Comparison Between the Classical Classification and Digital Classification for Selected Samples of Igneous and Carbonate Rocks

  • Shareef T. Al-Hamed Department of Geology, College of Science, University of Mosul, Iraq
  • Zaid A. Malak Department of Geology, College of Science, University of Mosul, Iraq
Keywords: Carbonate rocks, Classification, Digital iimage processing, Igneous rocks


As igneous rocks have widely chemical and mineralogical compositions, there are many ways to classify these rocks. These ways are classical approved methods to give a reliable classification and nomenclature of rocks. Some igneous rocks may be classified by digital image processing to assist in classical methods. Five igneous samples were cut, prepared of thin sections, and polished to classify them by classical methods and digital image processing by ENVI software. Moreover, part of these samples crushed an analysis of major oxides. The current igneous samples have referred to the basic and mesocratic rocks based on the classical methods and this has corresponded to ENVI software. The igneous samples have reflected the leucogabbros when classify them by classical and ENVI classifications, except the G5 sample, which has been referred to as gabbro by ENVI. There is a clear similarity between the classical and ENVI classifications. ENVI classification is a reliable classification to assist the classical methods in the nomenclature of igneous rocks, especially, plutonic rocks, it can be also applied to thin sections of volcanic rocks to classify and nomenclature classification by ENVI has been applied on fifty thin sections of limestones to identify microfacies which are classified beforehand by classical (optical) classification. According to optical classification, microfacies have classified as mudstone, wackestone, packstone, and grainstone. When the digital classification is applied to them, there is no grainstone texture found in these them. Digital thin sections, where the true name of these microfacies is packstone. Therefore, the positive sides of the digital image processing by ENVI software appeared and contrasted to the optical classification which contained some mistakes when applied to the nomenclature of these microfacies.