Newer methods added, scope expanded in new Methods of Soil Analysis Book

December 27, 2002

MADISON, WI, DECEMBER 27, 2002 - Following in the tradition of A. Klute's classic Methods of Soil Analysis Part 1--Physical and Mineralogical Methods, this new Methods of Soil Analysis Part 4--Physical Methods book joins the well-loved series that should be on every lab bookshelf. Due to the rapid and numerous changes in measurement methods, the Soil Science Society of America has published this volume containing soil physical measurements.

The editors and 125 contributors to Methods 4 have expanded the scope and comprehensive nature of the original Methods 1. More methods and newer technologies have been added to keep pace with an 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 book includes very thorough discussions of the principles behind the methods, explores more issues related to handling the data generated, and provides more commentary and evaluation of current methods "Never before have we had such a technologically advanced set of tools for addressing the needs of humanity and the earth. 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," says John W. Doran, past president, SSSA, in the foreword.

The largest book ever produced by SSSA, Methods 4 comprises nearly 1,700 pages of detailed descriptions of techniques for carrying out nearly all physical measurements on soils and soil water. The 26-page comprehensive table of contents can be used to locate specific soil characteristics and methods. The approach in Methods 4 differs substantially from Methods 1 with the new book using a more hierarchical approach. It is divided into eight chapters, with each chapter covering a major aspect of soil physical properties.

"I recommend this book as a comprehensive and up-to-date reference on all aspects of soil physics technology." - Cliff Hignett, Soil Water Solutions, Australia

Methods 4 jumps straight into complicated topics like geostatistics, starting with basic soil variability measurement and progressing to analysis of soils data using fractals, time series, wavlets, and fuzzy sets. Chapters on solid phase measurement techniques start with taking a soil core, covers topics such as atterberg limits, linear extensibility and particle size and progresses to soil mechanics detail of penetrometer measurements. The chapter on soil solution phase covers all the water measurement methods from oven drying, through neutron meters and tensiometers, to EM and NMR techniques. There are similarly comprehensive sections on water flow, solute transport (single and multiple, miscible and imiscible), air permeability, thermal capacity and conductivity, and soil erosion.

"This is what I have been searching for on selective methods for bulk density testing." - Patrick McGuire, undergraduate student, College of Renewable and Natural Resources, University of Arizona

Each section of the book begins with the basics and progresses to advanced techniques, and many chapters feature an "emerging technologies" section. Many sections fill the role of a comprehensive field or laboratory manual on the use of a technique. Other chapters concentrate on providing a comprehensive theoretical treatment. All sections provide a comprehensive bibliography and the book features a 30-page keyword index.

Methods of Soil Analysis: Part 4-Physical Methods
Number 5 in the SSSA Book Series
Hardcover: $80/member $100/non-member
Item number: 40328

To order, visit and click on the Shopping Cart icon, call 608-273-8090 ext. 309, or e-mail
The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) are educational organizations helping members advance the discipline and practice of agronomy, crop and soil sciences by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.

American Society of Agronomy

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