Soil Moisture Content & Its Determination Procedure


Soil Moisture Content & Its Determination


Moisture content is defined as the quantity of water in a mass of soil. It is expressed as the ratio of the weight of water to the weight of solids.

Mathematically, moisture content (M) = (Ww/Ws) x 100

How to Determine the Moisture Content of A Soil Mass in the Laboratory

To determine the moisture content of a soil mass in the laboratory, follow these steps:

Take a sample of soil, weigh it together with the pan. Oven dry it and weigh again so that the water is driven out.

Find W1, W2, Wc, Ws and Ww where:

W1 = weight of soil and container

W2 = weight of dry soil and container

Wc = weight of container

Ws = weight of solid

Ww = weight of moisture/water

The following are useful equations for finding any of the above:

Weight of Solid (Ws) = W2 – Wc

Weight of Water (Ww) = W1 – W2


Therefore: %moisture content (M%) = (Ws/(W2-Wc)) x 100




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