Other Analytical Approaches
The previous chapters have dealt with the theory and practice of conducting fluid inclusion studies in the diagenetic realm by concentrating on petrographically based approaches that should be readily accessible to all researchers. This chapter concentrates on other analytical approaches that may be applied in a fluid inclusion study to constrain further the composition of fluid inclusions. A few laboratories conduct these types of analyses as the initial part of a fluid inclusion study, and such an approach may prove to be worthwhile for oil and gas exploration. However, in a fluid inclusion study that places fluid inclusion origins into a paragenetic and geologic context, and that involves microthermometric analysis, these analytical techniques will be applied only for specific purposes that arise during the course of a petrographically based study. As the application of these additional analyses requires equipment that will probably not be available in every laboratory, each technique will not be treated in detail: the utility of a range of analytical techniques is only summarized. Most of these techniques are still in developmental stages, so successful utilization will probably require commitment of time and sufficient funding for continued development.
Of the analytical approaches available, no single technique can provide a complete analysis of all of the components in a fluid inclusion. Each technique has its strengths and weaknesses in terms of components that may be analyzed and the concentrations and amounts required. A single fluid inclusion may need to be studied by a variety of analytical techniques to answer a compositional question posed. Thus, it is important to know something of the capabilities of the entire arsenal of analytical tools and approaches that can be used.