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Assessment of soil structure using X-ray computed tomography

By
H. Rogasik
H. Rogasik
Centre for Agricultural Landscape and Land Use Research Müncheberg, Eberswalder Strasse 84, D-15374 Müncheberg, Germany (e-mail: hrogasik@zalf.de)
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I. Onasch
I. Onasch
Centre for Agricultural Landscape and Land Use Research Müncheberg, Eberswalder Strasse 84, D-15374 Müncheberg, Germany (e-mail: hrogasik@zalf.de)
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J. Brunotte
J. Brunotte
Federal Agricultural Research Centre Braunschweig- Völkenrode, Bundesallee 50, D-38116 Braunschweig, Germany
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D. Jegou
D. Jegou
Universite de Rennes 1 Station Biologique, F-35380 Paimpont, France
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O. Wendroth
O. Wendroth
Centre for Agricultural Landscape and Land Use Research Müncheberg, Eberswalder Strasse 84, D-15374 Müncheberg, Germany (e-mail: hrogasik@zalf.de)
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Published:
January 01, 2003

Abstract

Assessment of soil structure, characterized by complex morphological and functional properties, is difficult because most conventional soil physical investigations are destructive and variable in spatial resolution. The use of X-ray computed tomography, as a non-destructive technique, presents significant progress. It can be used to study soil structure at the millimetre scale, e.g. with a resolution of 0.25 mm in the horizontal direction and 1 mm in the vertical direction for the reported study. The measured Hounsfield Unit (HU) values characterize X-ray attenuation for each volume element of the soil core samples. From HU values, soil physical properties of soil cores or their subunits can be derived. They enable: (i) visual assessment of the soil structural condition through inspection of the X-ray CT images; (ii) 3D visualization of air-filled macropores; and (iii) calculation of the mean dry bulk density and standard deviation of voxel-related HU values for successive slices of soil cores. The degradation of structure of loamy and silty soils by tillage could be assessed by CT through quantification of decreased air-filled porosity, destroyed macropore connectivity, increased dry bulk density and decreased standard deviation of HU values in horizontal slices. Small-scale compactions near earthworm burrows could also be detected.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Applications of X-ray Computed Tomography in the Geosciences

F. Mees
F. Mees
Ghent University, Belgium
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R. Swennen
R. Swennen
Physico-chemical Geology, K. U. Leuven, Belgium
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M. Van Geet
M. Van Geet
SCK-CEN, Belgium
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P. Jacobs
P. Jacobs
Ghent University, Belgium
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Geological Society of London
Volume
215
ISBN electronic:
9781862394636
Publication date:
January 01, 2003

GeoRef

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