Soils are made up of fragments of rocks and minerals as well as organics such as decayed plant material. Construction professionals use established soil classifications that help them define the type, size and distribution of soil particles in a representative sample at a project site. Prior to work, soil samples will often be taken and analyzed if a clear and comprehensive assessment of the site soils cannot be quickly determined. Classification allows for a sound understanding of a soil’s weight by volume, ability to support loads, permeability, cohesiveness and texture. These factors are not only critical to academic engineering concerns, but also represent time and cost considerations for earthwork, such as a potential need to remove existing soils and replace them with new ones, or concerns about construction equipment becoming mired in poor soils. Earthwork activities for a project might include clearing away debris and vegetation, grading of the project site to a level condition, excavations and embankments, and preparing roadway soils for pavement operations.