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2005 Geology Abstracts

2005 Research Fair Archive - Geology Abstracts

Digital Reconstruction of Fossils from Serial Image Data
by Elisha Hughes  (Faculty Sponsor:  David Goldsmith)

The fossil record provides important insights into the Earth’s history. Our understanding of geologic change, environmental change, and the history of life on Earth is greatly enhanced by the visualization and classification of fossils. Visualization and classification can often be problematic however, because many fossils are inseparable from their surrounding matrix.

This work explores a new method for digital reconstruction of fossils from serial image data. I ground away rocks containing fossils 0.5 mm at a time, and captured digital photographs of parallel surfaces. I then imported these images into Matlab where they underwent a series of image processing techniques. I used Matlab to stack the processed images in a 3D matrix, and reconstructed a 3D model of the original fossil using Matlab MRI functionality.