Loam is soil composed mostly of sand (particle size > 63 µm), silt (particle size > 2 µm), and a smaller amount of clay (particle size < 2 µm). By weight, its mineral composition is about 40–40–20% concentration of sand-silt-clay, respectively.[1] These proportions can vary to a degree, however, and result in different types of loam soils: sandy loam, silty loam, clay loam, sandy clay loam, silty clay loam, and loam.[1] In the USDA textural classification triangle, the only soil that is not predominantly sand, silt, or clay is called "loam". Loam soils generally contain more nutrients, moisture, and humus than sandy soils, have better drainage and infiltration of water and air than silt and clay-rich soils, and are easier to till than clay soils. The different types of loam soils each have slightly different characteristics, with some draining liquids more efficiently than others. The soil's texture, especially its ability to retain nutrients and water are crucial.[2] Loam soil is suitable for growing most plant varieties.

Bricks made of loam, mud, sand, and water, with an added binding material such as rice husks or straw, have been used in construction since ancient times.

Bama soil
Three layers of subsurface loam; surface layer is dark brown fine sandy loam, subsurface layer is pale brown fine sandy loam, subsoil is red clay loam and sandy clay loam.
SoilTexture USDA
Soil types by clay, silt and sand composition as used by the United States Department of Agriculture

Use in farming

Lancashire Loam - geograph.org.uk - 999357
Fine, loam-rich field ideal for farming vegetables in the UK

Loam is considered ideal for gardening and agricultural uses because it retains nutrients well and retains water while still allowing excess water to drain away.[3] A soil dominated by one or two of the three particle size groups can behave like loam if it has a strong granular structure, promoted by a high content of organic matter. However, a soil that meets the textural definition of loam can lose its characteristic desirable qualities when it is compacted, depleted of organic matter, or has clay dispersed throughout its fine-earth fraction.

Loam is found in a majority of successful farms in regions around the world known for their fertile land. Loam soil feels soft and crumbly and is easy to work over a wide range of moisture conditions.

Use in house construction

Loam may be used for the construction of houses, for example in loam post and beam construction.[4] Building crews can build a layer of loam on the inside of walls, which can help to control air humidity. Loam, combined with straw, can be used as a rough construction material to build walls. This is one of the oldest technologies for house construction in the world. Within this there are two broad methods: the use of rammed earth, or unfired bricks (adobe).[5]

Michelau Fachwerkdetail

Loam with timber framing

000410 Lehmhütte in der Nähe von Baligród

House with loam ground floor

Biesenthal eldest house from 1707 (1)

Loam-timber-framed 1707 house, under restoration in Brandenburg

See also


  1. ^ a b Kaufmann, Robert K.; Cutler J. Cleveland (2008). Environmental Science. McGraw-Hill. pp. 318–319. ISBN 978-0-07-298429-3.
  2. ^ R. B. Brown (September 2007). "Soil Texture" (PDF). Agronomy Fact Sheet Series: Fact Sheet SL-29. Cornell University, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  3. ^ B. Rosie Lerner, "What is Loam?", Purdue University Consumer Horticulture, 6 January 2000. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  4. ^ Schittich (Ed), Christian Schittich (2001). Building Simply. Birkhäuser Architecture. pp. 38–42. ISBN 3764372710.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Gerhard Koch, "Loam Construction – from a niche product to an industrial building system". Tokyo: Action for Sustainability – The 2005 World Sustainable Building Conference in Tokyo, Japan, September 2005. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
Amphion, Texas

Amphion is an unincorporated community fourteen kilometres (nine miles) northwest of Pleasanton in west central Atascosa County.

Amphion was settled in the late 1880s, and had a post office from 1881 to 1916. It served as the first county seat of Atascosa County. In 1896, the population was reported as 100, and by 1904 the local public school had 72 students and two teachers. Amphion's decline began in 1909 when the Artesian Belt Railroad (from Macdona to Simmons City) bypassed it in favor of Jourdanton. In the 1940s Amphion still had a school, a cemetery, and a few dwellings, and by 1956 it was described as a ghost town. In the late 1960s only the cemetery and a few buildings remained. In 2000 the population was twenty-six.The soil series known as "Amphion clay loam", classed as a fine, mixed, superactive, hyperthermic Pachic Paleustoll, is named after the town.

Betal Rock Shelter

Betal Rock Shelter (Slovene: Betalov spodmol), a karst cave located on the south-eastern edge of the Lower Pivka river valley on a slope just above the road from Postojna to Bukovje is a site, where rich cultural sediment layers with remains of stone tools, artifacts and numerous fossilized bones of contemporary animals were found. Its entrance has been formed by the collapse of the 174 m (571 ft) long cave's ceiling, carved out by the waters of the Pivka river.

