Iloilo City – Geologists of the Geosciences Division, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Regional Office VI, attended basic training on techniques, methodologies, and operation of the petrographic and paleontological microscopes. The trainers from MGB Central Office were Madonna Feliz B. Madrigal and Monaliza M. Alorro, and senior science research specialist Arbe A. Ferreras. Meanwhile, a total of 16 geologists, cartographers, data encoders and geologic aid from MGB VI attended the training on March 6-9, 2023.
MGB Central Office conducts the training to capacitate the regional offices in operating the highly technical and specialized equipment used to analyze rock samples. “This is also to prepare the regional offices for the eventual putting up and operations of a geological laboratory in the regional offices,” Mae Magarzo, chief of the Geosciences Division said.
What do petrographic and paleontologic microscopes do? According to Ms. Catherine Tapalla, a senior geologist who attended the training, the mineral composition, minerals present, and characteristics of rock samples can be seen with the use of the petrographic microscope, unlike with the use of a mere megascopic analysis of hand samples that only determine the physical characteristics of rock samples. With the data determined through the microscope, the name of the rock can be easily identified.
The paleontologic microscope, on the other hand, looks into the fossils of the rock. Each microfossil tells the age of the rock. This data leads as well in determining the history and evolution of the environment where the rocks came from.
“These two laboratory equipment are very useful to generate data on the presence of mineral resources in the region through the analysis of rock samples gathered in quadrangle mapping,” Magarzo added.
The team from MGB Central Office also assessed the capacity of the regional office in terms of putting up and running a laboratory for the geological laboratory services of the bureau. Currently, petrological and paleontological rock sample analyses are done at the MGB Central Office. MGB VI still has to have the necessary building to accommodate the operations of a laboratory. Meanwhile, in the absence of a laboratory, we are using the megascopic analysis without the use of any equipment in rock analysis, Magarzo said. (MGB VI)