[Tagging] surface=ground/dirt/earth

johnw johnw at mac.com
Sat Mar 15 12:36:46 UTC 2014

On Mar 15, 2014, at 12:50 PM, Fernando Trebien <fernando.trebien at gmail.com> wrote:

> How surprisingly similar the landscape in this area is to the place
> where I live in Brazil. 

That's really pretty!

> Anyway, back to your place. I believe you'd call this a dirt road
> leading into a private property:
> https://www.google.com/maps/@32.704426,-116.720207,3a,75y,160.59h,81.43t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sH5Ez46TUHWIetR4uLSCy0Q!2e0

Honestly, I would say this is more of a gravel surface, or at least it has a strong amount of gravel in it. 

But you are exactly right - I would colloquially describe it as a dirt road. 


is what I would say is dirt, grade 2 

And here is a dirt grade 4 or 5. 


> Would you describe this surface as "earth"? Or maybe "compacted"?
> I think "sand" would usually mean fluffy sand, such as in beach sand,
> like here: https://www.google.com/maps?ll=-29.347317,-49.729185&spn=0.014065,0.047979&t=m&z=15&layer=c&cbll=-29.347303,-49.729198&panoid=nxCzohwftvM2H6wO89EJng&cbp=11,182.99,,0,3.15

That road looks really old!

Sand is hard, because a truly sand road is usually just river bottom, like in a wadi (wash) or beach, because the road is usually defined by the natural borders (the wadi's banks, shoreline, etc). I don't think there could be many marked "dune" roads, they'd disappear before they were mapped. but maybe my experience is limited. 


you can see the white sand where the road starts from the turnout. you can easily get stuck in it. 

> Here's a road in Brazil that probably fits the American definition of
> "dirt":


> However, the surface here is "compacted" according to official
> sources. It's hard to tell visually, but it's possible that the
> mixture has been compressed.

Compacted "what" is the question. Tephra? Decomposed Granite? gravel? A mixture of clay, sand, gravel, and organic bits  called "dirt" ?

I assume almost any grade 1or 2 track is compacted - isn't that part of the definition or grade 1 & 2?

but a whole lot of grade 3/4/5 maybe was once compacted, now it's just falling apart/grass growing in the center.

Grade 3 from the wiki:

 Unpaved track; an even mixture of hard and soft materials.

> This is what I believe would be described as "earth" but not
> "compacted" (also from official sources):

> I wonder if you'd call this "dirt" too. '

yea, that's a dirt road alight - not sand and not little stones.  I'm not sure, but that looks a lot like like DG - decomposed granite - similar to the red around my aunt's area in Jamul. 

> The distinction is quite
> relevant for calculation of routes: you can't travel as fast on earth
> as can on compacted, and earth is much more likely to turn into sticky
> mud that may get you bogged.

> Finding a gravel road here was harder than I thought it would be. I
> could only get this photo:
> http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_8dyZBqNo6TI/TUv3KhRjRiI/AAAAAAAAAXs/jOA_pfv_IH0/s1600/tainhas+-+brita.jpg

That is some coarse gravel, like for a quarry road for big trucks or something. 

Most of the road gravel here in Japan is about 1cm. it slowly sinks into the volcanic tephra clay, and then they add more. and more and more and more. 

> It turns out that most preparations that include "some gravel" but
> mostly "soil" here fit the definition of "compacted" quite closely.
> I think that "earth" and "soil" are similar enough to stay only with
> "earth" - but I'm not a native speaker.
> I also wonder which names the British would give to each of these surfaces.

A few of the British people I've heard responded have said that they don't have "dirt" roads there, so they are having trouble naming  these. But that isn't true. 

This looks a lot like a grade 3 dirt track in sheffield. A little gravel at the intersection, but the track sure is dirt (look at that mud!). 


Grade 3 farming track. https://www.google.com/maps/@53.480851,-1.621276,3a,75y,222.14h,71.75t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sOCVq7UW1AdoLCbgIloHlhA!2e0

Grade 3-4 track https://www.google.com/maps/@51.064536,0.093548,3a,41.3y,350.72h,76.84t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sbJDev6_uegah7WelCu1fkA!2e0

Grade 3 dirt track https://www.google.com/maps/@50.872787,0.514791,3a,75y,30.01h,68.59t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sIQaQzUZI-E1t7_2dIBzAvg!2e0

What do british people call this surface? 

 I hope it can go somewhere this time =D. 


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