Determination of soil grain size composition by measuring apparent weight of float submerged in suspension
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Institute of Soil Science and Environment Protection, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Grunwaldzka 53, 50-357 Wrocław, Poland
Arcanum Sp. z o.o., Parkowa 6/1, 51-616 Wrocław, Poland
Department of Landscape Protection and Environmental Geography, University of Debrecen, Böszörményi út 138,4032, Debrecen, Hungary
Publish date: 2017-01-31
Int. Agrophys. 2017, 31(1): 61–72
Texture is one of the most significant physical properties of soils. Over the years, several methods of its measuring were developed. The paper presents a method for determining the particle size composition of soils, based on the separation of particles in the sedimentation process. Density of suspension is determined on the basis of apparent weight changes of a float submerged in it. The weight of the float suspended on a thin line, at a given depth in the suspension, is measured with a sensitive piezoelectric dynamometer. The Stokes equation is used to calculate the content of soil fractions with equivalent diameters in the range of 0.001 to 0.1 mm. Digital transmission of results from the dynamometer, the temperature sensor and measurements of the distance defining the depth of immersion of the float to the computer enable calculations of particle size composition to be performed automatically. This paper presents the results of measurements of the particle size composition of artificially generated mixtures of ‘silt’ and ‘clay’. The results are compared with results obtained with other methods (including the laser method). A high level of repeatability of the results and satisfactory compatibility in relation to the reference pipette method are noted.