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Akshay Lanje
civil engineer
Asked a question last year

What is shrinkage limit?

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Fasi Ur Rahman
Author at The Constructor

The shrinkage limit of soil is the water content of the soil when the water is just sufficient to fill all the pores of the soil and the soil is just saturated.

The volume of the soil does not decrease when the water content is reduced below the shrinkage limit. Shrinkage limit can be determined from the relation

What is shrinkage limit?

Where M1= initial wet mass, V1= initial volume Ms = dry mass of soil V2 = volume after drying.

Shrinkage limit defined as, 

  • the maximum water content at which a reduction in water content will not cause a decrease in the volume of a soil mass.
  •  It is lowest water content at which soil can still be completely saturated.