Virtual carbonate thin section using PDF: New method for interactive visualization and archiving

Suk Joo Choh, Kitty L. Milliken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


As personal computers increase in processing power and storage capacity, it has become feasible to digitize an entire carbonate thin section area, and to digitally manipulate and archive such digital image files for research collaborations and teaching purposes. This paper describes procedures for creating and authoring virtual carbonate thin sections in PDF format with a 35-mm film scanner, bitmap, image editing software, and a Windows or Macintosh personal computer running Adobe Acrobat. A petrographic thin section is scanned at a maximum optical resolution of the 35-mm film scanner and the scanned image is used as a base layer of the PDF file. A digital microscope camera is used to capture high magnification photomicrographs that can be linked to the base layer to highlight specific features of the thin section. Collapsible text boxes are used for text annotation and various graphical annotation marks are used to indicate 'hot areas' that are linked to other photomicrographs for interactive viewing of the image. This method is highly flexible and platform independent, and can be beneficially used in various ways such as a note taking tool for routine petrographic work, creation of virtual samples for classroom use where the students have limited access time to the reference sample, long-distance research collaborations between scientists, and ultimately, creation of teaching- and research-grade visual carbonate petrography databases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalCarbonates and Evaporites
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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