The imaging of mineral grains in sedimentary rocks by atomic-number constrast using back-scattered electrons (BSE) in the SEM is discussed. The analyses of polished thin sections of a sandstone and a shale are used to illustrate the technique and particularly to demonstrate its usefulness in petrographic studies of fine-grained sedimentary rocks. The coupling of energy or wavelength-dispersive X-ray elemental analysis to atomic-number contrast allows minerals to be readily identified and paves the way for detailed geochemical and mineral crystallochemical studies of fine-grained sediments.--Modified journal abstract.

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