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Soil: Soils are formed by weathering of rocks and decomposition of organic matter.

Geological cycle: Weathering of rocks -> Transportation -> Deposition -> Upheaval

Types of weathering: i) Physical weathering, ii) Chemical weathering

i) Physical weathering: This type of weathering is caused by temperature, abrasion,

wedging action of ice, penetration of plant roots etc
ii) Chemical weathering: This type of weathering is caused by different chemical actions
like oxidation, hydration, carbonation, solution, leaching, hydrolysis etc

Particle size distribution:

I.S. classification-

0.002mm 0.075mm 0.425mm 2mm 4.75mm 80mm 300mm

Fine Med Coarse
Clay Silt Gravel Cobble Boulder

 1 micron = 0.001mm

I.S. sieve sizes for sieve analysis of soil:

I. 100 mm
II. 63 mm
III. 20 mm
IV. 10 mm
V. 4.75 mm
VI. 2 mm
VII. 1 mm
VIII. 600 micron
IX. 425 micron
X. 300 micron
XI. 212 micron
XII. 150 micron
XIII. 75 micron

Sieve analysis process: Soil sample taken > weight measured > sieves arranged sequentially with
coarser sieve at top and fine sieve at bottom > sieves set to a sieving machine > Shaken for 10
minutes > weight of soil retained in different sieves are measured

Effective size (D10) = The 10% of soil sample is finer than that specific sieve size

E.G: If effective size of soil is 2mm, then 10% of that soil sample will be finer than the 2mm size

D60 = The 60% of soil sample is finer than that specific sieve size
D30= The 30% of soil sample is finer than that specific sieve size

Uniformity Coefficient (CU) = D60/D10 [it gives an idea about the grading of the soil]

Value: 1 = For same sized particles

>4 = For gravel

>6 = For sand

Coefficient of curvature (CC) = D302 /D60 X D10

Value: 1 to 3 = For well graded soil

Soil Phase System:

A natural soil sample consists of 3 phases –

i) Soil solid
ii) Water
iii) Air

Water + Air = Void

Unsaturated Soil


Soil solid

Dry Soil

Air Void

Soil solid

Saturated Soil

Water Void

Soil solid

Porosity (n): Volume of void/Total volume = VV/V X 100%

Void Ratio (e): Volume of void/Volume of soil solid = VV/VS

Degree of saturation (Sr): Volume of water/Volume of void X 100% = VW/VV X 100%

Value: 100% = For fully saturated soil

0% = For dry soil

Water content (w): Wt. Of water/Wt. Of solids X 100% = WW/WS X 100%

Bulk unit wt.(ɣ): Total wt./Total vol. of sample = W/V

Dry unit wt.(ɣd): Wt. Of soil solid/Total vol. of sample = WS/V

Saturated unit wt.(ɣSAT): Bulk unit wt of a saturated soil sample

Submerged unit wt.(ɣSUB): Saturated unit wt. – Unit wt. of water = ɣSAT - ɣW

Specific gravity (G): Ratio of unit wt. of a given vol. of soil solids at a given temperature to the wt. of
an equal vol. of distilled water at that temperature = ɣS/ ɣW