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Thin Sections


The thin section lab is closing at the end of March, 2018, and will therefore not be taking on any new orders



Thin sections are very thin (30 micron), transparent slices of rock mounted on glass slides. They are used for observing rocks and minerals in polarised transmitted or reflected light using petrographic microscopes. Petrographic observations provide cheap and very rapid identification of rocks, minerals, and textures and can reveal details of their origins and histories.

Thin section of andalusite crystals, Dalhousie campus (sample from R.A. Jamieson).
Back-scattered electron images obtained from polished thin sections using the electron microprobe (samples from J.P. Butler).

The departmental Thin Section Laboratory produces thin sections, polished thin sections (for microprobe or reflected light work), and grain mounts. Sergei Ratchinski, has significant experience in the custom fabrication industry.


Thin Section (normal, with cover slip): $25
Polished thin Section:  $50
Thin Section from an unlithified or poorly consolidated sediment: $130.00

For other products (grain mounts, special samples) and rates for other users, please consult the laboratory (see below).

*Priority Rates:
2 weeks turnaround + 30% surcharge
5 days turnaround + 50% surcharge 

The lab also has several rock saws. If you want a rock cut or slabbed, please contact the Thin Section Lab.


LSC 1612 (basement of Oceanography Wing, near loading bay
Floor Plans


+1 902 494 2561


The lab is open, Tuesday - Friday inclusive. Please contact the Thin Section Lab if you would like to place a job order. If the job is for B. Sc.(Honours) or M. Sc student projects, indicate it on the job order with the date for which the thin-sections are needed.

Lab Supervisor:

Djordje Grujic