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Pacific Coastal & Marine Science Center

Bedform Sedimentology Site—ripples, dunes, and cross-bedding

Grain Size from Digital Images of Sediment

Computer code

Rubin, D.M., 2004, A simple autocorrelation algorithm for determining grain size from digital images of sediment: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 74, p. 160-165. (454 K PDF)
Example of basic code for obtaining grain size using calibrated spatial autocorrelation.

Grain-size toolbox created by Dan Buscombe

Buscombe, D., and Rubin, D.M., 2012, Advances in the Simulation and Automated Measurement of Well-Sorted Granular Material, Part 2: Direct Measures of Particle Properties: Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, 117, F02002, doi:10.1029/2011JF001975.

Buscombe, D., Rubin, D.M., and Warrick, J.A., 2010, A universal approximation of grain size from images of noncohesive sediment: Journal of Geophysical Research, v.115, F02015, doi:10.1029/2009JF001477. (840 K PDF)

Download the code

Matlab (April 2012, Version 2) (46 kb)
Matlab Manual (7.2 MB)

Python (March 2012, Version 2) (12 kb)

Matlab (May 2011, Version 1) (44 kb) (17.6 MB)

Python (May 2011, Version 1) (10 kb) (6.5 MB)

Cobble Cam

Warrick, J.A., Rubin, D.M., Ruggiero, P., Harney, J., Draut, A.E., and Buscombe, D., 2009, Cobble cam: grain-size measurements of sand to boulder from digital photographs and autocorrelation analyses: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 34, 1811-1821, doi:10.1002/esp.1877. (834 K PDF)
Code for grain size of sand, gravel, and cobbles
The following files can be used to conduct 'Cobble Cam' grain size analyses on digital photographs as described in Warrick et al. (2009). Please see the read_me.rtf file for more information.

Download the code

Download the whole folder as a .zip:; or as individual files listed below:


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Page Last Modified: 2 May 2012 (lzt)

Link to Grain-sizeHardware page. Link to sample grain-size images page. Link to list of grain-size publications. Link to grain-size computer code page.