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environmental survey > soil analysis > particle size analysis
PREFERRED TERM
particle size analysis  
DEFINITION
  • A technique for analyzing the grain sizes of archaeological or geological sediments, used to discover the manner and process of their deposition. The technique also allows the accurate description of a deposit, and comparison with other sediments. There are several methods of particle size analysis. Dry sieving, the sifting of deposits through various sizes of mesh so that particles are grouped into sizes, is suitable for larger grains from pebbles to coarse sand. Light or electron microscopy is used for finer grains of sand, silt, and clay. Sedimentation, the counting of grains dispersed in liquid as they fall to the bottom of a container, is suitable for the finest grains of silt and clay. A combination of methods, is frequently used. The analysis may yield information on whether the deposit is wind- or water-borne, how much it has weathered, and to what extent it has been affected by man. Particles are classified into a number of size grades, normally under such headings as boulders, pebbles, stones, gravel, sand, silt, and clay; sand is often further subdivided. The mixture of particle size grades found in a material is known as the texture.
BROADER CONCEPT
SOURCE
  • https://archaeologywordsmith.com/lookup.php?terms=particle+
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URI
https://vocabs.acdh.oeaw.ac.at/iadthesaurus/scheme/concept493
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