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Palynology


Facilities available:

One microscope with attached camera and software (Olympus BX61 microscope, Olympus DP 71 camera); Pollen processing laboratory: Two centrifuges, fuming hood.

Type of analysis
  • Lake and peat sediments are processed for extraction of pollen and spores
  • Shales, siliciclastic and phosphatic samples processed for extraction of Organic Walled Microfossils.
  • Thin section studies for permineralized microfossils.
Details of Sample preparation for the analysis.
 

For extraction of pollens and spores :
We followed the standard laboratory procedures of Moore et al.(1991) for pollen extraction including the chemical treatment of samples with HCl, KOH and HF. Lycopodium spore tablet (~10,680spores per tablet) was added to each sample before the chemical treatment for estimation of pollen concentration (Stockmarr, 1971,1973). The samples were analysed under light microscope (Olympus BX 61) at 400x and 1000x magnifications.

For extraction of Organic Walled Microfossils :

  • From shales, carbonates, siltstones, mudstonesWe followed the standard laboratory procedures of Moore et al.(1991) for pollen extraction including the chemical treatment of samples with HCl, KOH and HF. Lycopodium spore tablet (~10,680spores per tablet) was added to each sample before the chemical treatment for estimation of pollen concentration (Stockmarr, 1971,1973). The samples were analysed under light microscope (Olympus BX 61) at 400x and 1000x magnifications.
  • From phospahtic rocksthe sample is soaked in formic acid or acetic acid till it disintegrates completely. It is then neutralized in ammonia solution and washed with distilled water. The residue is mounted on slides as described above.

Thin Section study for permineralized microfossils :
A thin sliver of rock is cut from the sample and ground optically flat. It is then mounted on a glass slide and then ground smooth using progressively finer abrasive grit until the sample is 12-30 μm thick (depending on the nature of sample). The slide may or may not be covered with a cover-slip, depending on the types of studies to be carried out on it.

A short guide regarding how to prepare and send samples

For extraction of pollens and spores :
The sample should be organic content rich clay or fine silt. Lake or Peat cores and surface sediments are used for the extraction of pollen and spores. The sample should be properly labelled with their sample code. The sample will send along with the details of sampling site e.g. latitude longitude, elevation (amsl) and depth of the samples.

For extraction of Organic Walled Microfossils :
Rock samples, preferably small pieces, containing sample code, location and rock type should be sent. It is better if the samples are processed by the user and slides sent for scanning and identification of microfossils.

For extraction of pollens and spores:
Slivers of rocks for making thin sections should be sent. These should be numbered and contain the sample no/code, rock type and location. If prepared thin sections are sent, they can be scanned faster for microfossils.

 
 
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