Abstract

The coarse, non-clay fraction of many flint-like kaolinitic claystones often contains mineral grains diagnostic of the claystone’s origin and, in the case of tonsteins (altered volcanic ashes), may also provide minerals suitable for radiometric dating. Separation of the non-clay mineral fraction is often difficult because flint clays and flint-like clays resist slaking in water and thus are difficult to disaggregate. Chemical disaggregation of resistant kaolinitic claystones may be achieved by immersion in either hydrazine monohydrate or DMSO for periods ranging from one day to several weeks. Generally, hydrazine monohydrate works more quickly and efficiently than DMSO to disaggregate most kaolinitic claystones and flint clays.

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