Encyclopedia of Geoarchaeology

2017 Edition
| Editors: Allan S. Gilbert

Soil Micromorphology

  • Panagiotis KarkanasEmail author
  • Paul Goldberg
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4409-0_27


Birefringence fabric (b-fabric): patterns of orientation and distribution of interference colors in the micromass seen in crossed-polarized light.

Fabric (micro): the spatial arrangement of the soil constituents, including solid material, pores, and their shape, size and frequency.

Groundmass: the coarse and fine material that forms the basic material of the soil in thin section.

Microfacies: the body of sediment seen in thin section with microscopic characteristics such as composition, grain size, and sedimentary structures that are recognizably different from surrounding sediments.

Pedofeature: discrete fabric units in soil material. They are characterized by different concentrations in one or more components or internal fabric from the adjacent groundmass.

Petrographic or polarized light microscope: a microscope equipped for observation of thin sections in transmitted polarized light.

Sedimentary structures: bedding and surface features produced at the time of...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ephoreia of Palaeoanthropology & Speleology of Southern GreeceAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of ArchaeologyEmeritus at Boston UniversityBostonUSA