Determining the orientations of ice crystals using electron backscatter patterns



Knowing the orientations of the ice crystals in a polycrystalline aggregate is essential for understanding and modeling the flow of naturally occurring ice. Here we show, for the first time, that the orientation of crystals in polycrystalline ice can be determined with a higher angular and spatial resolution and more rapidly than any currently used method by using electron backscatter patterns (EBSPs) in a cold-stage equipped scanning electron microscope. We also present an orientation image map constructed from EBSPs, and discuss possible applications of the technique for ice. The results indicate that obtaining EBSPs and orientation images from other frozen water-containing materials, such as clathrate hydrates, may also be possible. Microsc. Res. Tech. 63:183–187, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.