The Eagle III BKA system, a novel sediment core X-ray fluorescence analyser with very high spatial resolution
Sediment cores contain valuable information on geological history and palaeoclimate, and it is necessary to study cores at high spatial resolution to recover useful palaeoenvironmental data. This paper describes an innovative micro-X-ray fluorescence spectrometer that can measure spot sizes in the range of 50 μm, with incremental step sizes down to 10 μm. The analysis is non-destructive so the sediment core is preserved and available for other investigations. This paper describes the new instrument, the Eagle III BKA system, which employs some novel features such as a polycapillary lens, moveable sample stage and X-ray head, a Varispot focusing system and an environmental sample cabinet. Some examples of recent applications are described.
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Marine sediment cores are the fundamental data source for information on seabed character, depositional history and environmental change. They provide raw data for a wide range of research including studies of climate change, palaeoceanography, slope stability, oil exploration, pollution assessment and control, seafloor survey for laying cables, pipelines and construction of seafloor structures. During the last three decades, a varied suite of new technologies have been developed to analyse cores, often non-destructively, to produce high-quality, closely spaced, co-located downcore measurements. These techniques can characterize sediment physical properties, geochemistry and composition in unprecedented detail. Palaeoenvironmentally significant proxies can now be logged at decadal, and in some cases, annual or sub-annual scales, allowing highly detailed insights into climatic history and associated environmental change. These advances have had a profound effect on many aspects of the Earth Sciences and our understanding of the Earth's history.
In this volume, recent advances in analytical and logging technology and their application to the analysis of sediment cores are presented. Developments in providing access to core data and associated datasets, and advances in data mining technology in order to integrate and interpret new and legacy datasets within the wider context of seafloor studies are also discussed.