Atterberg limit

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noun At·ter·berg limit \ˈa-tər-ˌbərg-, ˈä-tər-ˌber-ē-\

Definition of Atterberg limit

civil engineering

  1. :  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 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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Origin and Etymology of atterberg limit

after Albert Atterberg †1916 Swedish chemist


First Known Use: 1926


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