Geoscience is a critical fundamental research topic focused on the examination of processes that govern the formation and evolution of the world around us. It also underpins the processes that control its economic development and utilization. From micropaleontology to mineralogical studies to the modeling of three-dimensional fluid flow, ZEISS Microscopy has provided geoscientific imaging and analysis solutions for over one hundred years. From educating the next generation of geoscientists to the latest advances in technologies such as non-destructive 3D X-ray microscopy and quantitative mineral mapping, ZEISS enables you to gain unparalleled knowledge from your geoscientific specimens from the macro- to the nanoscale.
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
In this presentation innovations and the development of “Digital Petrography” technology can:
1. 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.
2. 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 studies.
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