Atterberg limit

At·​ter·​berg limit | \ ˈa-tər-ˌbərg- How to pronounce Atterberg limit (audio) , ˈä-tər-ˌber-ē- \

Definition of Atterberg limit

civil engineering
: a measure of a soil sample's capacity for containing water used to determine the soil's structural characteristics usually plural … direct soil sampling provides the best information in terms of soil type and Atterberg limits (a series of thresholds observed when the water content of a soil is steadily changed) …— Roger Surdahl et al., Public Roads, May–June 2009

Note: The Atterberg limits indicate the transition points where a soil’s physical behavior changes. The limits most commonly studied are the Plastic Limit, which identifies how much water a given soil can hold before it changes consistency between crumbly and plastic, and the Liquid Limit, where the soil changes consistency between plastic and liquid.

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First Known Use of Atterberg limit

1926, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Atterberg limit

after Albert Atterberg †1916 Swedish chemist

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The first known use of Atterberg limit was in 1926

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Cite this Entry

“Atterberg limit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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