3D analysis of rock textures; quantifying igneous microstructures
3D analysis of rock textures; quantifying igneous microstructures (in Frontiers in textural and microgeochemical analysis, Dougal A. Jerram (editor) and Jon P. Davidson (editor))
Elements (August 2007) 3 (4): 239-245
An important goal of petrographers is to analyse rock textures (microstructures) and compositions in three dimensions, and thus fully quantify rock properties (porosity and permeability, geochemistry, crystal abundance, etc.). With the advent of serial sectioning techniques, X-ray tomography analysis and advanced image analysis, it is becoming increasingly easy to reconstruct rock textures in three dimensions. An exciting consequence is the potential to reconstruct crystal populations in three dimensions and relate their distribution to the chemical budget of a rock. Here we review the current state of the art in textural analysis techniques and consider the possibilities of virtual three-dimensional models of rock textures.