A Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Observing 'fluid inclusions' using an MDS600 and an Olympus BX with 532nm wavlength laser Linkam's heating/freezing stages have been used in the analysis of fluid inclusions for many years.

The vast majority of our customers use the THMSG600 stage for this purpose, but at the Laboratory of Civil Engineering and geo-Environment (LGCgE) at the University of Lille 1, Professor Michel Duboisand two of his MSc students - Mrs Hulin and Mrs Ventalon - have been using a different stage - the Linkam MDS600 - for these studies.

The MDS600 allows the user to store areas, or points, of interest for automated date acquisition. Prof. Dubois uses the stage to look at small cavities within minerals which have trapped mixtures of water, salts and gases present in the earth interior. These fluid inclusions are useful for the identification and understanding of ore deposition processes, petroleum reservoirs and the environment.

He said: “The Linkam stage is a key piece of apparatus in the fluid inclusion laboratory. Its design makes it very convenient to study very small inclusions (less than 5 µm) as it is compatible with high magnification objectives (x100)".

"Geological fluids are important chemical vectors in the Earth, particularly for metals. By heating inclusions, the formation temperature can be deduced - whereas cooling allows the determination of the fluid composition. Temperature and chemical composition of the trapped fluids is fundamental information for scientists creating ore deposition models and new guidelines for exploration.”

The Linkam stage is a unique flexible apparatus to measure phase transition temperatures under a microscope at the fluid inclusion scale.

Many thanks to Professor Dubois and his team for their insight and support with this article.

By Ian Pearce