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DETERMINATION OF PH OF SOIL SAMPLES FROM VARIOUS

PARTS OF CHENNAI.
A PROJECT REPORT

Submitted by:
Sujeet kumar 12bec1050
DIVYA 12BEC1077

For Project Based Learning

In CHY 104 AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES


VIT UNIVERSITY CHENNAI

November, 2012

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ABSTRACT
The study of different types of soil samples to determine the
type of plants that can be grown in them and also where they
can be found. In order to determine this we have used the
basis of pH of the soil by conducting experiments to find out
the pH of different types soil samples(around 10) collected by
us from different parts of Chennai including botanical gardens,
Tnagar, Tambaram, Central ,along with soils from different parts
of our campus.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. List of
Figures..................................................................................
....5
2. List of
Tables...................................................................................
....5
3. Introduction..........................................................................
..............6
4. Experiment...........................................................................
...............7
Aim
Apparatus required
Procedure
Results
Inference
Conclusion
5. References...........................................................................
...............11
6. Photograph of the
project..................................................................11
7.

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LIST OF FIGURES:
a) Photograph of the experiment
b) pH scale used for the comparison of colour

LIST OF TABLES:
a) Table of pH values of the samples on which the
experiment has been conducted.

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INTRODUCTION:
Soil properties largely determine the tree species that will grow
on a site. Among the many soil properties, soil pH is one of the
most important. Soil pH provides a good indication of the
chemical status of the soil and can be used in part to determine
potential plant growth.
SOIL pH:
Soil pH, by definition, is a measure of the activity of hydrogen
ions in the soil solution.
Neutral soils- pH 7(6.5-7.5)
Acidic soils-pH <=6.5
Basic soils-pH>=7.5
Most of the soils generally have a pH scale 3-9.
IMPORTANCE OF SOIL pH:
Soil pH influences nutrient uptake and tree growth. The
availability of many reactions in the soil, are largely controlled
by soil pH. Trees may or may not be able to use nutrients
because of these reactions.
Soils with a pH of 6.0-7.0 typically have high concentrations of
available nutrients. However, the vast majority of commercially
important tree species can live in a broad range of soil pH
values so long as the proper balance of essential nutrients is
available.
Extremes in soil pH (<4.5 and > 8.5) can make some nutrients
toxic and others unavailable to plants. At low pH levels (<4.5),
aluminum, iron, and manganese are very available for plant
uptake.
At high pH levels (>7.5), calcium and potassium are over
abundant. In these situations, many plants will take up too
much of these nutrients, while absorbing insufficient amounts
of the others.
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In order to study the soil property of the samples collected by


us we conducted an experiment to determine the pH of the
samples .The details of the experiment are as follows.
EXPERIMENT
AIM: To determine the pH of the soil samples.
APPARATUS REQUIRED:
Soil Samples, Indicator liquid, distilled water, Aluminium
sulphate , test tubes, test tube holders.
THEORY:
The pH scale measures the acidity or the alkalinity of a
substance. The pH scale
goes from pH1 to pH14. pH1 is the most acid, pH14 is the most
alkaline and pH 7 is neutral (neither acid nor alkaline).
pH1 pH1 pH1 pH1 pH1
pH1 pH2 pH3 pH4 pH5 pH6 pH7 pH8 pH9 0
1
2
3
4

Living things cannot tolerate a pH much above or below pH7


(neutral).

PROCEDURE:
1. Set up the apparatus as shown in the diagram below.

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(NOTE: The barium sulphate powder is neutral. It is included in


each tube to bind with the particles of soil so that they fall to
the bottom of the tube after it has been shaken. This allows you
to see the colour of the liquid more easily.)
2. Shake the test tube vigorously for a few seconds. (NOTE:
Place your thumb over the rubber bung to stop it falling out.
Shake until the soil sample completely mixes with the rest of
the contents of the test tube.)
3. Label your test tube and replace it in the test tube rack.
Leave it until the contents have settled.
4. Repeat the above steps with the three other soil samples.
5. The colours of the liquid in each of the four test tubes are to
be compared with the standards provided. And the records will
be recorded.
6. Also determine the acidic and alkaline nature of the
corresponding soil samples from their pH values.

RESULTS:
Place from which
soil sample is
obtained

Specifications of the Soil pH


place

1. Decorative
plats near
gazebo

2. Soil used to
grow grass

4
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3. Soil near
cricket ground

No plants grow

4. Plants growing
near volleyball
ground

Mainly wild grass


found

5. Mount Road
(Teynampet)

Near petrol pump

6. Saidapet

Near plants on
roadside

7. Jeeva park

No plants found

8. Guindy

Roadside

10

9. Royapettah
10.
Menamba
kkam

7
Nearby airport

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INFERENCE:
S.No.

1.

2.

3.

Place from which


soil sample is
obtained
Decorative plants
near gazebo

Specifications
of the place

Soil used to grow


grass in the
campus

Soil near cricket


ground

Soi Analysis of
l
samples
pH
Since the soil is
3
acidic, decorative
plants that
require very less
nutrients for their
growth. Growth
of other plants is
not favourable.
4

No plants
grow

The soil being


acidic has fewer
nutrients
favourable for
growth of plants
and trees and so
only grass is
found in this
region.

The soil is found


to be highly
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acidic and hence


none of the
plants grow in
this region.
4.

Plants growing
near volleyball
ground

Mainly wild
grass found

5.

Mount road
(Teynampet)

Near petrol
pump

Saidapet

Near plants on
8
roadside

6.

The soil in the


region is infertile
and dry, thus
only wild grass
grows.

The trees and the


plants in the area
have withered
leaves due to
high alkalinity in
the soil due to
petrochemicals
released. Its all
due to the lack of
supply of
minerals and
instruments used
for boring can
affect their roots
and the supply of
water is not
enough.
The plants on the
roadside are
mainly wild
plants and
shrubs that
require less
water and more
alkaline salts for
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their growth and


AIR POLLUTION in
the area also
affects their
leaves.
7.

8.

9.

10.

Jeeva park

Guindy

Royahpettah

Menambakkam

No plants
found

The area is all


covered with
highly acidic soil
preventing the
growth of any
plants.

roadside

10

Wild grass and


plants are found
in this region.

roadside

Trees such as
neem and
shisham tree are
found and a
variety of small
herbs and
shrubs.

Nearby airport 9

The soil is
favourable for
growth of trees
such as peepal

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CONCLUSION:
Collecting the soil samples and analysing them has taught us
the importance of various parameters (especially pH) in a soil
for the growth of plants and sufficient supply of nutrients for
their growth. Also we have observed the effect of topography
on a soil. For e.g. the soil sample collected at the roadside is
unfit for growth of most plants except for wild grass which is
quite expected as there is no need for plants to be grown in
that area.

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PHOTOGRAPH OF THE PROJECT:

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REFERENCES:
http://www.lsuagcenter.com/NR/rdonlyres/3E784F3F-0B26-44E9-958D3C31CB911EFD/69963/SoilpH.pdf
http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/components/17313-soilpH.pdf
http://www.wikipedia.com

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