Applications of high-resolution X-ray computed tomography in petrology, meteoritics and palaeontology
W. D. Carlson, T. Rowe, R. A. Ketcham, M. W. Colbert, 2003. "Applications of high-resolution X-ray computed tomography in petrology, meteoritics and palaeontology", Applications of X-ray Computed Tomography in the Geosciences, F. Mees, R. Swennen, M. Van Geet, P. Jacobs
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High-resolution and ultra-high-resolution X-ray computed tomography are rapid, non-destructive and extremely powerful techniques for three-dimensional examination and measurement of a great variety of geological materials and specimens with sizes from several millimetres to several decimetres. A review of recent applications in petrology, meteoritics and palaeontology, which utilized an instrument optimized for geological studies (High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography Facility of the University of Texas at Austin), documents an abundance of novel scientific results and illuminates the potential for still broader application of these techniques in the earth sciences.
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X-ray computed tomography (CT) is a technique that allows non-destructive imaging and quantification of internal features of objects. It was originally developed as a medical imaging technique, but it is now also becoming widely used for the study of materials in engineering and the geosciences. X-ray CT reveals differences in density and atomic composition and can therefore be used for the study of porosity, the relative distribution of contrasting solid phases and the penetration of injected solutions. As a non-destructive technique, it is ideally suited for monitoring of processes, such as the movement of solutions and the behaviour of materials under compression. Because large numbers of parallel two-dimensional cross-sections can be obtained, three-dimensional representations of selected features can be created. In this book, various applications of X-ray CT in the geosciences are illustrated by papers covering a wide range of disciplines, including petrology, soil science, petroleum geology, geomechanics and sedimentology.