How to best utilize synchrotron X-ray computed microtomography imaging for 3D soil aggregates characterization?

Wang, W., A. N. Kravchenko, K. A. Ananyeva, A. Worth, A. J. M. Smucker, H. Chun, M. A. Mazher, J. B. Rose, and M. L. Rivers

Presented at the All Scientist Meeting (2011-04-15 to 2011-04-15 )

Soil aggregates play an important role in many soil processes, including solution transport, nutrient storage, carbon sequestration and microbial activity. Aggregate contribution to soil processes epends on aggregate compositions and internal pore geometries. X-ray computed microtomography (CMT) is a great tool that allows quantitative descriptions and comparisons of the aggregate structures and geometries. However, effective use of soil aggregate CMT images depends on successfully resolving a number of image and data processing issues.

In this study, we addressed several aspects of optimal use of the 3D soil aggregate CMT image information, including proposing a simulation approach for soil pore/solid classification and assessing segmentation criteria in selecting best segmentation method; using imaging processing technique, i.e. flood fill algorithm, image closing and image filling, to define aggregates boundaries; utilizing 3DMA-Rock software (Lindquist, 1999) for image segmentation and pore shape and fluid flow related characterization.

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