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An Open Soil Structure Library based on X-ray CT data
Soil  (IF5.841),  Pub Date : 2021-09-20, DOI: 10.5194/soil-2021-96
Ulrich Weller, Lukas Albrecht, Steffen Schlüter, Hans-Jörg Vogel

Abstract. Soil structure in terms of the spatial arrangement of pores and solid is highly relevant for most physical, biochemical processes in soil. While this is known for long a scientific approach to quantify soil structural characteristics was also missing for long. This was due to its buried nature but also due to the three-dimensional complexity. During the last two decades, tools to acquire full 3D images of undisturbed soil became more and more available and a number of powerful software tools were developed to reduce the complexity to a set of meaningful numbers. However, the standardization of soil structure analysis for a better comparability of the results is not well developed and the accessibility of required computing facilities and software is still limited. At this stage we introduce an open access Soil Structure Library (https://structurelib.ufz.de/) which offers well-defined soil structure analyses for X-ray CT data sets uploaded by interested scientists. At the same time, the aim of this library is to serve as an open data source for real pore structures as developed in a wide spectrum of different soil types under different site conditions all over the globe. By combining pore structure metrics with essential soil information requested during upload (e.g. bulk density, texture, organic carbon content\ldots), this Soil Structure Library can be harnessed towards data mining and development of soil structure based pedotransfer functions. In this paper we describe the architecture of the Soil Structure Library and the provided metrics. This is complemented by an example how the data base can be used to address new research questions.