What are the characteristics of clay soil?
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Metamorphosis by fire/temperature – When subjected to enough heat, clay becomes hard and permanent–like rock. It metamorphoses from a plastic, malleable material into a material that resembles stone or rock. It lasts for thousands of years, is water impervious, has a different crystalline structure, and other different physical properties than when it was not fired.
the ability to form and retain the shape by an outside force, has a unique “crystal” structure of the molecules, plate like, flat, 2 dimensional, water affects it. (in contrast feldspar as a 3-dimensional molecule) With added water, the clay becomes a material that is sticky and easily retains a shape from an outside force. This is what is called plasticity. Some clays can be very, plastic. Plastic (small articled) clays shrink much more than non-plastic (large particle) clays.
Clay soils feel very sticky and rolls like plasticine when wet. They can hold more total water than most other soil types and, although only about half of this is available to plants, crops seldom suffer from drought.