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Chap: 3 Soil Classification

Outline of chapter
Objective
Field identification of soil
Soil classification system
Application of classification system

Field identification of soil


1. Coarse grained soil (sand and
gravel)
2. Fine grained soil (clay and silt)
3. Sand Vs silt

Gravel Vs Sand
Gravel size 4.75mm to 80mm
Sand size 4.75mm to .075mm
Spread the coarse grain soil in the flat
surface and visualize,
if 50% of the particle are visible to the
naked eye soil is gravel else sand.

Fine grained soil


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Visual examination
Dry strength test
Shaking test / dilatancy test
Plasticity test
Dispersion test

Soil Classification

MIT System
Textural Classification
Unified Soil Classification System(USCS)
Indian Standard Classification
System(ISCS)
British Soil Classification System(BSCS)
AASHTO Classification System

MIT system
Developed by: prof. G.Giloby, Massachusettes
Institute of Technology,USA
Gravel: > 2mm
Sand: 0.06 mm to 2.0 mm
0.6-2.0= C
0.2-0.6= M
0.06-0.2= F
Silt: 0.002 mm to 0.06 mm
0.02-0.6= C
0.006-0.02=M
0.002- 0.006=F
Clay: < 0.002 mm(i.e. 2 )

C= coarse
M= medium
F= fine

Textural Classification
BY US bureau of Public Road

USCS
Soil
Highly Organic Soils

Fine Grained

Coarse Grained

More than 50% smaller than #200

More than 50% larger than #200

High
Plasticity

Low
Plasticity

(H)

(L)

Sands (S)

Sand with
Fines

Gravels (G)

Clean
Sand

Gravel
with
fines

Clean
Gravel

GW

GP

GM

GC

SW

SP

SM

SC

ML

CL

OL

MH

CH

OH

Pt

USCS
Coarse Grained
More than 50% larger than #200

Gravels (G)

Sands (S)

Clean Gravel

Fines > 12%

Fines < 5%

Fines > 12%

Fines < 5%

SC

SP

GC

GW

Gravel with fines

GP

Clean Sand

GM

Sand with Fines

SW

More than 50% coarse larger than #4

SM

More than 50% coarse smaller than #4

Coarse Grained(USCS)
Coarse Grained
Gravels (G)
More than 50% coarse larger than #4

Gravel with
fines
Fines > 12%

GC

Clean Gravel
5% < fines < 12%

GM
Dual symbol

Fines is clay

Fines is silt

GP

GW-GC, GP-GM,
etc

(Fines determines)

Fines < 5%

GP

GW

Other
than

Cu > 6
1< Cc <3

(Gradation determines)

Coarse Grained(USCS)
Coarse Grained
Sand (S)
More than 50% coarse smaller than #4

Sand with fines


Fines > 12%

SC

Clean Sand
5% < fines < 12%

SM

Fines < 5%

SP
Dual symbol

Fines is clay

Fines is silt

GP

(Fines determines)

SW-SM, SP-SC,
etc

Other
than

SW
Cu > 4
1< Cc <3

(Gradation determines)

Fine Grained(USCS)
50%

Low Plasticity (L)

High Plasticity (H)


CH

CL

CL-ML

(C
Y
A
L
C

lin
A-

)
(M
T
SIL

ML or OL

) MH or OH

Organic or Inorganic?
Examine odor and colour

Organic:

LL( ovendried )
LL( natural )

0.75

ISSCS
Similar to USCS only differ for Fine Soil.

