Color cathodoluminescence image of a dolomite thin-section captured using a ChromaCL2™ detector utilizing the carbonate imaging optical filter to observe the blue-green luminescence only.

Petrography of carbonate rocks

Cathodoluminescence (CL)  is particularly useful in discriminating diagenetic relationships in carbonates, especially dolomite. CL can reveal complex growth histories of calcite and dolomite crystals as well as replacement relationships. Phosphorescence of the dominant (orange-red) luminescence of the manganese cation prevents the use of certain acquisition modes. However, wavelength-filtered imaging or spectrum imaging approaches can be useful to visualize texture apparent at other wavelengths.