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The Progression from Optical Light Microscopy to Transmission Electron Microscopy in the Study of Soils

  • F. Van Oort (a1), A. G. Jongmans (a1) and A. M. Jaunet (a1)

Abstract

The use of electron microscopy to study clay microfabrics in thin-sections is discussed. A technique is described to isolate undisturbed microparts of pedofeatures from thin-sections, which are subsequently used for TEM analysis. Re-embedding with a polyester resin of undisturbed, in situ, neoformed clay microfabrics, obtained by microdrilling and preparation of ultrathin sections by microtoming with a diamond knife are emphasized; these steps enable micromorphology, clay mineralogy, microchemical and HRTEM analysis to be performed on one unique microsample of clay fabrics, with conserved micro-organization. Two examples on clay neoformation are presented to demonstrate that this technique can successfully be applied to unravel the impact of mineral alteration and clay neoformation in undisturbed soil samples on a micro- and a nanometer scale.

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The Progression from Optical Light Microscopy to Transmission Electron Microscopy in the Study of Soils

  • F. Van Oort (a1), A. G. Jongmans (a1) and A. M. Jaunet (a1)

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