Presentation Title

Chemical Analysis and SEM Imaging of the McAbee Fossil Beds

Presenter Information

Matt Miller

Location

IB 1010

Start Date

19-3-2016 2:00 PM

End Date

19-3-2016 2:15 PM

Abstract

McAbee fossil beds is an understudied Eocene Epoch fossil site near Cache Creek, BC. During a trip to the fossil beds, a potential fumarole site was found among the fossil layers. At the center of this geological structure were many coloured minerals, and the morphology of these minerals was different than the rest of the fossil beds. The assumption was that these minerals were derivatives of Gypsum, which had been found in large quantities around McAbee previously. The scanning electron microscope at Thompson Rivers University was used for imaging and total elemental analysis. Upon chemical analysis, it was discovered that we were encountering Iron Sulphate minerals. These minerals are often hydrated and hydrous, making study of them difficult. They come in a variety of morphologies, with only small differences in chemical composition being present between minerals. Previous studies have shown these minerals to be connected to planetary geology on Mars. Analysis of these minerals is ongoing.

Department

Geology

Faculty Advisor

Nancy Van Wagoner

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Mar 19th, 2:00 PM Mar 19th, 2:15 PM

Chemical Analysis and SEM Imaging of the McAbee Fossil Beds

IB 1010

McAbee fossil beds is an understudied Eocene Epoch fossil site near Cache Creek, BC. During a trip to the fossil beds, a potential fumarole site was found among the fossil layers. At the center of this geological structure were many coloured minerals, and the morphology of these minerals was different than the rest of the fossil beds. The assumption was that these minerals were derivatives of Gypsum, which had been found in large quantities around McAbee previously. The scanning electron microscope at Thompson Rivers University was used for imaging and total elemental analysis. Upon chemical analysis, it was discovered that we were encountering Iron Sulphate minerals. These minerals are often hydrated and hydrous, making study of them difficult. They come in a variety of morphologies, with only small differences in chemical composition being present between minerals. Previous studies have shown these minerals to be connected to planetary geology on Mars. Analysis of these minerals is ongoing.