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A theory that accurately describes tensile strength of wet sand is presented. A closed form expression for tensile strength unifies tensile strength characteristics in all three water retention regimes: pendular, funicular, and capillary. Tensile strength characteristically increases as soil water content increases in the pendular regime, reaches a peak in the funicular regime, and reduces with a continuing water content increase in the capillary regime. Three parameters are employed in thedoi:10.1061/(asce)em.1943-7889.0000054 fatcat:4hci6zrqabftpnxdqkdzfazn5m