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Determination of Thermal Alteration Index from color of exinite (pollen, spores).

By
F.L. Staplin
F.L. Staplin
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Published:
January 01, 1987

Abstract

The change in color of organic particulate debris with increasing thermal increments is an easily observable feature that requires only routine palynological preparations for its use. With proper standardization of techniques, arbitrary numerical values may be applied to the color change sequence, and related with other, more sophisticated means of determining the level of maturation (Figure 1).

Most of the difficulty encountered with this method stems from failure to standardize the techniques.

  1. Standardized processing of samples to obtain the residue.

    Only HCl and HF treatment should be used to obtain the organic matter slides. Oxidizing agents will change the color of the materials substantially. Centrifugation and/or decantation should be monitered carefully, otherwise light and fine fractions may be lost.

    If necessary, water-soluble ZnBr2 may be used to concentrate the organic fraction.

    Mounting media for the residues should be clear and non-reactive, close to 1.54 refractive index.

  2. Standardized light source.

    Illumination at 3200° K with a light blue “daylight” filter yields a good white light with simple set-ups. Follow the directions provided with the microscope and light source if halogen or xenon lamps are used.

    Polarization filters affect the image contrast and inhibit color discrimination. If the color temperature is too low, the light is yellow-red and the result will be a bias toward a higher thermal index than exists.

  3. Standardization on the object measured.

    Different kinds of organic matter have different responses to thermal increments. The color changes converge at the high end of the scale.

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Contents

SEPM Short Course Notes

How to Assess Maturation and Paleotemperatures

F. L. Staplin
F. L. Staplin
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W. G. Dow
W. G. Dow
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C. W. D. Milner
C. W. D. Milner
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D.I. O’Connor
D.I. O’Connor
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S.A.J. Pocock
S.A.J. Pocock
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P. van Gijzel
P. van Gijzel
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D.H. Welte
D.H. Welte
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M.A. Yükler
M.A. Yükler
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
7
ISBN electronic:
9781565762367
Publication date:
January 01, 1987

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