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Name: Penelope
Status: Student
Grade: 6-8
Location: CA
Country: United States
Date: January 2008

Does soil pH affect soil color?


Soil color is primarily affected by soil type and composition, not so much pH. For instance, organic-rich soils (dark brown or almost black, which can be moderate pH) tend to be darker than organic-poor soils (light brown, lower pH), which in turn tend to be darker than high mineral content soil (such as sand, higher pH).

It can certainly be true that soil color may be correlated with pH at times, but only because certain soil types tend to have a particular pH.

David R. Cook
Climate Research Section
Environmental Science Division
Argonne National Laboratory

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