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Article

Decoding Rocks: An Assessment of Geomaterial Microstructure Using X-ray Microtomography, Image Analysis and Multivariate Statistics

1
Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection, AGH University of Science and Technology, al. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
2
Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, ul. Długa 44/50, 00-241 Warsaw, Poland
3
Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science, AGH University of Science and Technology, al. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eddie Koenders
Materials 2021, 14(12), 3266; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14123266
Received: 19 April 2021 / Revised: 5 June 2021 / Accepted: 9 June 2021 / Published: 13 June 2021
An understanding of the microstructure of geomaterials such as rocks is fundamental in the evaluation of their functional properties, as well as the decryption of their geological history. We present a semi-automated statistical protocol for a complex 3D characterization of the microstructure of granular materials, including the clustering of grains and a description of their chemical composition, size, shape, and spatial properties with 44 unique parameters. The approach consists of an X-ray microtomographic image processing procedure, followed by measurements using image analysis and statistical multivariate analysis of its results utilizing freeware and widely available software. The statistical approach proposed was tested out on a sandstone sample with hidden and localized deformational microstructures. The grains were clustered into distinctive groups covering different compositional and geometrical features of the sample’s granular framework. The grains are pervasively and evenly distributed within the analysed sample. The spatial arrangement of grains in particular clusters is well organized and shows a directional trend referring to both microstructures. The methodological approach can be applied to any other rock type and enables the tracking of microstructural trends in grains arrangement. View Full-Text
Keywords: microstructure; sandstone; deformation; X-ray microtomography; multivariate analysis; cluster analysis microstructure; sandstone; deformation; X-ray microtomography; multivariate analysis; cluster analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Strzelecki, P.J.; Świerczewska, A.; Kopczewska, K.; Fheed, A.; Tarasiuk, J.; Wroński, S. Decoding Rocks: An Assessment of Geomaterial Microstructure Using X-ray Microtomography, Image Analysis and Multivariate Statistics. Materials 2021, 14, 3266. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14123266

AMA Style

Strzelecki PJ, Świerczewska A, Kopczewska K, Fheed A, Tarasiuk J, Wroński S. Decoding Rocks: An Assessment of Geomaterial Microstructure Using X-ray Microtomography, Image Analysis and Multivariate Statistics. Materials. 2021; 14(12):3266. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14123266

Chicago/Turabian Style

Strzelecki, Piotr J., Anna Świerczewska, Katarzyna Kopczewska, Adam Fheed, Jacek Tarasiuk, and Sebastian Wroński. 2021. "Decoding Rocks: An Assessment of Geomaterial Microstructure Using X-ray Microtomography, Image Analysis and Multivariate Statistics" Materials 14, no. 12: 3266. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14123266

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