Sedimentary rocks

Study rocks’ composition and microstructure with cathodoluminescence

Use cathodoluminescence (CL) imaging for micro-characterization of sedimentary rocks. Reveal the textures and contrasts of interest at the microscale.

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What we can help you to achieve
  • Establish the geological history of the rock
  • Study porosity and permeability
  • Identify and map trace elements
  • Differentiate cement and granular material
  • Image intra and intergranular features
Cathodoluminescence image of sedimentary rocks

Microcharacterization of sedimentary rocks

Sedimentary rocks present a valuable source of iron and natural fertilizer. Furthermore, they form the main source of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal) and thus hold great practical value. The microscale/nanoscale porosity and structure can be used to interpret the geological history of the rock. These also directly affect the overall chemical, mechanical, and fluid transport properties of the rock and hence studying the rocks at those length scales is of interest.

SEM-based cathodoluminescence spectroscopy can be used to quantitatively map the quartz composition of sandstones which enables, for instance, the rigorous segmentation of granular material and cemented material. Similar approaches are available for carbonate and apatite based rocks. As these different minerals have a unique CL response, the technique can also be applied to more inhomogeneous mixed samples.

What can you achieve with cathodoluminescence?

Performing large-area measurements allows establishing general cathodoluminescence structure of rock and small-scale hyperspectral measurements allow to gain more detailed insight into specific regions. By combining CL imaging with other analytical SEM-based techniques such as BSE, EBSD, WDS, and EDS fully comprehensive automated sedimentary rock studies can be performed.

RGB CL intensity of a quartz sandstone. SE image of a quartz sandstone
Image slider showing a RGB CL intensity (left) and SE image of a quartz sandstone. The CL reveals different quartz grains, overgrowth and intragranular features such as cracks. Image courtesy of Dr. B. G. Haile (University of Oslo)

Use the right products to get the right results

Delmic CL solutions offers a range of powerful and user-friendly cathodoluminescence detectors, which can help you learn more about your geological sample.

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Delmic sales expert Daan van Oosten Slingeland