Sand and silt are formed by 2 different abrasional mechanisms. Silt grains generally represent chips broken off of larger grains, and large grains are rarely abraded down to the fine sand or silt range. The sand and silt thus represent 2 different populations, each with a characteristic size distribution curve, and with little overlap between the two. The break between the populations probably occurs at a size of approximately 0.25 mm and accounts for the commonly observed deficiency of sediment within 0.05 to 0.25 mm range.

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