A method for removing calcareous material from sediments without destroying other minerals and polospores is described. This method is based upon the use of salts of ethylenedinitrilotetracetic acid (EDTA) to complex calcareous material and, thus render it soluble. Data are given showing how EDTA concentration, pH, temperature, and particle size of calcium carbonate affect the solution rate. This method is applicable to mineralogical analyses; recovery of pollen grains, insoluble residues, and Fe-bearing fossil casts; and to differentiate between calcite and dolomite.

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