Geology, Petrology and Mining

Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) is a widely used technique in all fields of the geosciences and in mining. Although primarily used as a tool to study the deformation of rocks (for research into structural geology and tectonics), increasingly EBSD is used in metamorphic and igneous petrology, as well as for characterising ore-bearing rocks. EBSD is also being applied to the study of meteorites, with numerous applications characterising the complex structures in a range of different meteorite samples, allowing researchers to determine the conditions and processes active during their formation.

Typical applications of EBSD in this segment include:

  • Determining deformation mechanisms in tectonic rocks
  • Reconstructing pressure-temperature paths by the identification of key metamorphic minerals
  • Reconstructing paleo-stresses by detailed grain size analyses
EBSD grain relative orientation deviation map of a quartz mylonite, showing large, deformed grains

Grain relative orientation deviation map of a quartz mylonite, highlighting extensive intragranular deformation within large, unrecrystallised grains

Application Notes

Determining the metamorphic history of rocks using combined EBSD and EDS

Reconstructing the metamorphic evolution of rocks often depends on the identification of key minerals that are only stable at specific temperatures and pressures. Combined EBSD and EDS analyses enable more rigorous phase identification than conventional techniques, with the added benefit of providing insights into a rock’s deformation and chemical history.

Characterising Complex Rock Samples

An eclogite sample containing 10 phases has been rapidly analysed using integrated EBSD and EDS. The performance of Symmetry enables high pattern resolution and good indexing, even at 250 pps.

Fast Characterisation of Deformed Quartz Rocks

A relatively simple geological sample, a quartz mylonite, is here characterised in a matter of minutes using Symmetry, collecting data at almost 1000 pps.



High-speed characterisation of ore samples

This webinar will highlight examples of fast, integrated EBSD and EDS analysis from a range of ore-bearing samples including chromite-bearing pyroxenites from the Bushveld igneous complex in South Africa, the world's largest reserve of platinum group metals and gold placer deposits from Scotland. 

Watch on demand

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