GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 118-15
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


HILDENBRAND, Anne and AUSTERMANN, Gregor, Institut für Geowissenschaften, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 234, Heidelberg, 69120, Germany

Virtual paleontology with precise and detailed high-resolution pictures of fossils nowadays is a basic module for high standard scientific studies and is indispensible for paleontological publications and the worldwide discussion with researchers. Especially the depth of focus is among the most important techniques that can show essential characteristics for taxonomic purpose. Modern inventions and improvements in optical microscopy and photography allow for high-resolution visibility of more characters of fossil specimens with efficient and timesaving methods. With this contribution we present a new highly effective and temporize method for paleontological pictures adopted from microscopes used in the industry. The process of manually stacking a high number of pictures in order to get the best depth of focus is automated without the need for additional software. High-fidelity 3D, elevation, and relief models, possibly revealing additional or different features of the specimen can be obtained from these pictures. For Microfossils bigger than 2 um these methods allow for detailed pictures and measurements as non-invasive techniques compared to SEM method by metallization with gold or carbon. Fast high-resolution and panorama pictures with automated depth of focus give the opportunity of big-data taxonomy of both, micro- and macrofossils. Fossil features hard to access can be visualized, simply by turning the tube instead of repositioning the specimen. The optical microscopy combined with various potentials of exposure to light emphasizes the characters of fossils additionally. All pictures are fully measurable and can be exported into various standard formats.