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Name: Hanah Q.
Status: Student
Age: 14
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: March 16, 2004


Question:
Why does mud crack? Does it have to do with the soil? Ithink that how wet the soil is and how quickly it dries effects if it cracks into shapes.



Replies:
Hannah,

You have come to some good deductions.

As soil dries, it contracts, forming cracks. The type of soil is very important in how large the cracks are. Soil high in organics tends to shrink less than clay soil, for instance, and therefore cracks less.

The rate at which the soil dries may not have much to do with how it cracks.

David R. Cook
Atmospheric Research Section
Environmental Research Division
Argonne National Laboratory



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