Introducing Fiji and ICY image processing techniques in ichnological research as a tool for sedimentary basin analysis

Olmo Miguez-Salas, Javier Dorador Rodriguez, Francisco J. Rodríguez-Tovar

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In recent years, image treatment has been appraised as a very powerful tool to facilitate ichnological analysis, especially in marine cores of modern sediments, supporting the determination of certain ichnological features. However, it is still a new approach and detailed research is necessary to encounter a faster and more efficient method. The present study focuses on two image processing techniques, Fiji and ICY, and their comparison with a refined version of the well-established high-resolution image treatment. Strengths and weaknesses of the
methodologies for the determination of three main features were explored: i) visibility of trace fossils; ii) quantification of the percentage of bioturbated surface, and iii) penetration depth estimation. Refined highresolution image treatment gives the best results for enhanced visibility of trace fossils, whereas Fiji is found to be a sound and rapid option. One disadvantage shared by Fiji and ICY is the binary character of the produced images, which may impede later ichnotaxonomical differentiation. Both Fiji and ICY (+ Fiji) are rapid alternatives for quantifying the bulk amount of bioturbated surface. The Magic Wand Method (+ RefineEdge), based on high-resolution image treatment, provides good results regardless of the contrast of the images, and it additionally allows for a more detailed quantification. The semi-automatic character of ICY favors quick estimation of penetration depth and facilitates differentiation between distinct tracemaker communities, based on a rapid quantification of pixel values. Thus, Fiji and ICY methods offer good results and are much less time-consuming
than high-resolution image treatment. They are proposed as faster alternatives for the estimation of ichnological features, especially useful at the beginning stages of research, when a large number of samples must be analyzed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalMarine Geology
Early online date3 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

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