Intensity and degree of segregation in bimodal and multimodal grain size distributions

Itzhak Katra, Hezi Yizhaq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The commonly used grain size analysis technique which applies moments (sorting, skewness and kurtosis) is less useful in the case of sediments with bimodal size distributions. Herein we suggest a new simple method for analyzing the degree of grain size segregation in sand-sized sediment that has clear bimodal size distributions. Two main features are used to characterize the bimodal distribution: grain diameter segregation, which is the normalized difference between coarse and fine grain diameters, and the frequency segregation which is the normalized difference in frequencies between two modes. The new defined indices can be calculated from frequency plot curves and can be graphically represented on a two dimensional coordinate system showing the dynamical aspects of the size distribution. The results enable comparison between granular samples from different locations and/or times to shed new light on the dynamic processes involved in grain size segregation of sediments. We demonstrate here the use of this method to analyze bimodal distributions of aeolian granular samples mostly from aeolian megaripples. Six different aeolian cases were analyzed to highlight the method's applicability, which is relevant to wide research themes in the Earth and environmental sciences, and can furthermore be easily adapted to analyze polymodal grain size distributions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-34
Number of pages12
JournalAeolian Research
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Aeolian megaripples
  • Bimodal distribution
  • Dust
  • Grain size distribution
  • Sand
  • Segregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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