Processes of palynology

    The process of retrieving palynomorphs involves 4 basic steps:

       Cleaning involves and begins with a clean working facility (laboratory) and clean equipment to avoid contamination since you are working with microscopic specimens.  The lab must have controlled pressure and filtered air.
        To clean a consolidated sample you must wash the surface with water or acetone; scrape off weathered surfaces; brush sample with a wire brush; expose the sample to an open flame for a few seconds; finally, blow off the sample with compressed air.

        Disaggregation and dispersal is the step that separates the palynomorphs from the matrix.  Different solutions are used for peat, unconsolidated, and consolidated samples.  Organic solvents, such as gasoline and kerosene, are used for consolidated samples.

        Chemical extraction involves three steps: demineralization, chemical conversion, and dispersion of maceration compounds.

        Residue extraction is used to rid the sample of unwanted organic material by using oxidation - this procedure is dangerous because it may affect the palynomorph.

        Heavy density procedure:  separates palynomorphs and rocks by density.  Since the specific gravity of palynomorphs is 1.0 - 1.5 and rocks are at least 2.0 (and quite often higher than 3.0), using a heavy density solution such as zinc bromide (ZnBr) or zinc chloride (ZnCl) separates the two quite efficiently.

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