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Encyclopedia > Particle size

Particle size, also called grain size, refers to the diameter of individual grains of sediment, or the lithified particles in clastic rocks. The term may also be applied to other granular materials. This is different from the crystallite size, which is the size of a single crystal inside the particles or grains. A single grain can be composed of several crystals. Granular material can range from very small colloidal particles, through clay, silt, sand, and gravel, to boulders. In geometry, a diameter (Greek words diairo = divide and metro = measure) of a circle is any straight line segment that passes through the center and whose endpoints are on the circular boundary, or, in more modern usage, the length of such a line segment. ... Sediment is any particulate matter that can be transported by fluid flow and which eventually is deposited as a layer of solid particles on the bed or bottom of a body of water or other liquid. ... Lithification (from the Greek word lithos meaning rock and the Latin-derived suffix -ific) is the process whereby sediments compact under pressure, expel connate fluids, and gradually become solid rock. ... Clastic rock is a geological term used to describe a sedimentary rock which is made of fragments of other rocks. ... A granular material is a conglomeration of discrete solid, macroscopic particles characterized by a loss of energy whenever the particles interact (the most common example would be friction when grains collide). ... A crystallite is a domain of solid-state matter that has the same structure as a single crystal. ... Quartz crystal Copper(II) sulfate and iodine crystal Synthetic bismuth crystal Insulin crystals Gallium, a metal that easily forms large single crystals A huge monocrystal of potassium dihydrogen phosphate grown from solution by Saint-Gobain for the megajoule laser of CEA. In chemistry and mineralogy, a crystal is a solid... Quartz crystal Copper(II) sulfate and iodine crystal Synthetic bismuth crystal Insulin crystals Gallium, a metal that easily forms large single crystals A huge monocrystal of potassium dihydrogen phosphate grown from solution by Saint-Gobain for the megajoule laser of CEA. In chemistry and mineralogy, a crystal is a solid... A granular material is a conglomeration of discrete solid, macroscopic particles characterized by a loss of energy whenever the particles interact (the most common example would be friction when grains collide). ... In general, a colloid or colloidal dispersion is a substance with components of one or two phases, a type of mixture intermediate between a homogeneous mixture (also called a solution) and a heterogeneous mixture with properties also intermediate between the two. ... The Gay Head cliffs in Marthas Vineyard are made almost entirely of clay. ... Silt is soil or rock derived granular material of a specific grain size. ... Patterns in the sand Sand is a granular material made up of fine rock particles. ... Gravel being unloaded from a barge Gravel is rock that is of a certain grain size range. ... Boulder In geology, a boulder is a rock with grain size of usually no less than 256 mm (10 inches) diameter. ...


Size ranges define limits of classes that are given names in the Wentworth scale (or Udden-Wentworth) used in the United States. The Krumbein phi (φ) scale, a modification of the Wentworth scale created by W. C. Krumbein, is a logarithmic scale computed by the equation: A logarithmic scale is a scale of measurement that uses the logarithm of a physical quantity instead of the quantity itself. ...

where

φ is the Krumbein phi scale, and
D is the diameter of the particle, in millimetres

This equation can be rearranged to find diameter using φ: In geometry, a diameter (Greek words diairo = divide and metro = measure) of a circle is any straight line segment that passes through the center and whose endpoints are on the circular boundary, or, in more modern usage, the length of such a line segment. ... A millimetre (American spelling: millimeter), symbol mm is an SI unit of length that is equal to one thousandth of a metre. ...

φ scale Size range
(metric)
Size range
(approx. inches)
Aggregate name
(Wentworth Class)
Other names
< −8 > 256 mm > 10.1 in Boulder
−6 to −8 64–256 mm 2.5–10.1 in Cobble
−5 to −6 32–64 mm 1.26–2.5 in Very coarse gravel Pebble
−4 to −5 16–32 mm 0.63–1.26 in Coarse gravel Pebble
−3 to −4 8–16 mm 0.31–0.63 in Medium gravel Pebble
−2 to −3 4–8 mm 0.157–0.31 in Fine gravel Pebble
−1 to −2 2–4 mm 0.079–0.157 in Very fine gravel Granule
0 to −1 1–2 mm 0.039–0.079 in Very coarse sand
1 to 0 ½–1 mm 0.020–0.039 in Coarse sand
2 to 1 ¼–½ mm 0.010–0.020 in Medium sand
3 to 2 125–250 µm 0.0049–0.010 in Fine sand
4 to 3 62.5–125 µm 0.0025–0.0049 in Very fine sand
8 to 4 3.90625–62.5 µm 0.00015–0.0025 in Silt Mud
> 8 < 3.90625 µm < 0.00015 in Clay Mud
>10 < 1 µm < 0.000039 in Colloid Mud

In some schemes "gravel" is anything larger than sand (>2.0 mm), and includes "granule", "pebble", "cobble", and "boulder" in the above table. In this scheme, "pebble" covers the size range 4 to 64 mm (−2 to −6 φ). Boulder In geology, a boulder is a rock with grain size of usually no less than 256 mm (10 inches) diameter. ... Cobble is a geologic term for a rock or rock fragment with a grain size with dimensions between 64&#8211;256 mm (2. ... Gravel being unloaded from a barge Gravel is rock that is of a certain grain size range. ... Pebbles A pebble is a rock with a size of 4 to 75 millimeters (some say 64 millimeters). ... Gravel being unloaded from a barge Gravel is rock that is of a certain grain size range. ... Pebbles A pebble is a rock with a size of 4 to 75 millimeters (some say 64 millimeters). ... Gravel being unloaded from a barge Gravel is rock that is of a certain grain size range. ... Pebbles A pebble is a rock with a size of 4 to 75 millimeters (some say 64 millimeters). ... Gravel being unloaded from a barge Gravel is rock that is of a certain grain size range. ... Pebbles A pebble is a rock with a size of 4 to 75 millimeters (some say 64 millimeters). ... Gravel being unloaded from a barge Gravel is rock that is of a certain grain size range. ... An assortment of grains The word grain has a great many meanings, most being descriptive of a small piece or particle. ... Patterns in the sand Sand is a granular material made up of fine rock particles. ... Patterns in the sand Sand is a granular material made up of fine rock particles. ... Patterns in the sand Sand is a granular material made up of fine rock particles. ... Patterns in the sand Sand is a granular material made up of fine rock particles. ... Patterns in the sand Sand is a granular material made up of fine rock particles. ... Silt is soil or rock derived granular material of a specific grain size. ... In computer gaming, a MUD (Multi-User Dungeon or Domain or Dimension) is a multi-player computer game that combines elements of role-playing games, hack and slash style computer games and social chat rooms. ... The Gay Head cliffs in Marthas Vineyard are made almost entirely of clay. ... In computer gaming, a MUD (Multi-User Dungeon or Domain or Dimension) is a multi-player computer game that combines elements of role-playing games, hack and slash style computer games and social chat rooms. ... In general, a colloid or colloidal dispersion is a substance with components of one or two phases, a type of mixture intermediate between a homogeneous mixture (also called a solution) and a heterogeneous mixture with properties also intermediate between the two. ... In computer gaming, a MUD (Multi-User Dungeon or Domain or Dimension) is a multi-player computer game that combines elements of role-playing games, hack and slash style computer games and social chat rooms. ...


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