Volume, Surface, Connectivity and Size Distribution of Soil Pore Space in CT Images: Comparison of Samples at Different Depths from Nearby Natural and Tillage Areas

Abstract

The study of soil structure, i.e., the pores, is of vital importance in different fields of science and technology. Total pore volume (porosity), pore surface, pore connectivity and pore size distribution are some (probably the most important) of the geometric measurements of pore space. The technology of X-ray computed tomography allows us to obtain 3D images of the inside of a soil sample enabling study of the pores without disturbing the samples. In this work we performed a set of geometrical measures, some of them from mathematical morphology, to assess and quantify any possible difference that tillage may have caused on the soil. We compared samples from tilled soil with samples from a soil with natural vegetation taken in a very close area. Our results show that the main differences between these two groups of samples are total surface area and pore connectivity per unit pore volume.

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Acknowledgments

This research work was partially funded by Spain’s Plan Nacional de Investigación Científica, Desarrollo e Innovación Tecnológica (I + D + I) under ref. AGL2011-25175.

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Correspondence to F. J. Muñoz-Ortega.

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Muñoz-Ortega, F.J., San José Martínez, F. & Caniego Monreal, F.J. Volume, Surface, Connectivity and Size Distribution of Soil Pore Space in CT Images: Comparison of Samples at Different Depths from Nearby Natural and Tillage Areas. Pure Appl. Geophys. 172, 167–179 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00024-014-0897-5

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Keywords

  • Pore Size Distribution
  • Pore Surface
  • Mathematical Morphology
  • Morphological Transformation
  • Specific Pore