Articles | Volume 9, issue 1
Solid Earth, 9, 159–165, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-9-159-2018
Solid Earth, 9, 159–165, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-9-159-2018

Research article 22 Feb 2018

Research article | 22 Feb 2018

On soil textural classifications and soil-texture-based estimations

Miguel Ángel Martín1, Yakov A. Pachepsky2, Carlos García-Gutiérrez1, and Miguel Reyes1 Miguel Ángel Martín et al.
  • 1Departamento de Matemática Aplicada, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 2USDA-ARS Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory, Beltsville, MD, USA

Abstract. The soil texture representation with the standard textural fraction triplet sand–silt–clay is commonly used to estimate soil properties. The objective of this work was to test the hypothesis that other fraction sizes in the triplets may provide a better representation of soil texture for estimating some soil parameters. We estimated the cumulative particle size distribution and bulk density from an entropy-based representation of the textural triplet with experimental data for 6240 soil samples. The results supported the hypothesis. For example, simulated distributions were not significantly different from the original ones in 25 and 85 % of cases when the sand–silt–clay and very coarse+coarse + medium sand − fine + very fine sand − silt+clay were used, respectively. When the same standard and modified triplets were used to estimate the average bulk density, the coefficients of determination were 0.001 and 0.967, respectively. Overall, the textural triplet selection appears to be application and data specific.

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The soil texture representation with the standard textural fraction triplet sand–silt–clay is commonly used to estimate soil properties. The objective of this work was to test the hypothesis that other fraction sizes in the triplets may provide a better representation of soil texture for the reconstruction of the particle size distribution and for estimating some soil properties with soil texture as a predictor. The results supported the hypothesis.