EGU General Assembly 2007
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  Information - SSS10 3D Visualization and Quantification of Soil Pore Geometries (co-listed in HS)

Event Information
Knowledge on soil pore geometry is important for understanding soil processes as it controls the movement and storage of fluids (gas and water) on various scales. For example, the relevance of the internal structure of soil aggregates (i.e. the spatial arrangement of solids and voids) for microbial processes and thus for long term sequestration of soil organic carbon (SOC) is well known. For other phenomena such as preferential flow small scale soil heterogeneities and intra-aggregate pore space are of prime importance. With the advent of modern non-destructive tomography techniques, which resolve the pore space on both the inter-aggregate scale (CT) and the intra-aggregate scale (MCT), there have been many attempts made to analyze pore space features, however, mainly concentrating on the visualization of soil structure.

Although 2D quantifications have been carried out for quite a while using images from different sources (CT, soil thin sections, etc.) so far only little progress is made in quantifying soil pore space features in 3D. This is partly due to the lack of 3D image reconstructions with a sufficiently high resolution in three dimensions and partly due to the fact that robust algorithms for 3D image analysis have since lately been missing. Current improvements in computational tomography (medical, industrial) and particularly in microtomography utilizing high intensity beams from synchrotron radiation sources result in 3D image datasets with ever increasing resolution. This opens the great and challenging opportunity to develop and test techniques for quantifying pore space properties in three dimensions covering both macro- and micropores. Advances in this field will improve our understanding of physical, chemical and biological processes and their interaction in the soil environment. Further, modeling of water flow and solute transport are very likely to benefit significantly from 3D pore space quantifications.

This multidisciplinary symposium will focus primarily on soil pore geometries within the various “black boxes” of soils ranging from complete profiles to micro-aggregate structures. Emphases will include pore alterations influenced by the shrink/swell properties of soil aggregates during multiple hydration/dehydration cycling. Macropores generated by soil mesofauna and root systems controlling water/ion fluxes and gas diffusion which modify the soil environment, plant growth, bioremediation, and other important ecological processes will be addressed. The wide range of pore geometries and scales involved in soil/pore structure analysis will require the contribution of different imaging techniques. Therefore, workers employing methods such as X and -ray computed tomography, NMR imaging, other medical techniques (PET, SPECT), serial sectioning methods, geophysical methods (GPR, ERT, seismic etc…), and synchrotron radiation are invited to contribute to this session. Emphasis should be placed on proposing approaches and techniques for quantifying the 3D pore geometry taking account for the complex nature of the pore space. By this we hope to summarize the state of knowledge in the field of 3D pore space analysis and built a platform from which we can make further steps leading us form visualization to quantification of the pore geometry of soils on various scales.

Preliminary List of Solicited Speakers


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