User Friendly Processing of Sediment CT Data: Software and Application in High Resolution Non-Destructive Sediment Core Data Sets

Monday, 14 December 2015: 09:45
2012 (Moscone West)
Brendan T Reilly1, Joseph Stephen Stoner2, Jason Wiest2, Mark B Abbott3, Pierre Francus4 and François Lapointe4, (1)Oregon State University, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Corvallis, OR, United States, (2)Oregon State Univ, Corvallis, OR, United States, (3)University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Campus, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, (4)Inst Nat Recherche Sci, GEOTOP, Québec, QC, Canada
Computed Tomography (CT) of sediment cores allow for high resolution images, three dimensional volumes, and down core profiles, generated through the attenuation of X-rays as a function of density and atomic number. When using a medical CT-Scanner, these quantitative data are stored in pixels using the Hounsfield scale, which are relative to the attenuation of X-rays in water and air at standard temperature and pressure. Here we present MATLAB based software specifically designed for sedimentary applications with a user friendly graphical interface to process DICOM files and stitch overlapping CT scans. For visualization, the software allows easy generation of core slice images with grayscale and false color relative to a user defined Hounsfield number range. For comparison to other high resolution non-destructive methods, down core Hounsfield number profiles are extracted using a method robust to coring imperfections, like deformation, bowing, gaps, and gas expansion. We demonstrate the usefulness of this technique with lacustrine sediment cores from the Western United States and Canadian High Arctic, including Fish Lake, Oregon, and Sawtooth Lake, Ellesmere Island. These sites represent two different depositional environments and provide examples for a variety of common coring defects and lithologies. The Hounsfield profiles and images can be used in combination with other high resolution data sets, including sediment magnetic parameters, XRF core scans and many other types of data, to provide unique insights into how lithology influences paleoenvironmental and paleomagnetic records and their interpretations.