Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging methods for core analysis
The majority of sedimentary rocks have significant paramagnetic impurities, which lead to magnetic resonance signal lifetimes too short to be detected by clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods. Quantitative information is the ultimate goal for rock-core analysis. The SPRITE (single-point ramped imaging with T1 enhancement) imaging technique has proven to be a very robust and flexible method for the study of a wide range of systems with short signal lifetimes. As a pure phase-encoding technique, SPRITE is largely immune to image distortions generated by susceptibility variations, chemical shift and paramagnetic impurities, unlike clinical magnetic resonance imaging methods. It enables systems with transverse lifetimes as short as tens of microseconds to be successfully visualized. Our experimental results show that most sedimentary rocks have a single exponential transverse magnetization decay for T*2, which suggests that quantitative imaging of local fluid content can be easily obtained. Some examples of MRI techniques are represented that reveal internal sedimentary characteristics and heterogeneity. In addition, the application of quantitative MRI techniques to examine flow mechanisms in rock cores is outlined.
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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.