The first excavations were carried out by Franco Anelli from 1933 to 1939. He excavated both in the cave and in front of it and found a large number of Palaeolithic artifacts and numerous faunal remains, although this work remained mainly unpublished. Systematic recording of the archaeological sequence was begun anew by Srečko Brodar from 1947 to 1953. In the more than 10 meters (33 ft) deep profile of eight cultural horizons five separate strata revealed the bones of over 2,400 animals and stone tools. However, large amounts of the material in the Late Pleistocene and early Holocene sediments found by Anelli is of limited value for scientific research and cannot be put into its correct stratigraphic context as the excavation records of these layers are lost.The oldest strata are attributed to the warm Mindel-Riss interglacial period followed by the Riss glaciation period, that consisted of rock debris mixed with loam and pieces of sinter. In it proto-Mousterian stone tools and the fossilized bones of a Deninger's bear have been found, dated to an age of 300,000 years. The next strata of red loam and debris contained faunal bone fossils from Cave bear (Ursus spelaeus), wolf, the Alpine marmot, the Merck's rhinoceros, the Cave hyena, wild boar, and elk. The stone tool assemblage discovered in this stratum has been assigned to the Homo neanderthalensis Mousterian culture. The following strata also held Pleistocene faunal remains, particularly those of the Alpine marmot, of reindeer and Cave bear. The presence of these fossils points to a deposition during the last glacial period, the Würm glaciation, which lasted from 110,000 to 11,700 years ago. This layer included numerous tool flakes created through flint knapping by Neanderthal occupants and modern humans, who account for the few tools of Gravettian culture. The uppermost stratum includes Neolithic tools and the fossilized bones of wild boar, wolf and beaver, whose presence suggests the establishment of the most recent Holocene climate. The top coat of this stratum carried Bronze Age and Iron Age tools, artifacts, pottery shards and the skeletal remains of domesticated animals.Betal Rock Shelter has been declared a "monument of local importance" of Slovenia and was induced in the national register of Immovable Cultural Heritage under the number 859 on December 22, 1984.


Clay is a finely-grained natural rock or soil material that combines one or more clay minerals with possible traces of quartz (SiO2), metal oxides (Al2O3 , MgO etc.) and organic matter. Geologic clay deposits are mostly composed of phyllosilicate minerals containing variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure. Clays are plastic due to particle size and geometry as well as water content, and become hard, brittle and non–plastic upon drying or firing. Depending on the soil's content in which it is found, clay can appear in various colours from white to dull grey or brown to deep orange-red.

Although many naturally occurring deposits include both silts and clay, clays are distinguished from other fine-grained soils by differences in size and mineralogy. Silts, which are fine-grained soils that do not include clay minerals, tend to have larger particle sizes than clays. There is, however, some overlap in particle size and other physical properties. The distinction between silt and clay varies by discipline. Geologists and soil scientists usually consider the separation to occur at a particle size of 2 µm (clays being finer than silts), sedimentologists often use 4–5 μm, and colloid chemists use 1 μm. Geotechnical engineers distinguish between silts and clays based on the plasticity properties of the soil, as measured by the soils' Atterberg limits. ISO 14688 grades clay particles as being smaller than 2 μm and silt particles as being larger.

Mixtures of sand, silt and less than 40% clay are called loam. Loam makes good soil and is used as a building material.

Enda McEvoy

Enda McEvoy (born 1977 in Virginia, County Cavan) is an Irish Michelin star winning head chef with restaurant Loam in Galway.

Fernbank Forest

Fernbank Forest is a 65-acre (25 hectares) mature mixed forest that is part of Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta, Georgia. It has one of the few remnants of original forest vegetation in the Georgia Piedmont; as such, it has been extensively studied by scientists. Large specimens of white oak and tulip poplar, which grow up to 156 feet (47.5 meters) tall, dominate the tree canopy. There also are a few equally tall loblolly pine. Other canopy species include American beech, black oak, northern red oak, southern red oak, pignut hickory, bitternut hickory, mockernut hickory, winged elm and red maple. Eastern flowering dogwood, sourwood, umbrella magnolia and eastern redbud are prominent among the smaller trees. The forest floor is covered by many shrub, wildflower, and fern species.

Common animals include raccoon, opossum, gray squirrel, chipmunk, American crow, pileated woodpecker, box turtle and several snake species, including the venomous copperhead.

The soils are mostly well-drained, with medium brown or dark reddish brown sandy loam topsoils. The subsoils are clay loam or clay; they are medium red or dark red. The darker soils, which support higher plant diversity, have developed on mafic rock; the medium-toned soils are on felsic rock.

Fulbourn Fen

Fulbourn Fen is a 27.3 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest east of Fulbourn, Cambridgeshire. It is privately owned and managed by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.There are ancient meadows on calcareous loam and peat which have never been farmed, so they have a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Herbs in drier areas include cowslip and salad burnet, while wetter areas have tall fen vegetation.There is access by a track from Stonebridge Lane.

