Digital Petrology: How Automation and Digitalization is Revolutionizing Microscopy Based Petrographic Studies

In 1851, Henry Sorby (Sheffield, England) laid the foundations of microscopy-based petrography. The innovation was the use of two Nicol-prisms to be able to study a slice of rock with polarized light. The second level of foundations of microscopy-based petrography occurred sometime after the 1965 introduction of commercial Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) by Sir Charles Oatley (Cambridge, England). Since these innovations established the “foundations of petrography”, there has been little technological innovation to address some of the challenges in microscopy-based petrography. These challenges can be summarized as the following:

1. Sampling bias and sample heterogeneity
2. Resolutions vs Field of View (FoV)
3. Unable to quantify and therefore a subjective technique

Key Learnings

  • Automated data acquisition of 10’s – 100’s of thin sections in Light and Electron Microscopy. This enables high resolution and large area digitization to solve the “resolution vs FoV” challenge and understanding heterogenous samples
  • Classification of the mineralogy and quantification to product modal mineralogy (etc.) and thus removing subjectivity
  • The innovations that are allowing Geologists to address these challenges will be discussed to understand the technological developments and their applications through multiple case studiey


Mr Shaun Graham

Head of Material Research ,  APAC
ZEISS Microscopy 

29th June 2021

  • 11:30 AM IST
  • 2:00 PM SGT
  • 4:00 PM AEST
Register now!