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In thin-section microscopy, variations due to the difference in refractive index between a mineral and its mounting medium. If the differences are small the mineral appears flat and featureless, with faint outlines. If the differences are large the mineral appears to stand out, with strongly marked outlines and conspicuous cleavages or fractures. The nature of the relief is determined by the Becke-line test.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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