Sediment mineralogy based on visible and near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy
Visible and near-infrared spectroscopy (VNIS) can be used to measure reflectance spectra (wavelength 350–2500 nm) for sediment cores and samples. A local ground-truth calibration of spectral features to mineral percentages is calculated by measuring reflectance spectra for a suite of samples of known mineralogy. This approach has been tested on powders, core plugs and split cores, and we conclude that it works well on all three, unless pore water is present. Initial VNIS studies have concentrated on determination of relative proportions of carbonate, opal, smectite and illite in equatorial Pacific sediments. Shipboard VNIS-based determination of these four components was demonstrated on Ocean Drilling Program Leg 199.
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New Techniques in Sediment Core Analysis
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.