Investigation into the fractal scaling of the structure and strength of soil aggregates

PD Hallett*, NRA Bird, AR Dexter, JPK Seville

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The hierarchical nature of soil structure is examined by measuring the physical properties of a range of aggregate sizes obtained using repetitive fracture. Fractals are used to assess the change with aggregate size of the specific volume, the proportion of pre-existing cracks which link to form the aggregate failure surface, and the aggregate failure stress. The pore size distribution, evaluated using mercury porosimetry and the application of the box counting algorithm to thin sections and thick sections, is also used to obtain a fractal dimension, D. Our results show that D depends upon the measurement approach for mass fractal scaling. This finding may limit the application of fractals to predict the scaling behaviour of soil physical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-211
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Soil Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1998




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