IAP 2018: Image Analysis in the Geosciences

Matěj Peč for EAPS News
Wednesday, March 7, 2018

From image pre-processing and noise reduction to quantifying shape preferred orientations, determining grain size distributions in 2D and 3D, and analyzing patterns using fast Fourier transform and autocorrelation Renée Heilbronner’s and Matěj Peč's IAP course draws a crowd.

Matěj Peč's (mostly experimental) research focuses on melt-rock interactions and their influence on the physical properties of partially molten rocks, research that provides important information concerning the properties of fault rocks under conditions found in the lower crust and upper mantle (which helps in understanding the interaction of the lithospheric plates with the underlying mantle asthenosphere and, in turn, the mechanics of plate tectonics.)

Since joining the EAPS faculty in January 2017, Peč focus has been on setting up his new lab on the 11th floor of the Green Building, but with final calibration of his newly installed instrumentation nearing a conclusion, over IAP, he took time out to organize a week-long image analysis workshop for students (undergraduate and graduate) and postdocs interested in learning how to extract quantitative information from images.

The workshop, taught with Renée Heilbronner from Basel University, Switzerland (and 2016 Stephan Mueller medallist), was pitched towards a broad scientific community and attracted 20 participants from the US, Canada, Europe and as far as Japan, with seven of the participants affiliated with MIT, WHOI, and Wellesley College.

Workshop participants, from left to right: top row: Bhathiya Athurupana (Tohoku University, Japan), Kadie Bennis (Univerisy of Missouri), Hamed O. Ghaffari (MIT), Wenlian Xiao (MIT), Matěj Peč (MIT), Saleh Al Naser (MIT), Tarryn Kim Cawood (USC) middle row:Thomas Birren (Iowa State), Caroline Seyler (McGill), Noah Phillips (McGill), Renée Heilbronner (Uni Basel, Switzerland), Hamid Soleymani (CUNY), Hannah Riegel (University Camerino, Italy), Clara Cogswell (Wellesley) bottom row: Veselina Yakimova (University of Alaska, Fairbanks), Jianhua, Gong (WHOI / MIT), Pragnyadipta Sen (Illinois University), Elizabeth Nadin (University of Alaska, Fairbanks). Not in picture: Alexander Lusk (USC), Leif Tokle (Brown), Christina Hernandez (WHOI), Eric Deal (MIT) - Image courtesy: Matěj Peč

The course covered numerous topics from image pre-processing and noise reduction to quantifying shape preferred orientations, determining grain size distributions in 2D and 3D, and analyzing patterns using fast Fourier transform and autocorrelation.

The goal of the course was to introduce participants to advanced methods of image acquisition, image processing and image analysis. The workshop was divided between theory classes in the mornings and hands-on exercises during afternoon sessions. A number of the participants brought their own images or videos, providing opportunities to discuss the best way to tackle their  specific geophysical image analysis challenges.

By the end of the workshop, attendees had a familiarity with a number of image analysis methods for the rigorous interpretation of microstructural data in their research. "Given the large participation and enthusiastic feedback we got from a number of participants, we are definitely considering running this workshop in the future, most likely on a bi-yearly schedule," says Peč. 

Story image: Courtesy Matěj Peč

Links

Matěj Peč joined EAPS as an Assistant Professor in January 2017. His research interests include mechanical and microstructural response of rocks to various driving forces associated with plate tectonic movement, which he studies using high-temperature, high-pressure experiments in the laboratory.

Peč Lab: Experimental Rock Deformation

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