Gamlingay Wood

Gamlingay Wood is a 48.4 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) north of Gamlingay in Cambridgeshire. It is managed by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.This is ancient ash/maple woodland on sandy loam soil, an unusual habitat in lowland England. Ground flora include dog's mercury, yellow archangel, wood anemone and the nationally restricted oxlip. The flora is diverse due to the varied soils, and there are hundreds of species of mushrooms and toadstools. Birds include barn owls, garden warblers and blue tits. The 70 hectare Wildlife Trust site includes Sugley Wood, which is not part of the SSSI.There is access from Gamlingay Road and by a footpath from Gamlingay village.

Halle, Belgium

Halle (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɦɑlə], French: Hal) is a city and municipality of Belgium, in the district (arrondissement) Halle-Vilvoorde of the province Flemish Brabant. It is located on the Brussels-Charleroi Canal and on the Flemish side of the language border that separates Flanders and Wallonia. Halle lies on the border between the Flemish plains to the North (thick loam) and the undulating Brabant lands to the South (thinner loam). The city also borders on the Pajottenland to the west. The official language of Halle is Dutch.

The municipality Halle comprises the city of Halle proper and the towns of Buizingen and Lembeek. The neighboring towns are: Pepingen, Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, Beersel, Braine-l'Alleud, Braine-le-Château, and Tubize. The population of Halle has increased from 32,758 inhabitants in 1991 to 34,882 on January 1, 2006. The mayor is Dirk Pieters of the CD&V.

Jat Area

Jat Area is a term of Jute cultivation that indicates the inner North-Eastern part of Bangladesh. This geographical area comprises part of the districts of Dhaka, Mymensingh, Tangail, and Comilla of Bangladesh. The area annually receives fresh deposit of silts carried down by the flood water. Soils are acidic, the texture varies from sand loam to clay loam. According to commercial quality, the best quality Jute, the Jat type, grows in this area. Due to high quality jute in the world, Adamjee Jute Mills was established in this region at Narayanganj. Later, the mill became the largest jute mill in the world. However, the mill closed its doors in 2002.

Lake Yeak Laom

Yeak Loam (Khmer: បឹងយក្សឡោម, Khmer pronunciation: [jeaʔ laom]), also spelled Yak Lom or Yak Loum, is a lake and a popular tourist destination in the Ratanakiri province of north-eastern Cambodia. Located approximately 3 mi (4.8 km) from the provincial capital, Banlung, the beautiful lake occupies a 4,000-year-old volcanic crater. Due to the lake’s tremendous depth 48 m (157 ft), its water is exceptionally clean and clear. The lake is almost perfectly round and measures 0.72 km (0.45 mi) in diameter. Large trees and rich, lush rain forest, the home of many exotic birds and parrots, surround the lake.

Little Catworth Meadow

Little Catworth Meadow is a 5.2 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest between Catworth and Spaldwick in Cambridgeshire.The meadow is traditionally managed grassland on calcareous loam, which is rare in Britain. It has mature hedgerows and it has a rich variety of plants such as salad burnet, dropwort, great burnet, green-winged orchid and adder's-tongue fern.The site is private land with no public access.

Loam (restaurant)

Loam is a restaurant and wine bar in Galway, Ireland. It was awarded a Michelin star in 2016 and retains the star till present.

Michael Loam

Michael Loam (1 November 1797 – 14 July 1871) was a Cornish engineer who introduced the first man engine (a device to carry men up and down the shaft of a mine) into the UK.In 1834, concerned for the health of miners and for the loss in profits incurred by their long, slow climbs by ladders, the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society announced a prize for the design of a better system of transporting miners in and out of the deep mines in the county. Michael Loam won this prize in 1841 for his man engine, despite evidence that it was already in use in the Hartz Mountains in Germany.Inspired by the German designs and constructed of a series of moving platforms, the first man engine was installed in 1842 at Tresavean Mine—one of the deepest in Cornwall at the time. Its adoption was encouraged by the mine's owner, John Rogers.

Loam was trained as an engineer at Wheal Abraham by Arthur Woolf. He remained active in the metal mining and smelting industries in Cornwall and is noted as an investor in the Tamar Tin Smelting Company in 1863.


A mudbrick or mud-brick is an air-dried brick, made of a mixture of loam, mud, sand and water mixed with a binding material such as rice husks or straw. Though mudbricks are known from 7000-6000 BCE, since 4000 BC, bricks have also been fired, to increase their strength and durability.

In warm regions with very little timber available to fuel a kiln, bricks were generally sun dried. In some cases, brickmakers extended the life of mud bricks by putting fired bricks on top or covering them with stucco.

