The abstract for this book suggests that it is a comprehensive guide to the use of backscattered electron microscopy in examining minerals, textures and fabrics. The authors quickly establish that such an all-encompassing guide is simply impossible to provide within a slim volume, and they set out instead to document a very broad range of applications in sedimentary geology. Their aim seems to demonstrate the remarkable potential of the technique, and thereby to encourage the reader to use BSE (despite the acronym’s sinister alter ego), and help us think of still more innovative applications. They succeed.

Following a brief...

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