Abstract

Heavy-mineral investigations must be preceded by effective heavy-mineral separation, identification, and determination of mineral compositions. Provenance determinations by heavy-mineral variations and direct measurement of the control of trace elements by heavy minerals in mudrocks has not been possible because of the difficulties in separating heavy minerals from the obscuring mass of the clay matrix, The technique to separate, identify, and determine the variability of heavy minerals in mudrocks presented here is non-destructive and works well with mudrocks of variable induration and maturation from mudstones to shales. This methodology uses lithium metatungstate for heavy-liquid separations of balk samples and a combination of optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) for identification and quantification of heavy.mineral proportions.

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