Thin Section Lab on Fo'c's'le Deck


The Thin Section lab contains equipment for sample preparation of lithified and nonlithified materials for microscopy and microanalytical analysis (e.g. SEM-EDS). Thin section lab technicians are equipped to prepare core material in a wide variety of preparations, including but not limited to thin sections, polished thin sections, and grain mounts. Protocols for thin section creation vary based on material, and can be performed by hand (Buehler MetaServ 250) or through a largely automated process (Logitech LP-50 lapping machine).


  • Buehler Petrothin thin section cutting blade and cup wheel
  • Logitech LP-50 lapping machine
  • Logitech PM-5 precision polishing and lapping machine
  • Beuhler MetaServ 250 grinder/polisher
  • Kemet Kemvac vacuum impregnator
  • Zeiss petrographic microscope

Thin Section Requests

Thin section request form

Thin Section Sampling

Petrography References

Minerology References

JOIDES Resolution shipboard library (ship intranet link)

Sample Preparation References

A Manual of Practical Laboratory and Field Techniques in Palaeobiology.pdf

The preparation of thin sections and polished sections..pdf

X400 Reducing Resin Viscosity by Solvent.pdf



Logitech LP 50

Frosting Slides

Flattening Thin Section Billets

Bonding Billets to Frosted Slide

Cutting Billets with PetroThin

Lapping Samples on LP50

Polishing Samples on PM5

End of Expedition Cleanup

Quick Guide TS Laser Engraver

How Disassemble the Logitech Jigs

Carbonate Staining with Alizarin Red S

Dickson 1965 Nature Carbonate staining for thin sections

Alternate Methods for making thin sections


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