Encyclopedia of Soil Science

2008 Edition
| Editors: Ward Chesworth


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-3995-9_128

The coherence and permanence of form of a mass of soil; the degree of firmness with which the particles of soil cohere. Hence the resistance of a soil to deformation or rupture. In engineering usage the equivalent term is consistency. Words used to describe consistence depend upon the soil water content. In a wet soil the terms used are: non-sticky; slightly sticky; sticky; very sticky; non-plastic; slightly plastic; plastic and very plastic. In a moist soil: loose; very friable; friable; firm; very firm; compact; very compact; and extremely compact. In a dry soil: loose; soft; slightly hard; hard; very hard; and extremely hard. In a cemented soil weakly cemented; strongly cemented, and indurated. (Gregorich et al., 2001, p76).


  1. Gregorich, E., Turchenek, L.W., Carter, M.R., and Angers, D.A., 2001. Soil and Environmental Science Dictionary. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 577 pp.Google Scholar

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