Fractal Analysis of CT-Measured Porosity for Claypan Soils


Advances in the application of X-ray computed tomography (CT) for evaluation of soil porosity have added a new research tool for investigating porosity features. Objectives of this study were to evaluate CT scan porosity images using fractal dimension and lacunarity and to relate these fractal properties to bulk core properties of soil saturated hydraulic conductivity and macroporosity. Forty intact samples taken at four depths were scanned at 7 mm distances throughout each core to provide eight scans per sample. CT-measured density from samples equilibrated to three soil water potentials was found to be fractal at a scale from 0.2 to 76 mm. Fractal lacunarity of CT-measured density was found to be a quadratic function of soil depth while fractal dimension was not correlated with depth. Fractal lacunarity of CT-measured density was significantly correlated with log-transformed saturated hydraulic conductivity (r = 0.66) and macroporosity (r = 0.74). Lacunarity was found to be more sensitive than fractal dimension in differentiating effects of soil depth. This study illustrates how X-ray CT images from soil cores can be evaluated using fractal analysis techniques to obtain parameters which correlate with core-scale soil physical properties.

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Materials and Methods
  • Results and Discussion
  • Conclusions
  • References

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