Pakenham Meadows

Pakenham Meadows is a 5.8 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest north of Pakenham in Suffolk.This unimproved and poorly drained meadow has a variety of soil types from loam to peat, and the vegetation types are correspondingly diverse. The herb-rich grassland has yellow rattle, bugle, fen bedstraw, oxe-eye daisy, ragged robin and southern marsh orchid.A public footpath from Fen Road goes through the site.

Quadra Island

Quadra Island is an island off the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, part of the Discovery Islands located within the Strathcona Regional District. Quadra Island is about 35 kilometres (22 miles) from its northernmost point to its southernmost point. The island at its narrowest point, on its southern peninsula, is less than 2 km (1.24 mi) wide, and at its widest point, about 15 km (9 mi) wide. Quadra island is about 310 square kilometres (120 square miles) in area. The population of island and surrounding mainland inlets, as of the 2006 federal census (excluding First Nations Reserves, tallied separately), was 2,472, down from the 2001 federal census count of 2,548. In 1903 it was named after the Spanish navigator Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, who explored and settled the Vancouver Island area in the late 18th century. It is separated from Vancouver Island by Discovery Passage, and from Cortes Island, and is linked to that island by a ferry from Heriot Bay on its eastern shore. The island has many beaches, trails, lakes, and parks. Main Lake Provincial Park is located on the northern part of the island, and Rebecca Spit Marine Provincial Park is on the eastern shore, near Heriot Bay.

Few of the island's soils are well suited to agriculture. Most are coarse and, in well-drained areas, have classic podzol profile development; they are mapped as Kye loamy sand and Quinsam gravelly sandy loam. A small area of dark well-drained unpodzolized soil (Lazo loamy sand) is mapped around the southeast corner. Dashwood gravelly loamy sand, a brown podzolic trending to podzol, is commonly associated with Kye and Quinsam. Imperfectly drained areas have brown podzolic Bowser loamy sand or classic podzol Sayward loamy sand. The more moist Custer loamy sand, a groundwater podzol, is present locally. Poorly drained areas have Arrowsmith peat, Parksville sandy loam, or Tolmie loam (the latter two are gleysols).

In spite of this, many residents have very successful home gardens, and the island boasts a well attended Garden Club and a bi-annual Quilt and Garden Tour.

There are two small business centres on the island, one near the Vancouver Island BC Ferry terminal at Quathiaski Cove, and one near the Cortes Island ferry terminal at Heriot Bay. The island is home to a thriving art community, as well as a growing number of white-collar professionals who commute to Campbell River on Vancouver Island.

There is an elementary school on the island. Schoolchildren in grades 6–12 travel by ferry to Campbell River to attend École Phoenix Middle School or Carihi Secondary School. The Cape Mudge Reserve on the southern tip of the island is home to the We-wai-kai, one of the main bands comprising the Southern Kwakiutl (the other being the We-wai-kum based in Campbell River on Vancouver Island). Together they are known as the Laich-kwil-tach (historically known as the Euclataws or Yucultas, names more familiar to speakers of British Columbia English). The Nuyumabalees Cultural Centre is located within the Cape Mudge Village and holds an important collection of art from earlier times, items that were repatriated after many years from museums elsewhere.The Southern Kwakiutl (part of the larger Kwakwaka'wakw ethnic grouping) migrated into the northern Georgia Strait from Queen Charlotte Strait over two centuries ago, displacing and absorbing the Comox and Pentlatch peoples who formerly lived there.

Soil texture

Soil texture is a classification instrument used both in the field and laboratory to determine soil classes based on their physical texture. Soil texture can be determined using qualitative methods such as texture by feel, and quantitative methods such as the hydrometer method. Soil texture has agricultural applications such as determining crop suitability and to predict the response of the soil to environmental and management conditions such as drought or calcium (lime) requirements. Soil texture focuses on the particles that are less than two millimeters in diameter which include sand, silt, and clay. The USDA soil taxonomy and WRB soil classification systems use 12 textural classes whereas the UK-ADAS system uses 11. These classifications are based on the percentages of sand, silt, and clay in the soil..

The Admirable Crichton

The Admirable Crichton is a comic stage play written in 1902 by J. M. Barrie.

West Wood, Little Sampford

West Wood is a 23.6 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Little Sampford, north of Thaxted in northwestern Essex. It is owned and managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust.The site is ancient woodland on chalky boulder clay and sandy loam. It was mainly elm, but this has died and the wood regenerated naturally with ash, and there is also some field maple and hornbeam. Bramble and dog's mercury dominate the ground layer, and there is a rich variety of plants in wetter areas, such as oxlip and meadow-sweet. There are many species of birds and butterflies, and four ponds which have great crested newts, dragonflies and damselflies.There is access by a footpath from the B1051 road between Thaxted and Great Sampford.

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