A new cluster analysis-marker-controlled watershed method for separating particles of granular soils

Md Ferdous Alam, Asadul Haque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


An accurate determination of particle-level fabric of granular soils from tomography data requires a maximum correct separation of particles. The popular marker-controlled watershed separation method is widely used to separate particles. However, the watershed method alone is not capable of producing the maximum separation of particles when subjected to boundary stresses leading to crushing of particles. In this paper, a new separation method, named as Monash Particle Separation Method (MPSM), has been introduced. The new method automatically determines the optimal contrast coefficient based on cluster evaluation framework to produce the maximum accurate separation outcomes. Finally, the particles which could not be separated by the optimal contrast coefficient were separated by integrating cuboid markers generated from the clustering by Gaussian mixture models into the routine watershed method. The MPSM was validated on a uniformly graded sand volume subjected to one-dimensional compression loading up to 32 MPa. It was demonstrated that the MPSM is capable of producing the best possible separation of particles required for the fabric analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1195
Number of pages21
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2017


  • Granular soils
  • Particle separation
  • Watershed method
  • X-ray CT imaging

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