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Sediment and Sedimentation

Sediment Size

Sediments come in all shapes and sizes. Sediment sizes are classified by separating them into a number of groups, based on metric measurements, and naming them using common terms and size modifiers. The terms, in order of decreasing size, are boulder (> 256 mm), cobble (256-64 mm), pebble (64-2 mm), sand (2-1/16 mm), silt (1/16-1/256 mm), and clay (< 1/256 mm). The modifiers in decreasing size order, are very coarse, coarse, medium, fine, and very fine. For example, sand is sediment that ranges in size from 2 millimeters to 1/16 mm. Very coarse sand ranges from 2 mm to 1 mm; coarse from 1 mm to 1/2 mm; medium from 1/2 mm to 1/4 mm; fine from 1/4 mm to 1/8 mm; and very fine from 1/8 mm to 1/16 mm. Unfortunately, the entire classification is not as consistent as the terminology for sand—not every group includes size modifiers.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Jean-Paul Sartre Biography to Seminiferous tubulesSediment and Sedimentation - Weathering, Water, Wind, Glacial Ice, Sediment Erosion, Sediment Size, Sediment Load - Erosion and transport, Agents of erosion and transport, Deposition