X-ray Micro-Mapping

New analytical techniques have recently come into play that transform raw electron microprobe X-ray images to maps of oxide concentration, which then are used to depict the spatial distribution of each mineral phase. This micro-mapping approach is an excellent tool to investigate the link between microstructures at thin section scale and the distribution of minerals – and their compositional variation – in metamorphic rocks. We are improving the software XMapTools, which is used to process X-ray images. This program provides an efficient way to calculate pressure and temperature maps of crystallization and to identify links between phase chemistry, equilibrium conditions and microstructures. This is helpful in many aspects of petrological research, for instance to understand how reaction sequences and deformation are coupled.