The dependence of soil penetrometer pressure on penetrometer size
Review articleOpen access

AbstractA set of 5 penetrometer probes with diameters ranging from 1·000 to 2·000 mm was used on remoulded and undisturbed field soils. For remoulded and uniformly-packed soil cores, the 1 mm probe had to exert a pressure typically 45–55% greater than a 2 mm probe. This effect was similar in soils ranging from heavy clay to sand. These differences can be accounted for by assuming that the probes have an effective diameter which is larger than their true diameter by an amount x. In many cases examined, x is close to 0·6 mm, but for some soils and conditions can be larger or smaller than this. The value of x is a function of soil structural condition. This size dependence should be taken into account in the interpretation of penetrometer pressures and may have important implications for the penetration of soil by root tips where diameters commonly range from 0·1 to 2 mm.

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