Soil grain size analysis by the dynamometer method – a comparison to the pipette and hydrometer method

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Abstract

The aim of the presented work was to compare the results of grain size distribution measurement by an innovative dynamometer method, developed by the authors, with results obtained by the pipette and hydrometer methods. Repeatability of results obtained in the dynamometer method was also determined. The content of three fractions with equivalent diameters <0.002 mm, 0.002–0.063 mm and 0.063–2.0 mm was measured. The results were compared using ordinary linear regression and additionally in the repeatability analysis by RMA (reduced major axis regression). It was found that the proposed dynamometer method is characterized by good result repeatability with no systematic errors when compared with the pipette method. The RMSE (root mean square error) value when referring to the pipette method calculated for the three fractions considered in total was 4.9096 and was lower than the analogous for the hydrometer method, which amounted to 5.4577. Values of determination coefficients in the comparison of dynamometer method and pipette method are within the range of 0.9681–0.9951 for the different fractions. It was found that slightly larger differences in relation to the pipette method occurred for the fractions <0.002 mm and 0.002–0.063 mm, and smaller for the fraction 0.063–2.0 mm. Similarly, greater differences between repetitions in the dynamometer method were observed for the fraction <0.002 mm, and smaller for the 0.063–2.0 mm fraction. Possible sources of errors in the dynamometer method were discussed, as were proposals for their reduction.

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