Grain size of marine sediments in the environmental studies, from sampling to measuring and classifying. A critical review of the most used procedures

Elena Romano, Maria Celia Magno, Luisa Bergamin


The knowledge of sediment texture is a main issue in the marine environmental research. Studies on sediment contamination, ecology of benthic communities, seismic studies, remote sensing surveys and beach nourishment are among the research areas which benefit of information on sediment grain size. In this review, the main methods used for sampling, measuring and classifying marine sediments are critically illustrated in order to highlight their strengths and weaknesses. From this revision it was deduced that it does not exists a single procedure, considered as the best one, to be applied in all the cases for obtaining reliable grain size data. This result can be achieved using as much as possible flexible strategies, and adopting the suitable sampling devices and analytical instruments based on the overall characteristics of the study area and the specific aim of the survey.

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