As with other branches of pedology, the adaptation of digital imaging and computerized image analysis has transformed micromorphology from a qualitative to a quantitative science. Moreover, such comprehensive data sets enable the consideration of soil from a more holist perspective. A considerable amount of effort has been devoted, since the mid‐1980s, to the development of techniques for the automated characterization of optical imagery of soil thin sections. Though much of this work has employed pixel‐based classification, the refinement of object‐based classification routines now permits the spatial analysis of soil imagery from both the continuous field and entity approaches.
Thin sections have proven to be quite useful for examining the composition and association of soil components; there are, however, practical aspects that limit their detailed spatial analysis (Stoops, 2003). Features that are not large enough (20–30 μm) to extend through the section cannot be clearly...
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