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This book presents a guide of optical mineralogy for beginners and microscopists who need to brush up their knowledge. It allows the fast identification of common rock-forming minerals in a thin section using a polarized light microscope and transmitted plane and cross polarized light. The book summarizes essential principles of optical mineralogy in numerous schemes. It explains, with the aid of more than 1000 microscopic images, how to determine the diagnostic optical characteristics of a mineral in a thin section. Seventy-two mineral plates of sixty-five common rock-forming minerals comprising typical microscopic images in plane and cross polarized light illustrate the most important optical and crystallographic parameters and their diagnostic characteristics and typical appearance in various geological settings. The original approach of the book is to facilitate mineral identification by mineral plates organized according to color in transmitted plane polarized light and, in each color category, according to decreasing maximum birefringence in cross polarized light. In addition, two chapters are devoted to the classification of magmatic and metamorphic rocks and their common mineral parageneses and textures.
About the Author
Susanne Theodora Schmidt was educated at the University of Heidelberg (Germany) and the University of Minnesota, Duluth (USA). With her students and collaborators, she has conducted research projects on metamorphic petrology in low-grade and high-grade metamorphic terranes in North and South America and Europe. She also applied her mineralogical insight to a variety of other topics including gemology and health- and environmental-related issues. She has taught metamorphic petrology, mineralogy, and optical mineralogy at the Universities of Heidelberg (Germany), Basel (Switzerland), and Geneva (Switzerland). The present book reflects her experience of teaching optical mineralogy to many generations of students in Earth Sciences in the most efficient way possible.