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Quantification of the morphology of shelly carbonate sands using 3D images

Kong, D. & Fonseca, J. (2018). Quantification of the morphology of shelly carbonate sands using 3D images. Géotechnique, 68(3), pp. 249-261. doi: 10.1680/jgeot.16.P.278


Shelly carbonate sands proliferate in regions of the world where construction of offshore structures is in high demand. These structurally weak sands have high intra-granular voids and complex angular grain shapes. To improve the understanding of the mechanical properties of the material, a detailed morphological quantification is required. This paper presents a three-dimensional characterisation of the morphology of shelly carbonate sands based on analyses of X-ray computed tomography images. Two sands from the Persian Gulf with distinct grading were investigated. An adaptive watershed segmentation technique was developed to identify the individual grains for subsequent grain-scale analysis, which overcomes the challenges posed by the intricate microstructure of these sands. Non-invasive measurements of size, intra-granular void and various shape parameters were carried out, and statistical analyses were conducted, to characterise the grains. The results help to better understand the mechanisms of grain interlocking, and the role of grain angularity and intra-granular void ratio on the mechanical behaviour of shelly carbonate sands.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: ICE Publishing 2018.
Publisher Keywords: calcareous soils; fabric/structure of soils; offshore engineering; particle-scale behaviour; sands
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
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