3. Soil Water Content and Potential
In the prior chapter we considered the multi-scale patterns, structure, and texture associated with the soil solid phase. In this chapter we will turn our attention to the soil liquid phase, which we will simply refer to as soil water in most cases. It is important to keep in mind however, that the soil liquid phase is not simply water, but rather a complex solution containing organic and inorganic solutes, not to mention the micro-organisms and colloids often suspended in the solution. The soil water is in some ways analogous to a river transporting life-giving, and sometimes life-threatening, solutes, organisms, and colloids. But those are topics for another chapter. Here we will focus on the amount and the condition of soil water.