5 Difference Between Soil Texture And Soil Structure

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What Is Soil Texture?

Soil texture refers to the proportion of sand, slit and clay sized particles that make up the mineral fraction of the soil. The primary particles of sand, silt and clay make up the inorganic solid phase of the soil. These particles often become aggregate together with each other and other parts of the soil, most importantly soil organic matter.

In general, the size of soil particles and their spacing determine how much water can flow through the soil. The larger the spacing or pore size, the greater the infiltration rate. Thus, sandy soils will have high infiltration rates because pore sizes are larger and there are no finer materials to block the pores.

The texture of the soil often changes with depth. Soil can be classified according to the way the texture changes with depth. The three profile types include:

  • Uniform – Same texture throughout the soil profile.
  • Texture Contrast-Abrupt texture change between the topsoil and subsoil.
  • Gradational- Texture gradually increases down the soil profile.

What You Need To Know About Soil Texture

  • Soil texture can be determined using qualitative methods such as texture by feel and quantitative methods such as hydrometer method.
  • Soil texture and its clay content influence the amount of air in the soil and its water-holding capacity.
  • Soil texture is classified based on the percentage of sand, silt and clay in the soil.
  • Soil texture has agricultural applications such as determining crop suitability and to predict the response of the soil to environmental and management conditions such as drought or calcium requirement.
  • Soil texture is influenced by the relative percentages of sand, silt and clay in the soil.

What Is Soil Structure?

Soil structure describes the arrangement of the solid parts of the soil and of the pore space located between them. It is determined by how individual soil granules clump, bind together and aggregate, resulting in the arrangement of soil pores between them. Aggregation of soil particles can occur in different patterns, resulting in different soil structures.

Classes of soil structure

  • Very fine or very thin
  • Fine or thin
  • Medium
  • Coarse or thick
  • Very coarse or very thick

Types of soil structures

  • Granular and crumb structures
  • Blocky and subangular blocky structures
  • Prismatic and columnar structures
  • Platy structure

What You Need To Know About Soil Structure

  • Soil structure is determined by how individual soil granules clump, bind together and aggregate resulting in the arrangement of soil pores between them.
  • Soil structure has a major influence on water and air movement, biological activity, root growth and seedling emergency.
  • Soil structure can be classified into the following types: Platy, Prismatic, Columnar, Blocky, Granular, Wedge and Lenticular.
  • Soil structure has agricultural, biological and geological application such as determination of soil properties, solute transport processes, soil management etc.
  • Factors that influence soil structure include: Tillage, wheel traffic, roots biological activities in the soil, rainfall, wind erosion, shrinking, swelling, freezing and thawing.

Also Read: Difference Between Block And Granular Disintegration

Difference Between Soil Texture And Soil Structure In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON SOIL TEXTURE SOIL STRUCTURE  
Description Soil texture can be determined using qualitative methods such as texture by feel and quantitative methods such as hydrometer method.   Soil structure is determined by how individual soil granules clump, bind together and aggregate resulting in the arrangement of soil pores between them.  
Influence Soil texture and its clay content influence the amount of air in the soil and its water-holding capacity.   Soil structure has a major influence on water and air movement, biological activity, root growth and seedling emergency.  
Classification Soil texture is classified based on the percentage of sand, silt and clay in the soil.   Soil structure can be classified into the following types: Platy, Prismatic, Columnar, Blocky, Granular, Wedge and Lenticular.  
Application Soil texture has agricultural applications such as determining crop suitability and to predict the response of the soil to environmental and management conditions such as drought or calcium requirement.   Soil structure has agricultural, biological and geological application such as determination of soil properties, solute transport processes, soil management etc.  
Factors With Influence Soil structure is influenced by the relative percentages of sand, silt and clay in the soil.   Factors that influence soil structure include: Tillage, wheel traffic, roots biological activities in the soil, rainfall, wind erosion, shrinking, swelling, freezing and thawing.