Answer to Question #211962 in Civil and Environmental Engineering for Panda

Question #211962
  1. What structural features can microfossil analysis be used to identify in the course of drilling a well?
  2. What is the mineral composition of the Lingulashell and how did the fossil come by its name?​
  3. What are the morphoecological habits of the articulate brachiopod  Terebratula, and the inarticulate type Lingula
Expert's answer

Part 1

The applicability of computational analysis to paleontological images ranges from the study of the animals, plants and evolution of microorganisms to the simulation of the habitat of living beings of a given epoch. It can also be applied in several niches, such as oil exploration, where several factors are to be analysed to minimize the expenses related to the oil extraction process. One factor is the characterization of the environment to be explored. This analysis can occur in several ways: probes, extraction of samples for petrophysical components evaluation, the correlation with logs of other drilling wells and so on. In the samples extraction part, the Computed Tomography (CT) is important because it preserves the sample and makes it available for several analyses. Based on 3D images generated by CT, several analyzes and simulations can be performed, and processes currently performed manually and exhaustively can be automated. In this work, we propose and validate a method for fully automated microfossil identification and extraction. A pipeline is proposed that begins in the scanning process and ends in an identification process. For the identification a Deep Learning approach was developed, which resulted in a high rate of correct microfossil identification (98% of Intersection Over Union). The validation was performed through an automated quantitative analysis based upon ground truths generated by specialists in the micropaleontology field and visual inspection by these specialists. We also present the first fully annotated MicroCT-acquired publicly available microfossils dataset.

Part 2

Von Klement (1938) and Vinogradov (1953) classified the shell mineral of Lingula as dahllite, a carbonate-containing OH- apatite, whereas McConnell (1963), Lowenstam (1971), and Iwata (1973) identified it as francolite, a carbonate-containing F-apatite (1981a, b).

Part 3

Inarticulate brachiopods are regarded as "living fossils" because they have scarcely altered since their first appearance in the late Cambrian period. On the other hand, Articulates are plentiful and diversified throughout the fossil record (although only 3 groups have managed to survive today).

Most predators and humans appear to dislike brachiopods. However, the stalked brachiopod Lingula is commonly eaten in Fiji and Japan; thus, some are edible.

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