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Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 4, Physical Methods


As the primary source of food and fiber and major interface with the environment, soil is the reservoir on which most life on earth depends. Soil science has provided us with a basic understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological properties and processes essential to ecosystem integrity and function. This knowledge has promoted our understanding of the importance of soils in enhancing human and ecosystem health through production of sufficient food and controlling the transport of soil and potentially toxic substances in the environment. Never before have we had such a technologically advanced set of tools for addressing the needs of humanity and the earth.

The editors and 125 contributors to Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 4. Physical Methods have done an excellent job in expanding the scope and comprehensive nature of the original Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 1. Physical and Mineralogical Methods. Consultation with 19 resource experts in development of the book has ensured a high level of quality and inclusion of state-of-the-art methods. Newer methods have been added and the scope of the book expanded to keep pace with a broader evolving group of hydrologists, geologists, environmental scientists, soil chemists, and microbiologists interested in transport of pesticides, chemicals, and microorganisms and use of remote sensing procedures to assess large-scale geochemical processes. The first chapter in the book deals with soil sampling and innovative statistical procedures, highlighting the fact that this book includes more emphasis on handling data once it has been collected and inclusion of the implications of different methods. This work will undoubtedly join the ranks of the previously internationally successful soil methods monographs and become a standard item on the bookshelves of most soil and earth scientists.

This work moves us another step forward in our journey to “Sustain Earth and Its People” by providing a basic foundation upon which we can translate our science into practice.

Soil Science Society of America


  • Dane, J.H., and Topp, G.C., eds., 2002, Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 4, Physical Methods: Madison, WI, Soil Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America Book Series Number 5, ISBN 0-89118-810-X, 1692 p.

Published here with permission from the Soil Science Society of America

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