)      Take a tree inventory of all trees with a diameter greater than 2 cm 3 meters away from the pit and 10 cm 6 meters away from the pit.

6)      Measure the depth to forest floor from top of frame.

7)      Place forest floor blocks and remove Oi and Oe layer from pit excluding forest floor blocks. Forest floor blocks are removed second, weighed and frozen. They will be used to determine a quantitaive root sample.

8)      Collect Oa layer using clippers so to be careful not to pull up the mineral layer.

9)      Measure the depth of the mineral layer from bottom of frame.

10)   Sieve  collected Oa soils to 6 mm

11)   Weigh samples

12)   Dig another 10 cm and sieve to 12 mm.

13)   Mix samples before collection.

14)   Take sub sample and root samples. The root sample is taken by scooping up the soil with salad tongs and cutting off the extra root samples.  The depth was measure again.

15)   Dig to 30 cm, seive, sub sample, and measure.

16)   Take two cores at 30 cm using a 4 cm pvc pipe.

17)   Dig to 50 cm and take two more cores.

18)   Finally take all the left over dirt that you just spent 7 and half hours removing from your pit and dump it back into the pit.

19) Preform the ritual soil pit dace and prepare to do it again tomorrow.


1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

Great pictures! Could we maybe have a movie clip of the Ritual Soil Pit Dance?

Comment by Ruth Yanai

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: