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A GIS-based Method for Archival and Visualization of Microstructural Data from Petrographic Thin Sections

Authors: Elliott Holmes*, University of Louisville, Jafar Hadizadeh, University of Louisville, Andrea Gaughan, University of Louisville, Donald Biddle*, University of Louisville
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Earth Science
Keywords: GIS, Micro-GIS, 3D Modelling, Core Samples, Petrographic Thin Sections
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Petrographic thin sections could provide large volumes of direct microstructural and compositional data, but generating results via the traditional, piecemeal treatment of data is often time-consuming and inefficient. Using whole-section images as arbitrarily referenced GIS base maps provides an opportunity to readily locate, visualize, correlate, and explore the available microstructural data. The potential for this technique is demonstrated using a set of thin sections from the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) core samples. While benefiting from some previous work on GIS-based analyses of thin section imagery and various microstructural data, this approach permits spatial registration of the 2D petrographic base maps within core sample billets, where each billet is represented by a 3D digital surface and an internal structure model created prior to sectioning. The internal structural models are acquired with a micro CT-scanner. The spatial position of the base maps will be defined within the locally-defined coordinates in each core billet’s 3D models. The interactive data menu provides a gateway to results of various analyses performed throughout the map at a wide range of scales (e.g. SEM, EBSD, and CL images as well as text and numerical data) for each petrographic section. The proposed method offers: 1. A GIS-based approach for spatially-referenced archival and visualization of microstructural data from drill core billets, and 2. A framework for producing 3D models of sample billets and thin section positions within each billet, which serve as a digital record after irreversible material loss and fragmentation of the physical billets.

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