Analytical Methods:Image Analysis

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[edit] Image Analysis

Captured images can also be investigated using computer-based image analysis software programmes. Such techniques classify the soil components based on microscopic characteristics, typically colour but also morphology and size. This approach allows rapid, quantitative classification and measurement (surface area, number, diameter, orientation etc.) of features in thin sections. Many systems also allow automation and the alignment of multiple fields of view so that large areas of the slide can be analysed in this way (Adderley et al. 2002).

The choice of classification thresholds, whether these are based on colour, size or shape of particles, are key to the success of the technique. The application of mathematical filters such as erosion or dilation of particles, hole filling, sharpening etc. should also be used with care. One of the key difficulties with the use of image analysis techniques in soils is the lack of unequivical defining characteristics.


[edit] References

  • Adderley, W.P., Simpson, I.A., and Davidson, D.A. (2002) Colour description and quantification in mosaic images of soil thin sections. Geoderma, 108, 181-195


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