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Lab Services: Soil testing

Lab Services: Soil testing

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Test Method Title

Standard Practice for Description and Identification of Soils (Visual-Manual Procedure)

Reference Number

ASTM D2488



Test Property

Soil Identification

Description of Test

Using visual examination and simple manual tests, this practice gives standardized criteria and procedures for describing and identifying soils. The descriptive information required in this practice should be used to supplement the classification of a soil as determined by Test Method D 2487. This practice may be used in identifying soils using the classification group symbols and names as prescribed in Test Method D 2487. Since the names and symbols used in this practice to identify the soils are the same as those used in Test Method D 2487, it shall be clearly stated in reports and all other appropriate documents, that the classification symbol and name are based on the visual-manual procedures. This practice is to be used not only for identification of soils in the field, but also in the office, laboratory, or wherever soil samples are inspected and described.

Preferred Test Sample Size

Number of Test Specimens


Test Specimen Size

Material passing #10 sieve of 115 grams for sandy soil and 65 grams for silt and clay soil


Classification, clay, gravel, organic soils, sand, silt, soil classification, soil description, visual classification

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New York