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Communication

Particle Size Distribution of Various Soil Materials Measured by Laser Diffraction—The Problem of Reproducibility

Institute of Agrophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences in Lublin, 20-290 Lublin, Poland
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Academic Editors: Neda Vdović, Kristina Pikelj and Mavro Lučić
Minerals 2021, 11(5), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11050465
Received: 2 April 2021 / Revised: 23 April 2021 / Accepted: 26 April 2021 / Published: 28 April 2021
Particle size distribution is an important soil parameter—therefore precise measurement of this characteristic is essential. The application of the widely used laser diffraction method for soil analysis continues to be a subject of debate. The precision of this method, proven on homogeneous samples, has been implicitly extended to soil analyses, but this has not been sufficiently well confirmed in the literature thus far. The aim of this study is to supplement the information available on the precision of the method in terms of reproducibility of soil measurement and whether the reproducibility of soil measurement is characterized by a normal distribution. To estimate the reproducibility of the laser diffraction method, thirteen various soil samples were characterized, and results were analysed statistically. The coefficient of variation acquired was lowest (3.44%) for silt and highest for sand (23.28%). Five of the thirteen tested samples were characterized by a normal distribution. The fraction content of eight samples was not characterized by normal distribution, but the extent of this phenomenon varied between soils. Although the laser diffraction method is repeatable, the measurement of soil particle size distribution can have limited reproducibility. The main cause seems to be small amounts of sand particles. The error can be amplified by the construction of the dispersion unit. Non-parametric statistical tests should be used by default for soil laser diffraction method analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: particle size distribution; soil; normality tests particle size distribution; soil; normality tests
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MDPI and ACS Style

Polakowski, C.; Ryżak, M.; Sochan, A.; Beczek, M.; Mazur, R.; Bieganowski, A. Particle Size Distribution of Various Soil Materials Measured by Laser Diffraction—The Problem of Reproducibility. Minerals 2021, 11, 465. https://doi.org/10.3390/min11050465

AMA Style

Polakowski C, Ryżak M, Sochan A, Beczek M, Mazur R, Bieganowski A. Particle Size Distribution of Various Soil Materials Measured by Laser Diffraction—The Problem of Reproducibility. Minerals. 2021; 11(5):465. https://doi.org/10.3390/min11050465

Chicago/Turabian Style

Polakowski, Cezary, Magdalena Ryżak, Agata Sochan, Michał Beczek, Rafał Mazur, and Andrzej Bieganowski. 2021. "Particle Size Distribution of Various Soil Materials Measured by Laser Diffraction—The Problem of Reproducibility" Minerals 11, no. 5: 465. https://doi.org/10.3390/min11050465

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