4 main types of soil structure

Soil structure is a measure of the arrangement of these soil particles and the spaces between them. Soil structure is somewhat dependent on soil texture.
There are two main types of structureless or non-structured soil:

  • Single grain – like sands, and
  • Massive – like compacted clays.

There are four main types of soil structure:

  • Crumb structure – which has small rounded aggregates of soil particles loosely adjoining other aggregates. This soil is therefore porous and permeable, yet retains moisture. It is the most ideal soil structure.

  • Prismatic structure – which forms aggregates in columns with flat tops and separated by deep cracks. Aggregates usually form larger units called clods. Permeability is variable – better around the deep cracks and poorer inside columns.
  • Blocky structure – aggregates are blocky and soil is moderately permeable.
  • Platey structure – flat horizontal laminated aggregates like alluvial floodplain soil. Drainage and permeability are poor.

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