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jkfoam

Prepping Microfossils From The Gulf Coast Eocene

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tracer

an excellent post. the question that crossed my mind while reading it was whether either process affects the long-term stability of the fossils. regular bleach has quite a deleterious effect on things, but i'm not sure about the semi-weak peroxide.

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JohnJ

I agree. First rate information, Jim, and something many members can use.

:goodjob:

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jkfoam

an excellent post. the question that crossed my mind while reading it was whether either process affects the long-term stability of the fossils. regular bleach has quite a deleterious effect on things, but i'm not sure about the semi-weak peroxide.

Tracer,

I have fossils recovered via the mineral spirit procedure over 30 years ago and they show no deteriation. And as to the effects of hydrogen peroxide I cannot say but it is my opinion that on calcitic and aragonitic fossil materials I would be greatly surprized if there were any long term effects. Now if a fossil were pyritized or that other iron sulfide mineral (my mind has gone blank) then I would expect oxidation and resultant deteriation by the hydrogen peroxide.

Also on some of the Cook Mountain fossils vestiges of color markings are preserved in certain fossils. I have not seen any bleaching of this color marking with the H2O2.

JKFoam

Edited by jkfoam

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Auspex

World-class, JK! Thank you very much for the effort you put into publishing this report :goodjob: ; it is a model for other reports on techniques that I would love to see more of.

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Bullsnake

Great!!! Would this qualify to be pinned?

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Ammojoe

Fantastic, Thank You! A very useful and informative post, should be looked upon by anybody who wishes to go micro fossil hunting. Definitely worth pinning! :)

Thanks,

Joe

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JohnJ

Great!!! Would this qualify to be pinned?

Fantastic, Thank You! A very useful and informative post, should be looked upon by anybody who wishes to go micro fossil hunting. Definitely worth pinning! :)

Thanks,

Joe

Done.

These techniques could have wider applications.

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jpc

Excellent reprt. As one of the organizers of the annual Fossil Preparation Symposium, I ask you this... would you want to present this to a crowd of interested people at next year's meeting in Seattle? No, we can't pay your way. But think of the fossiling ooportunnities in the Pacific NW. I am already planning a few days of vacation around the conference.

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jkfoam

Excellent reprt. As one of the organizers of the annual Fossil Preparation Symposium, I ask you this... would you want to present this to a crowd of interested people at next year's meeting in Seattle? No, we can't pay your way. But think of the fossiling ooportunnities in the Pacific NW. I am already planning a few days of vacation around the conference.

Sure, I'll consider this. I sent you a PM with some questions.

JKFoam

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MikeD

I've heard of using Varsol on some of that matrix, but never the exact technique. Thanks for the info.

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Coco

Hi,

Thanks jkfoam for this great post.

I use the hydrogen peroxide for more than 10 years to take out the very small teeth of the marl, and I didn't notice degradation. On the other hand, I think that the hydrogen peroxide can affect the pyrite, it is thus necessary to be careful on the fossils which would be in a marl with the pyrite. Furthermore, the hydrogen peroxide produces more foam when there is of the pyrite in the marl.

Does the second method leave an oily aspect on fossils ?

Can the thermal shocks (boiling water and drying in the oven) weake fossils ? I air always either on a radiator (soft heat), or on the sun.

Coco

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jkfoam

CoCo,

I have not noticed any oily residue on any of the fossils recovered by the mineral spirits procedure. I think the hot water followed by a plentiful water wash on the sieve takes care of removing any residual mineral spirits.

As to the aspect of the hot water induced thermal shock damaging any of the fossils I can't accurately comment. Generally, the marls I work with are loaded with shell fragment and shell debris anyway. I use an oven to dry the matrix because some of the matrix clumps are up to 4-6 inches across. The oven speeds things up. There is a danger in too high a temperature. I like to keep the max temperature at 225F to prevent the decomposition of the CaCO3.

JKFoam

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Fossildude19

Jkfoam,

Thanks for posting such an informative guide.

First class work!

Thanks again for your efforts.

