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The Use of Modern Physical Methods of Instrumental Analytics in the Study of Stromatolites

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The use of X-ray microtomography, neutron tomography, scanning electron microscopy and X‑ray microanalysis in the study of stromatolites is discussed, and the advantages of each of these methods are summarized. Scanning electron microscopy allows study of the morphology of the object surface. Information about the composition and ratio of chemical elements of surface structures can be obtained using X‑ray microanalysis. X-ray microtomography will be useful for detecting internal structures and their localization in the sample. Neutron tomography can be used to search for organic matter and other hydrogen-containing compounds.

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  1. The X-ray contrast method enables visibility of structures relative to one another, depending on their X-ray absorbance. Structures with similar X-ray absorbance will be non-contrasting, i.e., visually indistinguishable. One can also refer to differences in X-ray density. Density is a physical value equal to the ratio of body mass to the volume occupied by this body. X-ray density is not considered here.

  2. Grains are fragments of minerals and rocks that may have been rounded.


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This work was financially supported by the Program of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences no. 17 “The evolution of the organic world. The role and influence of planetary processes (Subprogramme I “Development of life and biosphere processes”), by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project no. 17-04-00324, 19-04-00377, and by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation.

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Correspondence to A. V. Pakhnevich.

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Translated by S. Nikolaeva

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Pakhnevich, A.V., Zaytseva, L.V., Samylina, O.S. et al. The Use of Modern Physical Methods of Instrumental Analytics in the Study of Stromatolites. Paleontol. J. 54, 936–945 (2020).

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