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Integrated spatial and orientation analysis of quartzc-axes by computer-aided microscopy

Journal of Structural Geology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0191-8141(93)90133-u


Abstract A new method for the complete determination of quartz c-axis orientations is proposed. Its primary aim is to integrate the analysis of crystallographic orientations and the spatial distribution of the lattice orientations within the fabric in the form of high resolution AVA (Achsenverteilungsanalyse). The method is based on standard mineral optics and image analysis techniques. It uses a slightly modified polarizing microscope, a surveillance camera and a computer (a universal stage is not necessary). The method has been developed for quartz but can be extended to the analysis of other uniaxial minerals. The primary results of the analysis consist of three logical images which represent: (a) the azimuth and (b) the inclination of the c-axes, and (c) the goodness-of-fit of the analysis at every pixel. Thus, the absolute c-axis orientation is defined at each point of the picture, and can be displayed in colour-coded form (= AVA image). From the azimuth and inclination images, further results are derived. Transferring the orientations to a stereogram, a volume-weighted pole figure is obtained. By calculating the angular mismatch between pixels, i.e. by performing a gradient-filtering in orientation space, high- and low-angle grain boundaries are discriminated. As a consequence, image segmentation, i.e. the identification of grains and grain boundaries, is based on c-axis orientation and not on visual bias. Simultaneous visualization of microstructure and crystallographic orientation greatly facilitates the analysis of deformation fabrics.

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