RE: soil aggregates


Good Morning Fred,

Your internet searching capabilities are astounding. I thank you extremely 
much for all the sites you sent.  This should keep the dirt people happy 
for a long time. While I enjoy challenges,  this one was just a tad out of 
my realm.  The critter eyes are piling up and I must get back to the safety 
of paraffin  :)

Thanks again,
Mary Lou

At 02:35 PM 7/25/2002 -0400, you wrote:
>Mary Lou,
>         You sound like one who has been working this area, but you are
>asking a question that I would consider elementary for a material complex
>such as soil.  Thus, I did my usual and instituted a search to see what I
>could find, because I am likely to see similar questions within the near
>For me, a real beginner, I think I will spend time here, and then start
>conversing with the experts whose methods are cited.
> From what I see, most of what workers in dirt consider "thin sectioning"
>involves grinding and/or sawing.  When I first had to work with a truly hard
>substance, I immediately found myself in the domain of the material
>scientist.  Geologists don't ordinarily consider cutting a thin section as
>we do, they think of grinding one - just like the ground bone sections that
>one finds in almost all elementary histology slide sets.
>Aggregates of micro-size particles can be mounted and ground, if they are on
>the macro- side of micro-.  If smaller, and it is paramount that the
>aggregates NOT be disturbed, then I would turn, as rapidly as possible, to
>more esoteric methods such as ion or plasma etching which can be used on
>embedded material and can, apparently be very productive.
>Here are a couple sites that might help to present the degree to which
>technology using electron optics and focused ion beams or plasmas are used
>in both analysis and production.
> [this is a gas!]
>         Finally, Ion Beam Milling at,
>Hope this helps,
>Fred Monson
>Frederick C. Monson, PhD
>Center for Advanced Scientific Imaging
>Schmucker II Science Center
>West Chester University
>South Church Street and Rosedale
>West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA, 19383
>Phone:  610-738-0437
>FAX:  610-738-0437
>Visitors URL:
> > ----------
> > From:         MaryLou
> > Sent:         Wednesday, July 24, 2002 12:31 PM
> > To:
> > Cc:   dawit Solomon
> > Subject:      soil aggregates
> >
> > Dear Histonetters,
> >
> > A colleague is wanting to see inside soil aggregates of varying
> > thicknesses, up to several hundred microns. I was able to make paraffin
> > sections, 20 microns, by soaking the samples in paraffin for many
> > hours.  No solvents allowed.  A researcher at NASA gets 1 micron sections
> > from his dust particles in sulfur. We have no idea how he does it.
> > Thinner is better. Any suggestions out there? Do any bone grinders have
> > any
> > ideas? Do you know of anybody else we can ask?
> > Please include Dawit in your responses. Dawit, do you have anything to
> > add?
> >
> > Thank you very much.
> > Mary Lou
> >
> >
> >

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