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Soil texture

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The soil texture analysis (particle size distribution) yields the mass fractions of sand, silt and clay particles and allows to classify the texture of a soil. The sedimentation velocity of a given particle in a suspension depends on its size, shape, and mass. We use the differing sedimentation velocities to stepwise eliminate the particles larger than a given diameter d i . At a given sampling time a spherical particle of this size would have traveled from the surface of the suspension to the depth of if the pipette . All particles larger than d i moved therefore out of reach of the pipette tip and can no longer be sampled. A sample taken with the pipette at given depth z i and time t j contains the mass fraction with particles d < d i j . Hence we determine the cumulative mass fraction containing particles not larger than d i j .

Illustration on the measurement of the particle size distribution

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Previous: Soil density

Next: Time domain reflectometry