Eurasian Soil Science

, Volume 51, Issue 11, pp 1326–1347 | Cite as

From the Notion of Elementary Soil Particle to the Particle-Size and Microaggregate-Size Distribution Analyses: A Review

  • A. V. YudinaEmail author
  • D. S. Fomin
  • A. D. Kotelnikova
  • E. Yu. Milanovskii


A review of approaches to particle-size and microaggregate-size distribution analyses applied in soil science is given. The concepts of the structural organization of soils, primary soil particles, elementary soil particles, and soil microaggregates are considered. Methodological problems, such as the preparation of soil samples for the analyses and interpretation and comparison of the results obtained by different methods, are discussed. The authors suggest the theoretical substantiation of differences between the notions of primary soil particles (soil building units) and elementary soil particles. Primary soil particles are individual mineral particles. Elementary soil particles are solid-phase products of pedogenesis represented by fragments of rocks and minerals and by organomineral and organic particles, all the components of which participate in chemical and physicochemical interactions. Special attention is paid to the existing classifications of soils according to their textures. It is suggested that the upper boundary of the clay fraction in the Russian classification should be shifted from 1 to 2 µm.


structural organization of soils classification of soil textures continuous particle-size distribution curve methods of soil dispersion pedofeatures 



This study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project no. 18-34-00825. The authors are grateful to Dr. N.B. Khitrov and Dr. E.B. Skvortsova for fruitful discussions and valuable comments and questions.


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. V. Yudina
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • D. S. Fomin
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. D. Kotelnikova
    • 1
    • 2
  • E. Yu. Milanovskii
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Dokuchaev Soil Science InstituteMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Lomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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