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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 61 No. 1, p. 23-26
    Received: Nov 20, 1995

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Improved Soil Particle-Size Analysis by Gamma-Ray Attenuation

  1. J. C. M. Oliveira,
  2. K. Reichardt,
  3. C. M. P. Vaz and
  4. D. Swartzendruber 
  1. Soil Physics Section, CENA, Univ. of São Paulo, P.O. Box 96, 13400-970 Piracicaba, S.P., Brazil
    CNPDIA/EMBRAPA, P.O. Box 741, 13560-970 Sāo Carlos, S.P., Brazil
    Dep. of Agronomy, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583



The size distribution of particles is useful for physical characterization of soil. This study was conducted to determine whether a new method of soil particle-size analysis by gamma-ray attenuation could be further improved by changing the depth and time of measurement of the suspended particle concentration during sedimentation. In addition to the advantage of nondestructive, undisturbed measurement by gamma-ray attenuation, as compared with conventional pipette or hydrometer methods, the modifications here suggested and employed do substantially decrease the total time for analysis, and will also facilitate total automation and generalize the method for other sedimentation studies. Experimental results are presented for three different Brazilian soil materials, and illustrate the nature of the fine detail provided in the cumulative particle-size distribution as given by measurements obtained during the relatively short time period of 28 min.

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