An assessment of techniques for the deflocculation and removal of clays from sediments used in phytolith analysis

Lentfer, C. J. and Boyd, W. E. (1999) An assessment of techniques for the deflocculation and removal of clays from sediments used in phytolith analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science, 26 1: 31-44.


Author Lentfer, C. J.
Boyd, W. E.
Title An assessment of techniques for the deflocculation and removal of clays from sediments used in phytolith analysis
Journal name Journal of Archaeological Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0305-4403
1095-9238
Publication date 1999-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1006/jasc.1998.0304
Volume 26
Issue 1
Start page 31
End page 44
Total pages 14
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Academic Press
Language eng
Abstract This paper describes an experiment in which a comparison is made between two techniques of deflocculation and clay removal generally used for palynological extraction. In the experiment, methods used commonly for pollen extraction are applied to phytolith extraction. The palynological products of the different preparation techniques are compared by reference to several attributes: the time and efficiency in the preparation method; the weight of residue resulting from each method; the palynological composition; clarity of the palynomorphs on the slides; and measures of differential loss and selection by palynomorph shape and size. The results are compared and discussed in relation to the still-settling technique which is most commonly used for phytolith extraction. It is concluded that centrifugation is a reliable and fast method that can be used to remove clays from fine-grained sediments for the extraction of phytoliths and other silica microfossils. High levels of diversity were recorded for morphotypes across all size classes. It produced superior results to the sieving technique and there is no reason to assume that it cannot beused to produce results comparable with still-settling if calculations of settling times consider the implications of sediment density on fluid viscosity. Adoption of the centrifugation method for clay removal from palynological sediment samples can greatly reduce extraction times and, therefore, it is a recommended procedure.
Keyword Centrifugation
Clay removal
Deflocculation
Phytolith extraction
Sieving
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Social Science Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 18 Nov 2011, 15:16:55 EST by Carol Lentfer on behalf of School of Social Science