Advances in 3D imaging and volumetric reconstruction of fluid and melt inclusions by high resolution X-ray computed tomography

Antonin Richard, Christophe Morlot, Laura Créon, Nicolas Beaudoin, Vladimir S. Balistky, Svetlana Pentelei, Vanessa Dyja-Person, Gaston Giuliani, Isabella Pignatelli, Hélène Legros, Jérôme Sterpenich, Jacques Pironon

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Abstract

Fluid and melt inclusions are tiny pockets of fluid and melt trapped in natural and synthetic minerals. Characterizing the 3D distribution of fluid and melt inclusions within minerals, their shape and the volume fraction of their different phases is crucial for determining the conditions of crystal growth and paleostress analysis. However, their relatively small size (typically 5 to 100 μm), complex shape, heterogeneous content, the opaque nature of some host minerals and projection bias frequently hamper accurate imaging and volumetric reconstruction using conventional microscopic techniques. High resolution X-ray computed tomography (HRXCT) is a non-destructive method which uses contrasts of X-ray attenuation in a series of contiguous radiographs with different view angles to reconstruct the 3D distribution of areas of different densities within a large variety of materials. In this work, we show the capabilities of HRXCT for: (i) imaging the 3D distribution of aqueous and hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusions and silicate melt inclusions in a crystal; (ii) characterizing the shape of fluid and melt inclusions and (iii) reconstructing the total volume and the volume of the different phases (liquid, glass, crystal, vapor) of fluid and melt inclusions. We have used a variety of hand specimens and chips of transparent and opaque minerals (olivine, quartz, feldspar, garnet, emerald, wolframite), that we analyzed using three different HRXCT setups. When a resolution of ~1 μm3/voxel is achieved, HRXCT allows identifying >5 μm fluid inclusions, and the identification and volumetric reconstruction of the different phases can be carried out with reasonable confidence for relatively large (>25 μm) inclusions. Density contrasts are high enough to properly identify: (i) a silicate melt inclusion, and its different phases (glass, vapor and crystals such as clinopyroxene and spinel) in an olivine crystal; (ii) aqueous monophase (liquid) and two-phase (liquid + vapor) fluid inclusions in transparent and opaque minerals (quartz, garnet, emerald, wolframite). In the case of hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusions containing a vapor phase and two liquid phases (oil and aqueous solution), the two liquid phases could not be distinguished from each other. Volumetric reconstruction of liquid and vapor phases of aqueous and hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusions show compatible results with independent calculations using known pressure, temperature, molar volume and composition (P-T-V-x) conditions of trapping or imaging using confocal laser scanning microscopy respectively. Collectively, our results show that HRXCT is a promising tool for non-destructive characterization of fluid and melt inclusions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalChemical Geology
Early online date19 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jun 2018

Fingerprint

melt inclusion
fluid inclusion
tomography
Tomography
Imaging techniques
X rays
Fluids
Bearings (structural)
liquid
crystal
Minerals
Vapors
mineral
wolframite
Liquids
emerald
Hydrocarbons
silicate melt
hydrocarbon
Silicates

Keywords

  • fluid inclusions
  • melt inclusions
  • high resolution X-ray computed tomography
  • volume
  • shape
  • phase

Cite this

Richard, Antonin ; Morlot, Christophe ; Créon, Laura ; Beaudoin, Nicolas ; Balistky, Vladimir S. ; Pentelei, Svetlana ; Dyja-Person, Vanessa ; Giuliani, Gaston ; Pignatelli, Isabella ; Legros, Hélène ; Sterpenich, Jérôme ; Pironon, Jacques. / Advances in 3D imaging and volumetric reconstruction of fluid and melt inclusions by high resolution X-ray computed tomography. In: Chemical Geology. 2018.
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Richard, A, Morlot, C, Créon, L, Beaudoin, N, Balistky, VS, Pentelei, S, Dyja-Person, V, Giuliani, G, Pignatelli, I, Legros, H, Sterpenich, J & Pironon, J 2018, 'Advances in 3D imaging and volumetric reconstruction of fluid and melt inclusions by high resolution X-ray computed tomography', Chemical Geology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.06.012

Advances in 3D imaging and volumetric reconstruction of fluid and melt inclusions by high resolution X-ray computed tomography. / Richard, Antonin; Morlot, Christophe; Créon, Laura; Beaudoin, Nicolas; Balistky, Vladimir S.; Pentelei, Svetlana; Dyja-Person, Vanessa; Giuliani, Gaston; Pignatelli, Isabella; Legros, Hélène; Sterpenich, Jérôme; Pironon, Jacques.

In: Chemical Geology, 19.06.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Richard, Antonin

AU - Morlot, Christophe

AU - Créon, Laura

AU - Beaudoin, Nicolas

AU - Balistky, Vladimir S.

