Abstract

Settling experiments on silt- to find-sand-sized mica flakes revealed that mica is the hydraulic equivalent of quartz spheres having diameters a factor of 4 to 12 times smaller. Mica in the very fine to fine-sand sizes has been traditionally used by sedimentologists to delineate areas of deposition or nondeposition and potential winnowing of fines, and is here found to be the hydraulic equivalent of silt-sized particles but not of clay. Experiments also showed that mica flakes tend to settle at orientations which are neither perpendicular nor parallel to the gravitational vector and tend to generally maintain their orientation throughout. Equations for the settling of a disc in Lerman and others (1974) and that developed by Komar and Reimers (1978) are shown to be mathematically similar for the coarse-silt to fine-sand ranges of discs and are adequate predictors of settling rates of mica flakes. A comparison of the hydraulic equivalency of quartz spheres to coarse-silt- through fine-sand-sized mica flakes is presented.--Modified journal abstract.

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