The University of Texas High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography Facility

The High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography Facility at The University of Texas at Austin (UTCT) is a national shared multi-user facility supported by the Instrumentation and Facilities Program of NSF’s Earth Sciences (EAR) directorate. UTCT offers scientific researchers across the earth, biological and engineering sciences access to a completely nondestructive technique for visualizing features in the interior of opaque solid objects, and for obtaining digital information on their 3D geometries and properties.

Interested in scanning materials at our facility? See the Scanning FAQ or download the Scan Agreement Form.


Blob3D 2.0!

The UTCT team is happy to announce the release of Blob3D 2.0! Several significant improvements have been made including:

– A new “Line tool” to measure the point spread function (PSF) of the data. The tool can also be used to accurately measure fracture apertures or membrane widths at or below the scan resolution
– A new merit function to fit an ellipsoid or sphere to objects defined only by a set of intersecting orthogonal planes
– Dynamically resizable viewer windows
– Several new measurements in the Extraction module, including enhanced shape metrics and alpha ejection corrections for (U-Th)/He dating.
– Extraction and Segmentation reports
– And much more!

Blob3D is now packaged as a standalone program that no longer requires a separate installation of IDL. To download the program (which includes both Windows and Mac executables) go to here. Downloading now requires an email that will be used to notify users of future updates, but you can opt out of the list at any time.

A detailed overview of the new Blob3D 2.0 functionality will be presented at next year’s ToScA (Tomography for Scientific Advancement) North America Symposium at the University of Florida March 6-8, 2019. After the success of the 2017 symposium, hosted by UTCT and the Jackson School of Geosciences, ToScA will once again provide an opportunity for open discussions, networking with researchers and industry representatives, and a platform to engage in cross-disciplinary collaborations.

The symposium will include pre-conference hands-on software workshops, keynote speakers, student talks and poster presentations, and an image competition. Abstract submission is open until December 12th. Abstract guidelines, session topics, and more can be found here.


Selected Recent Publications

Chan, Q.H.S., Nakato, A., Kebukawa, Y., Zolendsky, M., Nakamura, T., Maisano, J.A., Colbert, M.W., Martinez, J.E., Kilcoyne, A.L.D., Suga, H., Takahashi, Y., Takeichi, Y., Mase, K., and Wright, I.P. (2019) Heating experiments of the Tagish Lake meteorite: investigation of the effects of short-term heating on chondritic organics. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 54, 104-125.
Galatius, A., Olsen, M.T., Steeman, M.E., Racicot, R.A., Bradshaw, C.D., Kyhn, L.A., and Miller, L.A. (2019) Raising your voice: evolution of narrow-band high-frequency signals in toothed whales (Odontoceti). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 126, 213-224.
Horton, F., Farley, K., and Jackson, M. (2019) Helium distributions in ocean island basalt olivines revealed by X-ray computed tomography and single-grain crushing experiments. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 244, 467-477.
Hoffman, E.A., and Rowe, T.B. (2018) Jurassic stem-mammal perinates and the origin of mammalian reproduction and growth. Nature, 561, 104-108. 
Olsen, P.E., Geissman, J.W., Kent, D.V., Gehrels, G.E., Mundil, R., Irmis, R.B., Lepre, C., Rasmussen, C., Giesler, D., Parker, W.G., Zakharova, N., Kürschner, W.M., Miller, C., Baranyi, V., Schaller, M.F., Whiteside, J.H., Schnurrenberger, D., Noren, A., Shannon, K.B., O’Grady, R., Colbert, M.W., Maisano, J., Edey, D., Kinney, S.T., Molina-Garza, R., Bachman, G.H., Sha, J., and the CPCD team.
(2018) Colorado Plateau Coring Project, Phase I (CPCP-I): a continuously cored, globally exportable chronology of Triassic continental environmental change from western North America. Scientific Drilling, 24, 15-40.

See our publication page for a complete list.