Trezona Fossil Reconstruction
A collaboration between Professor Adam Maloof, Princeton University, and Situ Studio
Situ Studio collaborated with Professor Adam Maloof of Princeton University's Department of Geosciences in a body of research suggesting that fossils unearthed in South Australia could be the oldest animal bodies ever discovered. Estimated at 650 million years these fossils would predate the earliest evidence of animal body forms in the current fossil record by at least 70 million years. Situ worked with Maloof to develop a system to both process and digitally reconstruct these fossils for morphogenetic analysis.
Most 3D fossil reconstructions use CT-scanning technology and rely on X-rays to image strong density contrasts in heterogeneous media. However, in many specimens, the density contrasts between the subject of interest (e.g., fossils, cements, veins, etc.) and matrix are not significant enough to be imaged with traditional X-ray based CT-scanning methods. Together with Professor Maloof, Situ has developed a serial grinding, imaging and digital reconstruction routine that streamlines this process into an efficient method of digital reconstruction that employs the coupling of Computer Numerically Controlled machining with digital modeling software. This routine automates what was a previously prohibitively time consuming and human-biased process and provides digital models that are at once useful for morphogenetic analysis and quantification of properties such as porosity, permeability, and other feature-related characteristics.
In addition to fossil reconstruction, Situ is investigating applications of these tools for the analysis of geological CO2 sequestration, cementation of petroleum reservoir rocks, and salt deposition in pore spaces within building concrete.