Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

James A. Bay


James A. Bay


John D. Rice


Paul J. Barr


Grain-size analysis is a measurement of the size distribution of individual particles in a soil sample. The major features of grain-size analysis are the destruction or dispersion of soil aggregates into discrete units by chemical, mechanical, or ultrasonic means and the separation of particles according to size limits by such means as sieving and sedimentation, as well as other methods.

Soil particles span a large size range, varying from boulders (exceeding 0.25 m in size) down to submicron clays (Grain-size distribution curves are used extensively by civil engineers to evaluate materials used for foundations, road fills, and other construction purposes. And when it comes to analyzing fine-grained soils like clays, which particle size has been shown to have an important effect on permeability, shear strength, and consolidation behavior of soil, the measurement of grain-size becomes of great importance for geotechnical engineering.


This work made publicly available electronically on December 19, 2012.