Regards,

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pleecan

Excellent post JKFoam! There are a lot of people that would like to get into micros but have no clue how to extract the tiny fossils from the matrix. I presumed that this method will work in dolostone matrix which harder than heck to break..... thanks for your informative posts!

PL

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Coco

:thumbsu::fistbump:

Coco

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Mike from North Queensland

Read your post with great interest as I assume white spirit is a trade name what would you say was the equivelent in Australia shellite or mineral turps?

Neither of these have an odourless verity. Love they way we are divided by a common language.

I googled white spirit and the web page I looked at only confused me more and my suspicion was there comparision was more for there application not for the products chemical structure.

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jkfoam

Read your post with great interest as I assume white spirit is a trade name what would you say was the equivelent in Australia shellite or mineral turps?

Neither of these have an odourless verity. Love they way we are divided by a common language.

I googled white spirit and the web page I looked at only confused me more and my suspicion was there comparision was more for there application not for the products chemical structure.

Mikem

Yes, common language, What a hoot.

I think you are right, mineral tutps, mineral turpintine , white spirits, white oil, mineral spirits, mineral oil, stoddard solvent and etc, are all "equivalent" materials. Do a Google search for "Mineral turps MSDS sheet" and "Mineral spirits MSDS sheet" and compare sections 1,3, and 9. Especially Section 9 which is physical and chemical properties section. Generally they are similiar. They are a little different I think due to the differences in the individual companies refining processes.

If you don't have a low odor version available in Australia you may be able to deodorize it yourself if you are so inclined and have the wherewithall. To deodorize it I would make a slurry of the "spirits with carbon black. After slurrying the mixture allow it to settle and seperate by gravity. Then filer the spirits into a seperate container. Use all due caution because of the flammable/combustible nature of the materials.

Also, you don't have to use low odor mineral spirits inspite of my earlier recommendations. If I did not have low odor mineral spirits then when I was doing the final drying of the sieve washed fossils I would just leave them in the dryer for 24-48 hours longer followed by leaving them spread out on a piece of newsprint in the sunlight for a day or two to help dissipate any residual odor. I hope this helps

JKFoam

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drhemlock

These techniques to a newcomer are essential and very informative and I have logged them into the brain locker for later as I use hydrogen peroxide for almost everything and any odorless products I would use like the thinner has to be this way as I am a artist and have this in my studio.

Thanks

James

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fossilsofnj

Excellent info, I will have to give it a try and my next batch.

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steve p.

Congratulations on your Hydrogen Peroxide method!

I tried it on some glauconite.

After dessicating the matrix, I poured on the peroxide, stirred, and let it set overnight. BTW, peroxide is $1/liter at Walmart.

My result was that it is probably 95% effective at dissolving the matrix, which is really good!

As you observed, it is amazing how little is left after sieving. 5lbs went to mere ounces.

Thanks for posting.

Steve.

Edited by steve p.

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Vordigern

wow great post, has anyone tried the peroxide method on NJ Marl, specifically Woodbury or Englishtown where Ive been finding a lot of Pyrite, also if I do use the peroxide method on the pyrite "rich" marl would the teeth in the marl be damaged?

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AgrilusHunter

Great post I really enjoyed reading it, and it worked great on some of the shale we have here in Indiana! One note however, the post quoted below states that mineral spirits, mineral oil and white oil are "equivalent materials". While these are all petroleum distillates they are not equivalent. I haven't tried them but I doubt that mineral oil or white oil (which are essentially the same) would produce the same results as mineral spirits. Thanks again for the procedure I'll be picking up some more shale in the next week to try again.

I think you are right, mineral tutps, mineral turpintine , white spirits, white oil, mineral spirits, mineral oil, stoddard solvent and etc, are all "equivalent" materials.

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TroyB

One thing I've noticed about drying the Stone City Eocene matrix before breaking it down, is that this method seems to harden the invertebrate fossils, so they do not break as easy during the sifting process. I guess it sets them up similar to cement hardening. Once hardened they stay that way. Otherwise, if the matrix is worked wet, some of them tend to turn to mush.

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Majed86

It is excellent post. I did not know this method of extracting microfossils from clays, I used to work on chalk and coast samples. However, it very helpful to know these information.

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