X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) is a non-destructive technique to visualize interior features within solid objects, and for obtaining digital information on their 3-D geometries and properties. The elements of X-ray tomography are the X-ray source (i.e. X-ray tube), a series of detectors that measure X-ray intensity attenuation along multiple beam paths (i.e. a CCD camera), and a rotational geometry (i.e. a rotational stage) with respect to the object being imaged.
Typical applications include:
- Measuring 3D size and spatial distribution of crystals, clasts, vesicles, etc.
- Non-destructive volumetric study of rare specimens (e.g. fossils, meteorites), but also routine study of internal structures of fossil and recent biological specimens
- 3D measurement of fluid flow fields, including porosity, micro porosity, and fracture extent and roughness
- 3D fabric determination (foliations, shape preferred orientations, network properties,
- Detection and examination of high-density economic trace phases
- Imaging of rock samples to optimize sample preparation for geochemical characterization (e.g., locating crystal central sections, spiral axes, solid &
The above list just gives a non-exhaustive overview of the potentials using this technique. CT data have been applied to virtually all field in geosciences, but also in material sciences, food science, biology, and many other disciplines.