Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky, Brian Marker

Classification of Soils

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73568-9_52


Characterization of soils; Description of soils; Properties of soils; Systems for soil description


An unconsolidated natural set of solid mineral particles that result from physical disintegration and chemical decomposition of rocks, which may contain organic matter and voids between the particles, isolated or linked, which may contain water and/or air.


Classification of soils consists of the division of soils into classes based on their genetic, textural, chemical, mineralogical, physical, or geotechnical characteristics. The nature of the parent rock influences the composition of the resulting soil. The weathering processes and type and amount of transport before deposition, as in the case of sedimentary soils, affect the structure of the soils and their engineering properties.

Soil has several meanings according to the professional perspective of the person who defines it. The main purpose of the systems for soil classification is to group different...

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GeoBioTec Research Centre (UID/GEO/04035/2013), Department of Geosciences, School of Sciences and TechnologyUniversity of ÉvoraÉvoraPortugal
  2. 2.CONSTRUCT Institute of R&D in Structures and Construction (UP), School of Technology and ManagementPolytechnic Institute of Guarda (IPG)GuardaPortugal