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# classify - 53:030 Class Notes;C.C Swan University of Iowa...

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Period #6: Soil Classification Systems and Usage A. Fundamental Idea: Collect soil samples from the field. Perform easy and inexpensive tests on the soil samples (typically GSD tests and Atterberg Limit tests) Based on the results from these tests, classify the soil(s) in question Based on the classifications of the soil(s), determine whether or not the might be appropriate for the intended usage. If yes, perform more extensive lab tests on the soil(s) (shear strength, consolidation, compaction, etc.) as needed. MAJOR SOIL CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMS USED IN THE U.S. USDA Textural Class ification : Used primarily in agriculture, but not much by civil or geotechnical engineers. AASHTO Classificati on System : Used quite extensively by civil engineers in selecting soils for usage in roads and highways. Unified Classificat ion System (UCS) : Used by geotechnical engineers for selecting appropriate soils in non-highway projects. 1 53:030 Class Notes;C.C. Swan, University of Iowa

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2 B. USDA Textural Classification This system is based entirely on the GSD of a given soil sample. Soil Type Diameter Range Cobbles & Boulders d > 75mm Gravels 2mm d 75mm Sands 0.05mm d < 2mm Silts 0.002mm d < 0.05mm Clays d 0.002mm The classification in this system is based on the relative % sand, % silt, and % clay.
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