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This part of ISO 14688, together with ISO 14688-2, establishes the basic principles for the identification and classification of soils on the basis of those material and mass characteristics most commonly used for soils for engineering purposes. The relevant characteristics may vary and therefore, for particular projects or materials, more detailed subdivisions of the descriptive and classification terms may be appropriate. The general identification and description of soils is based on a flexible system for immediate (field) use by experienced persons, covering both material and mass characteristics by visual and manual techniques. Details are given of the individual characteristics for identifying soils and the descriptive terms in regular use, including those related to the results of tests from the field. This part of ISO 14688 is applicable to natural soils in situ, similar man-made materials in situ and soils redeposited by man. The identification and description of rocks is covered by ISO 14689. The identification and classification of soil for pedological purposes, as well as in the framework of measurements for soil protection and for remediation of contaminated areas, is covered by ISO 11259.