Yuan Lin Rose Hills
Exploring Methods for Reducing Uncertainty in Determining the Bulk Density of Soils
Human-induced climate change is a modern environmental challenge that poses serious threats to both natural ecosystems and human society as it exists today. As a result, scientists have examined carbon sequestration in soils as a climate mitigation strategy that could lower greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. This approach involves quantifying rates of carbon removed from the atmosphere by plants, and rates of plant carbon transferred and stored in soil. A key parameter used to determine soil carbon sequestration potential is soil bulk density, defined as the mass of a given soil sample divided by the volume of that sample. However, current methods used by soil scientists to calculate bulk density are often very inaccurate. My research project aims to build on the existing methodologies for bulk density calculation by finding ways to improve the equivalent soil mass method through a combination of field work and lab testing, as well as simple mathematical modeling.