Microscopy and Microanalysis in Geological and Archaeological Sciences (Online Event)

“Microscopy and Microanalysis in Geological and Archaeological Sciences” is a virtual event on 9-10 November 2021 from RMS (Royal Microscopical Society). It’s free to attend (registration required).

Microscopy and Microanalysis in Geological and Archaeological Sciences

Microscopic imaging and microanalysis are widely used in geological (including planetary) and archaeological sciences, including 2D and 3D characterisation with optical and electron microscopy, further image analysis and in-situ microanalytical techniques including X-ray energy dispersive and wavelength dispersive spectrometry, X-ray fluorescence, electron backscatter diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, secondary ion mass spectroscopy and many more.

This event aims to discuss the various approaches used in geological research, with a focus on microscopy and microanalysis.

Archaeological applications include:

  • Understanding past environments
  • Diet and health
  • Forensic analysis
  • Site activity and features
  • Conservation of materials

Geological applications include:

  • Understanding terrestrial and extra-terrestrial igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary processes
  • Climate change and geo-environmental studies
  • Mining
  • Ore petrology

This virtual event will showcase research that uses microscopy and/or microanalysis of common geological and archaeological materials, including minerals, glasses, metals, ceramics and bones. Interdisciplinary methods and working practices will be shared from a wide range of research areas. Particular attention will be paid to investigations that use microscopic or microanalytical data quantitatively and forensically to answer new research questions.

Geology Conference Flyer

Submit an Abstract

Submit an abstract to present your work at the online conference. Abstracts are welcome from a wide range of research areas, including interdisciplinary methods. Particular attention will be paid to investigations that use microscopic or microanalytical data quantitatively and forensically to answer new research questions.

The deadline for abstracts is Friday 8 October 2021. Submission details are available on the RMS website.


The full programme will be available on the RMS website. The event includes 3 minute flash talks, submitted talks, poster sessions, techno bites and coffee breaks.

Each day will run from 1pm until 4:45pm GMT.

Come to our Workshop

We’ll be holding a 1 hour workshop:

Axia ChemiSEM: A new way to analyse geological and archeological samples with SEM-EDX

Wednesday 10th November 2021, 11:15am -12:15pm GMT

The Axia ChemiSEM combines SEM and EDS for fully quantitative, live chemical imaging in real time. Colour maps are superimposed onto the grayscale image for easy-to-interpret data that includes chemical information.

This approach is particularly useful in the micro-analysis of geological and archeological samples. Varying elemental content and foreign elements are often present, but the exact variations and locations are often unknown. With Axia ChemiSEM, samples can be navigated and examined quickly and easily; chemical information is always accessible, rather having to stop and analyse.

In the workshop the theory of this technique will be explained, followed by a live demonstration of samples including geological thin sections, bones, ancient coins and others.

Workshop registration

Workshops are free for conference delegates – register for the conference to receive details on how to attend.

Axia ChemiSEM: Glass contaminant
Live colour X-ray imaging of a glass contaminant with the Axia ChemiSEM. Images acquired at 10, 30, and 70 seconds.


The online event will take place on 9-10 November 2021. It’s free to attend (registration required).

Register now on the RMS website and you’ll receive a link to join the online event:

Instruments for Geology

We offer a range of instruments for geology and geoscience:

Micro-XRF HyperMap


Elemental analysis and mapping. Study element distribution, grains and line scans.

More about micro-XRF in geology…

Measuring pore network thickness


Non-destructive 3D internal imaging with sub-micron resolution. Measure porosity, mineral distribution, dynamic processes and more.

More about micro-CT in geology…

See lots of example images…

APT Example - CAMECA LEAP 5000


Atom Probe Tomography is the only materials analysis technique offering extensive capabilities for both 3D imaging and chemical composition measurement at the atomic scale. SIMS is the most sensitive elemental and isotopic surface microanalysis technique.

More about APT and SIMS in geology…


Entry-level SEM

Desktop and entry-level Scanning Electron Microscopy from our new partner Thermo Scientific, including colour SEM which features EDS element mapping.

More about desktop SEM…

More about ColourSEM with EDS…

Articles about Geology

Take a look at these articles and see how these techniques can be used for geology…

More Information

Blue Scientific is the official distributor of a cutting-edge portfolio of scientific instruments systems in the UK and Nordic region. If you’d like any information about our instruments for geology and geoscience, please get in touch:

  Contact us on +44 (0)1223 422 269 or info@blue-scientific.com

  Register for the conference

  More articles about geology