Automated segmentation of gravel particles from depth images of gravel-soil mixtures

Hossein Rahmani, Craig Scanlan, Uzair Nadeem, Mohammed Bennamoun, Richard Bowles

Computers & Geosciences



We propose an image-based technique to measure the volume, weight and the size distribution of gravel particles in a gravel-soil mixture. The proposed method uses 3D scanning and a surface reconstruction algorithm to generate a high-resolution depth image, which is then used to accurately estimate the volume and weight of each gravel particle. The proposed method is evaluated on several gravel soil samples collected from 25 farming locations. The experimental results show that the proposed technique produces an accurate estimate of gravel volumes and gravel weights. It achieves a relative root mean square error of 4% for large gravel particles and an overall correlation of 0.99 with the ground truth, for the task of gravel volume estimation. For the estimation of gravel weight distribution, the proposed method can reach a low root mean square error of 0.54%. The rapid measurement of the full spectrum of coarse fragments in soil, using this method, is an advantage compared to the manual methods.