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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2005-1001
USGS East-Coast Sediment Analysis: Procedures, Database, and GIS Data



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Program Name: SEDCLASS.EXE


Type: Main program


Purpose: This program uses percentages of gravel, sand, silt, and clay to classify sediments based on systems from Shepard (1954) and Folk (1954, 1974).


Operating System: Windows 95/98/2000/ME/XP


Source Language: Microsoft Visual Basic Professional 6.0


Source Code: SEDCLASS.VBP and associated forms


Program Category: Data processing


Input: A comma-delimited file in ASCII format that contains seven fields per line (record). The first line of the input file must be a header that lists the field attributes. These should be sample-identifier, latitude, longitude, and the percentages of gravel, sand, silt, and clay (in that order). The Sample id field and the navigation fields may be alphanumeric and the navigation fields may be left blank; that is, not omitted, but comma-delimited. The percentages of gravel, sand, silt, and clay must total 100% (+/- 0.1%) or you will get an error message that CFP (cumulative frequency percentage) is not equal to 100%.


Output: The output file will be comma delimited and contain eight fields including: sample identifier, latitude, longitude, the percentages of gravel, sand, silt, and clay; and the calculated sediment classification based on the system selected by the user.  The first line of the output file is a header that lists the field attributes that were provided by the user, also comma delimited, plus the classification method used, “SHEPARD_CLASS” or “FOLK_CLASS”.  Users of languages other than English may use their own header records.


Usage: Upon successful installation, the program may be executed by simply clicking on the executable program Sedclass.exe. Alternately, the program may be executed by clicking START, then RUN, and then typing the path and name of the program.


The program opens a Window that presents the user with several options.  First, the user can select a sediment classification scheme, either the one modified from Shepard (1954) or that of Folk (1954, 1974). Second, clicking on the “input file” button opens a text window that allows the user to identify the file to be processed and to specify its location.  Thirdly, clicking on the “output file” button opens a text window that allows the user to name the file to be generated and to specify the destination directory. The program will not run unless an output file is selected, nor will the program allow identical input and output filenames and paths. If a file of the same name already exists in the destination directory, a window will open that warns the user that the existing file will be replaced. If no destination directory is specified, the output file is written to C:\ (the root directory).


Clicking the “Run” command button executes the data processing. The program generates the output file in the requested destination directory and allows the user to view results in a display window to determine whether errors have occurred. Clicking the “Reset-Restart” button restarts the program; clicking the “Information” button allows the user to view schematics of the classification systems, input or output files, or this documentation; “Close” exits the program and closes the window. On systems with no mouse, the user can hold down the “Alt” key and press the underlined character for the desired function.


Diagnostics: If the percentages of the various size fractions do not total 100% (+/- 0.1%), the program will continue, but an “ERROR CFP NOT 100%” message will appear in the classification field for that record. If an input record contains too few fields, the program will continue, but a record will be written containing the Sample Identifier (if available), null fields, and an error message “ERROR. INPUT RECORD FORMAT” in the classification field. If an input record should contain more than seven fields, those extra fields will be ignored. If the input file has a header record containing more than seven fields, the user will be warned that they may have selected an output file and the filename will NOT be accepted. Tip: If a user wishes to read an output file as an input file it is only necessary to remove the eighth field of the header record.


Disclaimer:  Although this program has been used by the U.S. Geological Survey and Eliason Data Services no warranty is expressed or implied.


 Author: A.H. Eliason

Eliason Data Services

230 Meetinghouse Road

Mashpee, MA 02649

(508) 477-3155


Maintenance: L. Poppe

U.S. Geological Survey

384 Woods Hole Road

Woods Hole, MA 02543

(508) 548-8700 x2314

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Coastal and Marine Geology Program
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