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PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINATION OF SEDIMENT PARTICLE SIZE (GRAIN SIZE)
Efficient method to determine the percentage of sand, silt, and clay for physical characterization of environmental sediment samples.
Sediment quality and sediment remediation projects have become a high priority for USEPA. Sediment particle size determinations are used in environmental assessments for habitat characterization, chemical normalization, and partitioning potential of chemicals. The accepted methods for particle size analysis include the pipet, hydrometer, and laser techniques. Each technique has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. A particle size technique, named the Bucket Method, was developed for determination of sand, silt, and clay in environmental sediment samples. The technique is a modification of the pipet technique and incorporates a calibrated bucket and improved separation of the sand mud fraction. The Bucket method was tested against a standardized technique on 30 sediment samples and there were no significant differences in results between the methods. The major advantage of this method is the improvement in efficiency when compared to existing particle sizing methods.