SediNet: A configurable deep learning model for mixed qualitative and quantitative optical granulometry

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Daniel David Buscombe 


I describe a configurable machine-learning framework to estimate a suite of continuous and categorical sedimentological properties from photographic imagery of sediment, and to exemplify how machine learning can be a powerful and flexible tool for automated quantitative and qualitative measurements from remotely sensed imagery. The model is tested on a large dataset consisting of 400 images and associated detailed label data. The data are from a much wider sedimentological spectrum than previous optical granulometry studies, consisting of both well- and poorly sorted sediment, terrigenous, carbonate, and volcaniclastic sands and gravels and their mixtures, and grain sizes spanning over two orders of magnitude. I demonstrate the model framework by configuring it in several ways, to estimate two categories (describing grain shape and population, respectively) and nine numeric grain-size percentiles in pixels from a single input image. Grain size is then recovered using the physical size of a pixel. Finally, I demonstrate that the model can be configured and trained to estimate equivalent sieve diameters directly from image features, without the need for area-to-mass conversion formulas and without even knowing the scale of one pixel. Thus, it is the only optical granulometry method proposed to date that does not necessarily require image scaling. The flexibility of the model framework should facilitate numerous application in the spatio-temporal monitoring of the grain size distribution, shape, mineralogy and other quantities of interest, of sedimentary deposits as they evolve as well as other texture-based proxies extracted from remotely sensed imagery.



Civil and Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Geomorphology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


machine learning, Deep learning, sedimentology, optical granulometry


Published: 2019-07-31 23:50

Last Updated: 2019-10-03 19:47

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GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) 2.1

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