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Despite the abundance of shales in the Earth's crust and their industrial and environmental importance, their microscale physical properties are poorly understood, owing to the presence of many structurally related mineral phases and a porous network structure spanning several length scales. Here, the use of coherent X-ray diffraction imaging (CXDI) to study the internal structure of microscopic shale fragments is demonstrated. Simultaneous wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) measurement facilitated the study of the mineralogy of the shale microparticles. It was possible to identify pyrite nanocrystals as inclusions in the quartz–clay matrix and the volume of closed unconnected pores was estimated. The combined CXDI–WAXD analysis enabled the establishment of a correlation between sample morphology and crystallite shape and size. The results highlight the potential of the combined CXDI–WAXD approach as an upcoming imaging modality for 3D nanoscale studies of shales and other geological formations via serial measurements of microscopic fragments.

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Portable Document Format (PDF) file https://doi.org/10.1107/S1600576720013850/gj5244sup1.pdf
Supporting information

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Moving Picture Experts Group (MP4) video file https://doi.org/10.1107/S1600576720013850/gj5244sup2.mp4
Movie S1

mp4

Moving Picture Experts Group (MP4) video file https://doi.org/10.1107/S1600576720013850/gj5244sup3.mp4
Movie S2

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Moving Picture Experts Group (MP4) video file https://doi.org/10.1107/S1600576720013850/gj5244sup4.mp4
Movie S3

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Link https://doi.org/10.11582/2019.00044
The experimental and the reconstructed data for samples 1-3 are available freely through the UNINETT Sigma2 repository


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