Towards an integrated texture toolkit, 1: unveiling the complex relationship between crystal shape and fabric in EBSD data

Ryan M. Currier, Tushar Mittal, Paulo J. Hidalgo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rock textures observed via thin section are skewed from their true 3D nature. This is due to various cut effects—artifacts introduced due to the lower dimensional nature of the thin section relative to the rock. These cut effects can be corrected, and several methods have been developed to invert crystal shape and crystal size, but with each process performed separately and sequentially. With the ongoing adoption of electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) by petrologists, an additional data stream has now become available: the 3D orientation of 2D grain sections. For EBSD analysis, no stereological corrections are typically applied for interpreting the data. This study tests whether this orientational information is skewed due to a fabric cut effect. We test this by numerically generating synthetic crystal datasets representative of several crystal shapes and population sizes. We find that EBSD orientational data has a fabric cut effect since crystals oriented with long axes perpendicular to the thin section are more likely to be sampled compared to those with long axes oriented parallel to it. This effect must be accounted for to interpret the true 3D fabric accurately. Towards this end, we develop two new tools for working with EBSD-derived fabric: (1) a simple first-order test for determining if a measured fabric exceeds that of the fabric cut effect, and (2) a method of inverting cut fabrics that provides robust error estimations. We demonstrate the applicability and accuracy of these methods using a range of synthetic examples and a natural sample. With these newly developed tools, there is clear potential for a new textural toolkit framework, to further our ability to correct for the various cut effects while also providing accurate uncertainty estimates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number38
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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