A method for the disaggregation of mudstones

Authors

  • YUNLAI YANG,

    1. Fossil Fuels and Environmental Geochemistry Postgraduate Institute: NRG, Drummond Building, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK
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  • ANDREW C. APLIN

    1. Fossil Fuels and Environmental Geochemistry Postgraduate Institute: NRG, Drummond Building, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK
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ABSTRACT

We describe a method which effectively and gently disaggregates muds and mudstones by combining a saturation-freeze-thaw technique with treatment by ultrasonic probe. The method works well for samples containing <5% TOC and which have been buried to depths less than about 3500 m. It does not work for samples strongly cemented with carbonates or silicates. Scanning electron micrographs of size fractions and the strong mineralogical segregation between size fractions are offered as evidence of complete disaggregation.

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