Using Complex Networks to Model Two- and Three-Dimensional Soil Porous Architecture
- Sacha Jon Mooney *a and
- Dean Korošakbc
- a Environmental Sciences Section, School of Biosciences, Univ. of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
b Center for Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Univ. of Maribor, Krekova 2, Maribor SI-2000, Slovenia
c CUniv. of Maribor, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Chair for Applied Physics, Smetanova ulica 17, Maribor SI-2000, Slovenia
The ability to quantify three dimensional (3-D) soil porous architecture is a key requirement in the advanced understanding of soil functioning. Recent developments in the visualization of soil structure using tools such as x-ray Computed Tomography (CT) provide new opportunities for pore-scale modeling. Here we apply a novel complex network approach to examine soil pore architecture in both two (2-D) and three dimensions (3-D). Using images of soil structure obtained by x-ray CT, we constructed and successfully validated a complex network derived from a simple measure for network links between two pores in 2-D. We were able to illustrate that the soil comprised a spatially embedded scale-free network characterized by a power-law degree distribution. Computation of the degree dependent clustering coefficient of the constructed networks showed the hierarchical organization of the soil pore architecture. Finally, we derived an algorithm to generate a soil structure model built on the underlying scale-free network which was in close agreement with an actual 3-D reconstructed soil structure. Considering the soil system as a complex network with scale-free properties is likely to have important consequences for the further understanding of function, in particular transport in soils.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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