Identification of key minerals is of great importance to determining the tectonic history of metamorphic samples. These key minerals may be few in number and present only as small micro-inclusions making them difficult to identify, if at all, with a petrographic microscope.
Once relict minerals of earlier metamorphic assemblages are located, thermobarometry and geochronology can then be applied, resulting in a wealth of information on previous segments of the pressure-temperature-time-deformation path. The relict mineral textures and their relationship to the fabric of the entire thin section can be easily seen in mineral maps yielding important textural information.
The QEMSCAN at the Camborne School of Mines (CSM) is being used to study metamorphic samples from the Central Metamorphic terrane of the Eastern Klamath Mountains, Northern California.
Intial results were presented at the European Geosciences Union, General Assembly, Vienna, 2-7 May 2010 "Application of Automated SEM-EDS Based Mineral Identification Systems to Problems in Metamorphic Petrology" by Robert Fairhurst, Wendy Barrow and Gavyn Rollinson.