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clay loam
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Roughly equal parts sand and clay; a fine-grained material that is plastic and cohesive when wet but makes hard clods when dry.
loam
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: loehm, lehm
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A texture of soil used to describe a mixture of less than 52% sand, 28-50% silt, and 7-27% clay. Loams are agriculturally productive and have good drainage qualities. There are other loamy textures with different percentages of the materials.
sandy loam
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Sandy sediment containing enough clay and silt to make it hold together rather than falling apart; consists of 50% sand, 30% silt, and 20% clay.
silty loam
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A mixture of at least 50% silt and sand and 12-25% clay that feels somewhat silky and forms clods when dried out (clods break into soft, flourlike powder).

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