Indian Plasticity Chart


35%

50%

CH
CL

CI

e
lin
A

Y
A
CL
CL-ML
MI
ML or OL

T
SIL

MH or OH

British Soil Classification


Fine Soils

More than 35% smaller than 0.06 mm

Coarse Soils

Less than 35% smaller than 0.06 mm

COARSED GRAINED
(fines < 35%)
Sands

Gravels

More than 50% coarse

More than 50% coarse

smaller than 2 mm

larger than 2 mm

GRAVELS
Group
Symbol
GW

GW

GP

GPu, GPg

Silty GRAVEL

GM

GWM, GPM

Clayey GRAVEL

GC

GWC, GPC

Slightly silty
or clayey
GRAVEL

GRAVELS

Sub-group
symbol

Very silty GRAVEL


Very clayey GRAVEL

GM
GC

% fines

0
to
5
5

Well graded GRAVEL


Poorly graded/gap graded GRAVEL

Well graded/poorly graded silty GRAVEL

to
15

GML, etc

Well graded/poorly graded clayey GRAVEL


Very silty GRAVEL of Low, etc, Plasticity

GCL

15

GCI

to

Very clayey GRAVEL of Low,

GCH

35

Intermediate, High, Very High or


Extremely High Plasticity

GCV
GCE

SANDS

SANDS
Group
Symbol

Sub-group
symbol

SW

SW

Slightly silty
or clayey
SAND

SP

SPu, SPg

Silty SAND

SM

SWM, SPM

Clayey SAND

SC

SWC, SPC

Very silty SAND


Very clayey SAND

SM
SC

% fines

0
to
5
5

Well graded SAND


Poorly graded/gap graded SAND

Well graded/poorly graded silty SAND

to
15

SML, etc

Well graded/poorly graded clayey SAND


Very silty SAND of Low , etc, Plasticity

SCL

15

SCI

to

Very clayey SAND of Low,

SCH

35

Intermediate, High, Very High or


Extremely High Plasticity

SCV
SCE

FINE GRAINED
(65%<Fines<100%)

SILT
SILT
M

CLAY

ML

SILT of Low Plasticity

MI

SILT of Intermediate Plasticity

MH

SILT of High Plasticity

MV

SILT of Very High Plasticity

ME

SILT of Extremely High Plasticity

CL

CLAY of Low Plasticity

CI

CLAY of Intermediate Plasticity

CH
CV
CE

CLAY of High Plasticity


CLAY of Very High Plasticity
CLAY of Extremely High Plasticity

British Plasticity Chart

FINE GRAINED WITH COARSE


(35%<Fines<65%)

Gravelly
SILT SILT

MG

MLG,
MIG, etc

Gravelly SILT of Low Plasticity, etc

Sandy SILT

MS

MLS, MIS,
etc

Gravelly CLAY

CG

CLG,
CIG, etc

Gravelly CLAY of Low Plasticity, etc

Sandy CLAY

CS

CLS, CIS,
etc

Sandy CLAY of Low of Plasticity, etc

Sandy SILT of Low Plasticity, etc

AASHTO CLASSIFICATION

Used for highway subgrade soil to


evaluate:
- Stability under vehicle load
- performance in freezing and
thawing

AASHTO CLASSIFICATION
Granular Material (>65% retained on # 200)
A-1 : Well graded Gravel and Sand
A-3 : Clean, poorly graded Sand (<10% Fines)
A-2 : Granular with significant amount fines
Fined Grained Soils (>35% pass on # 200)
A-4: Silty soils
A-5: Silty soils
A-6: Clayey Soils
A-7: Clayey Soils

EXCELLENT

POOR

Coarse Material
<35% pass # 200
Sieve analysis and
LL, PL test
< 50% pass # 40
< 15% pass # 200
<30% pass # 40

> 51% pass # 40


< 25% pass # 200
<50% pass # 40
PI < 6

< 50% pass # 10


PI < 6

A-1-a

< 10% pass # 200


Non-plastic
A-3

A-1-b

Coarse Material
A- 2
<35% pass # 200

AASHTO Plasticity
Chart

A-2-4

A-2-5

L.L<40
P.I<11

LL>40
P.I<10

A-2-6
LL<40
PI>11

A-2-7
LL>40
PI>10

Fine Material
Fine Material:
>35% pass # 200

A-4

A-5

L.L<40
P.I<11

LL>40
P.I<10

A-6

A-7

LL<40
PI>11

LL>40
PI>10

A-7-5
PI<(LL-30)

A-7-6
PI>(LL-30)

AASHTO PLASTICITY CHART