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Particle size distribution (PSD) is a fundamental physical property of soils. Traditionally, the PSD curve was generated by hand from limited data of particle size analysis, which is subjective and may lead to significant uncertainty in the freehand PSD curve and graphically estimated cumulative particle percentages. To overcome these problems, a log-cubic method was proposed for the generation of PSD curve based on a monotone piecewise cubic interpolation method. The log-cubic method and commonly used log-linear and log-spline methods were evaluated by the leave-one-out cross-validation method for 394 soil samples extracted from UNSODA database. Mean error and root mean square error of the cross-validation show that the log-cubic method outperforms two other methods. What is more important, PSD curve generated by the log-cubic method meets essential requirements of a PSD curve, that is, passing through all measured data and being both smooth and monotone. The proposed log-cubic method provides an objective and reliable way to generate a PSD curve from limited soil particle analysis data. This method and the generated PSD curve can be used in the conversion of different soil texture schemes, assessment of grading pattern, and estimation of soil hydraulic parameters and erodibility factor.

Citation

Songhao Shang. Log-cubic method for generation of soil particle size distribution curve. TheScientificWorldJournal. 2013;2013:579460

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PMID: 23766698

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