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Synchrotron radiation based microtomography (SR-µCT) of soil aggregates

Knowledge on the geometry of pore networks of intra-aggregate soil pore spaces are of great value for many soil environmental processes. mehr...  In this project the 3D pore space of small scale soil aggregates from contrasting soil management systems is investigated using synchrotron-radiation-based microtomography images. Three-dimensional reconstructions are analysed for various pore space features using a suite of algorithms (3dma; Lindquist et al. 2005) based on mathematical morphology. Results show expected differences in distributions of pore size, throat size, channel length and width as well as tortuosity and connectivity of the intra-aggregate pores that have potential implications for soil functions. Synchrotron imaging is carried out in cooperation with the GKSS research centre at HASYLAB/DESY in Hamburg and supported by the Helmholtz Association

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Reconstructed 3D view of imaged soil aggregate (a) and cross sectional view of image slice showing intra-aggregate macropores and shrinkage cracks (b). The aggregate has a diameter of approximately 5 mm and the achieved voxel resolution was ~5 mm. A brick shaped subvolume (450 x 500 x 320 voxels) has been extracted for medial axis construction showing the 3D architecture of the pore network (c). Colours correspond to channel widths with red colours representing narrow channels and purple colours representing wide pore channels. Connectivity of opposite interfaces is obtained by a virtual flow experiment shown in d) with shortest possible connections from left (inlet) to right (outlet).

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Prof. Dr. Rainer Horn

Projektträger: Helmholtzgesellschaft