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TABLE 1. 1 Comparison of micro-computed tomography method and epoxy vacuum cast-embedding followed by SEM method in terms of material, cost and fees, destructiveness, image resolution, and possibility of three-dimensional animation.

Item of comparison Micro-computed tomography Epoxy vacuum-embedding followed by SEM
Material of hard substrate Material contrast between hard substrate and borings is necessary. Material must be soluble in hydrochloric acid.
Infilled borings Boring should be filled with a contrasting (different) material from the hard substrate or empty. Boring should be empty or filled with permeable sediment.
Destructiveness Non-destructive. The sample will remain unaffected. Destructive. The sample will be dissolved in acid.
Image resolution Usually low. Usually high.
Three-dimensional animation Possible. Not possible.
Equipment/hardware used Micro-CT equipment (high purchase price, legal restrictions on use of X-ray technology). Vacuum chamber for cast-embedding (low purchase price).

Scanning electron microscope (high purchase price).

Software used Expensive software with demanding requirements on both hardware and data storage space. Inexpensive software, minimal demands on hardware.