3D soil image characterization applied to hydraulic properties computation
J. F. Delerue, E. Perrier, A. Timmerman, R. Swennen, 2003. "3D soil image characterization applied to hydraulic properties computation", Applications of X-ray Computed Tomography in the Geosciences, F. Mees, R. Swennen, M. Van Geet, P. Jacobs
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We propose a novel method to characterize the fluid-filled (usually air or water) space in images of porous media at the pore scale. First, an aperture map is created based on a skeleton process, to describe all local sizes in the pore space. Then the pore space is segmented in pores, defined as elementary objects that compose the pore space. Using this segmented image, a pore network is created, which is a graphic representation of the pore space that includes local sizes and direct information about connectivity at the pore scale. As an application of this method for pore space modelling, the equivalent hydraulic conductivity or permeability for a soil sample is computed.
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X-ray computed tomography (CT) is a technique that allows non-destructive imaging and quantification of internal features of objects. It was originally developed as a medical imaging technique, but it is now also becoming widely used for the study of materials in engineering and the geosciences. X-ray CT reveals differences in density and atomic composition and can therefore be used for the study of porosity, the relative distribution of contrasting solid phases and the penetration of injected solutions. As a non-destructive technique, it is ideally suited for monitoring of processes, such as the movement of solutions and the behaviour of materials under compression. Because large numbers of parallel two-dimensional cross-sections can be obtained, three-dimensional representations of selected features can be created. In this book, various applications of X-ray CT in the geosciences are illustrated by papers covering a wide range of disciplines, including petrology, soil science, petroleum geology, geomechanics and sedimentology.