A new method is presented here for differentiating magnesite from dolomite in crushed materials. This method is based on the essentially different temperatures at which these minerals undergo thermal decomposition. The resulting lowly birefringent periclase is easily distinguished microscopically from the highly birefringent dolomite. This method is based on the ease of recognition of the periclase which permits rapid counting and gives reliable quantitative data on mineral composition. A method is given for staining thermally treated specimens for the determination of the distribution of these minerals in rock fragments.

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