Glacial Stress Field Orientation Reconstructed through Micromorphology and µX-Ray Computed Tomography of Till

  1. Michael J. Hambrey5,
  2. Poul Christoffersen5,6,
  3. Neil F. Glasser5 and
  4. Bryn Hubbard5
  1. F. Fasano1,
  2. C. Baroni1,2,
  3. F. M. Talarico3,
  4. M. Bettuzzi4 and
  5. A. Pasini4

Published Online: 24 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304435.ch16

Glacial Sedimentary Processes and Products

Glacial Sedimentary Processes and Products

How to Cite

Fasano, F., Baroni, C., Talarico, F. M., Bettuzzi, M. and Pasini, A. (2007) Glacial Stress Field Orientation Reconstructed through Micromorphology and µX-Ray Computed Tomography of Till, in Glacial Sedimentary Processes and Products (eds M. J. Hambrey, P. Christoffersen, N. F. Glasser and B. Hubbard), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304435.ch16

Editor Information

  1. 5

    Centre for Glaciology, Institute of Geography & Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Wales, Ceredigion SY23 3DB, UK

  2. 6

    Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge, CB2 1ER, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    Università degli Studi di Pisa, Dip.Scienze della Terra, via S.Maria, 53–56126–Pisa, Italy

  2. 2

    CNR, Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse, Pisa, Italy

  3. 3

    Università degli Studi di Siena, Dip.Scienze della Terra, via Laterina 8 – 53100 – Siena, Italy

  4. 4

    Università di Bologna, Dipartimento di Fisica, viale C.B. Pichat, 6/2 – 40127 – Bologna, Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 14 DEC 2007

Book Series:

  1. Special Publication Number 39 of the International Association of Sedimentologists

Book Series Editors:

  1. Isabel Montanez

Series Editor Information

  1. University of California, Davis, USA

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405183000

Online ISBN: 9781444304435



  • glacial stress field orientation reconstructed through micromorphology and µX-ray computed tomography of till;
  • developing µXR-CT applications in microstructural investigation of continental glacigenic sediments;
  • Lake depression lithological log profile with sampling points;
  • disrupted sandstones of Beacon Supergroup at base of profile;
  • Ricker Hills Tillite composed of massive matrix-supported diamictite with a porphyric coarse/fine (bimodal) related distribution;
  • quartz - dominant mineral, with minor lithic fragments of dolerite, plagioclase and K-feldspar


Detailed laboratory analyses largely support field studies on the petrology of glacial materials. In particular, detailed structural analysis of glacial sediments helps reconstruct the presence, orientation and intensity of glacial stress fields. This pilot study compares thin-section micromorphology (two-dimensional observation under a microscope) and µX-ray computed tomography (µXR-CT, three-dimensional observation involving data collection and subsequent processing) to evaluate the potential of the latter technique to yield reliable data. The location and stratigraphy of sampling sites are reported for a complete presentation. Results are encouraging: compared with thin-section micromorphology, µX-ray computed tomography yielded results that are more detailed, reproducible and unaffected by cutting orientation. Moreover, µXR-CT is easily applied to incoherent materials, brittle samples and unique specimens.