Microwave Processing of Sediment Samples
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Microfabric is the three-dimensional spatial arrangement of sediment grains and pore space in marine sediments. In addition to the mineral particles, consideration of the fluid-filled voids is essential for understanding sedimentological properties, such as permeability. Traditional tools and techniques limit the study of sediment microfabric. With the advent of high-resolution electron microscopy, microfabric relationships can be directly imaged and quantified. Unfortunately, transmission electron microscope (TEM) sample preparation techniques are generally time-consuming processes requiring the replacement of pore fluid (seawater) with hydrophobic resin, through multiple serial dilutions. During the preparation and handling process, some degree of microfabric disturbance is unavoidable. To alleviate this problem, the authors have adapted a clinical, biological microwave (MW) technique for the preparation of sediment samples. The MW technique is rapid, and introduces little disturbance during processing.
KeywordsPore Space Sedimentary Organic Matter Planktonic Foraminifera Sample Preparation Technique Transmission Electron Microscope Examination
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