Applications of confocal macroscope–microscope luminescence imaging to sediment cores
A. C. Ribes, F. R. Rack, G. Tsintzouras, S. Damaskinos, A. E. Dixon, 2006. "Applications of confocal macroscope–microscope luminescence imaging to sediment cores", New Techniques in Sediment Core Analysis, R. G. Rothwell
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We demonstrate the successful application of a novel, confocal scanning laser macroscope–microscope (cslM/m) system for non-invasive imaging of samples taken from lake and ocean sediment cores. Advantages of the macroscope–microscope system over other macroscopic luminescence imaging techniques, such as scanning electron microscopy-based cathodoluminescence and scanning-stage laser imaging, are highlighted and the implications for new core analysis techniques are explored.
The macroscope–microscope can image specimens ranging from 25 × 25 μm up to 7.5 × 7.5 cm in under 10 s using reflected light or photoluminescence as contrast mechanisms. Macroscope mode is used to rapidly survey the specimen and provide a photoluminescence ‘roadmap’. Microscope mode is used to provide ultra-high-resolution images of microfossils or areas of interest. Laser scanning is non-invasive and does not require any preparation of the specimen. Photoluminescence and fluorescence imaging results are shown for an entire core section recovered from Lake Huron by the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC). Photoluminescence images are shown for Ocean Drilling Program samples of a diatom mat and a radiolarian microfossil within the sample, a laminated interval of sediment from the Santa Barbara Basin (Site 893) and specimens from the Scotian Shelf (collected by the GSC).
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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.