An Image-Based Method for Determining Bulk Density and the Soil Shrinkage Curve Public Deposited

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  • Current laboratory methods for determining volume and bulk density of soil clods include dipping saran-coated clods in water (a destructive process due to the permanent coating), performing physical measurements on samples with well-defined geometries, or using expensive equipment and proprietary software (such as laser scanners). We propose an alternative method for determining the volume and bulk density of a soil clod, which is non-destructive, low-cost and utilizes free and open-source software. This method (the clodometer method) uses a standard digital camera to image a rotating clod, which allows for reconstruction of its three-dimensional surface and subsequent calculation of its volume. We validated the method through comparison to the standard displacement method, and then used the method to create a soil shrinkage curve for the Waldo silty clay loam soil. The method had acceptable precision (relative standard errors of the mean between 0.4 – 1.6%), which may be further improved through future software development.
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  • Stewart, R., Abou Najm, M., Rupp, D., & Selker, J. (2012). An image-based method for determining bulk density and the soil shrinkage curve. SOIL SCIENCE SOCIETY OF AMERICA JOURNAL, 76(4), 1217-1221. doi: 10.2136/sssaj2011.0276n
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  • 76
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  • 4
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