: a measure of a soil sample's capacity for containing water used to determine the soil's structural characteristics
… 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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