The application of state-of-the-art detector systems at the Advanced Neutron Tomography and Radiography Experimental System (ANTARES; Munich, Germany) has led to significant improvements in spatial resolution and contrast for geomaterial imaging. Resolutions of ∼16–100 μm are now possible with fields of view of 33–205 mm, a level now comparable with X-ray computed tomography (XCT), for which a micro-XCT at the Institute for Mineralogy, Crystallography and Material Science at the University of Leipzig was used. Fine pixel resolution comes at the cost of image quality and increased exposure time, so that the optimum configuration for each sample must be determined on a case by case basis. Our interdisciplinary approach has yielded an efficient system of data acquisition, processing, and quantification that is well suited for geomaterial imaging. We expect to find applications in a much wider spectrum of geomaterial research, including the formation of natural glasses, the characterization of limited and/or precious samples such as scientific drill cores, and biomineralization studies.
- Received 13 November 2009.
- Revision received 3 June 2011.
- Accepted 6 June 2011.
- © 2011 Geological Society of America