AU - Pentelei, Svetlana

AU - Dyja-Person, Vanessa

AU - Giuliani, Gaston

AU - Pignatelli, Isabella

AU - Legros, Hélène

AU - Sterpenich, Jérôme

AU - Pironon, Jacques

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N2 - Fluid and melt inclusions are tiny pockets of fluid and melt trapped in natural and synthetic minerals. Characterizing the 3D distribution of fluid and melt inclusions within minerals, their shape and the volume fraction of their different phases is crucial for determining the conditions of crystal growth and paleostress analysis. However, their relatively small size (typically 5 to 100 μm), complex shape, heterogeneous content, the opaque nature of some host minerals and projection bias frequently hamper accurate imaging and volumetric reconstruction using conventional microscopic techniques. High resolution X-ray computed tomography (HRXCT) is a non-destructive method which uses contrasts of X-ray attenuation in a series of contiguous radiographs with different view angles to reconstruct the 3D distribution of areas of different densities within a large variety of materials. In this work, we show the capabilities of HRXCT for: (i) imaging the 3D distribution of aqueous and hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusions and silicate melt inclusions in a crystal; (ii) characterizing the shape of fluid and melt inclusions and (iii) reconstructing the total volume and the volume of the different phases (liquid, glass, crystal, vapor) of fluid and melt inclusions. We have used a variety of hand specimens and chips of transparent and opaque minerals (olivine, quartz, feldspar, garnet, emerald, wolframite), that we analyzed using three different HRXCT setups. When a resolution of ~1 μm3/voxel is achieved, HRXCT allows identifying >5 μm fluid inclusions, and the identification and volumetric reconstruction of the different phases can be carried out with reasonable confidence for relatively large (>25 μm) inclusions. Density contrasts are high enough to properly identify: (i) a silicate melt inclusion, and its different phases (glass, vapor and crystals such as clinopyroxene and spinel) in an olivine crystal; (ii) aqueous monophase (liquid) and two-phase (liquid + vapor) fluid inclusions in transparent and opaque minerals (quartz, garnet, emerald, wolframite). In the case of hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusions containing a vapor phase and two liquid phases (oil and aqueous solution), the two liquid phases could not be distinguished from each other. Volumetric reconstruction of liquid and vapor phases of aqueous and hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusions show compatible results with independent calculations using known pressure, temperature, molar volume and composition (P-T-V-x) conditions of trapping or imaging using confocal laser scanning microscopy respectively. Collectively, our results show that HRXCT is a promising tool for non-destructive characterization of fluid and melt inclusions.

AB - Fluid and melt inclusions are tiny pockets of fluid and melt trapped in natural and synthetic minerals. Characterizing the 3D distribution of fluid and melt inclusions within minerals, their shape and the volume fraction of their different phases is crucial for determining the conditions of crystal growth and paleostress analysis. However, their relatively small size (typically 5 to 100 μm), complex shape, heterogeneous content, the opaque nature of some host minerals and projection bias frequently hamper accurate imaging and volumetric reconstruction using conventional microscopic techniques. High resolution X-ray computed tomography (HRXCT) is a non-destructive method which uses contrasts of X-ray attenuation in a series of contiguous radiographs with different view angles to reconstruct the 3D distribution of areas of different densities within a large variety of materials. In this work, we show the capabilities of HRXCT for: (i) imaging the 3D distribution of aqueous and hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusions and silicate melt inclusions in a crystal; (ii) characterizing the shape of fluid and melt inclusions and (iii) reconstructing the total volume and the volume of the different phases (liquid, glass, crystal, vapor) of fluid and melt inclusions. We have used a variety of hand specimens and chips of transparent and opaque minerals (olivine, quartz, feldspar, garnet, emerald, wolframite), that we analyzed using three different HRXCT setups. When a resolution of ~1 μm3/voxel is achieved, HRXCT allows identifying >5 μm fluid inclusions, and the identification and volumetric reconstruction of the different phases can be carried out with reasonable confidence for relatively large (>25 μm) inclusions. Density contrasts are high enough to properly identify: (i) a silicate melt inclusion, and its different phases (glass, vapor and crystals such as clinopyroxene and spinel) in an olivine crystal; (ii) aqueous monophase (liquid) and two-phase (liquid + vapor) fluid inclusions in transparent and opaque minerals (quartz, garnet, emerald, wolframite). In the case of hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusions containing a vapor phase and two liquid phases (oil and aqueous solution), the two liquid phases could not be distinguished from each other. Volumetric reconstruction of liquid and vapor phases of aqueous and hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusions show compatible results with independent calculations using known pressure, temperature, molar volume and composition (P-T-V-x) conditions of trapping or imaging using confocal laser scanning microscopy respectively. Collectively, our results show that HRXCT is a promising tool for non-destructive characterization of fluid and melt inclusions.

KW - fluid inclusions

KW - melt inclusions

KW - high resolution X-ray computed tomography

KW - volume

KW - shape

KW - phase

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