Distribution and Implications of Sponge Spicules in Surficial Deposits in Ohio
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Citation:The Ohio Journal of Science. v68 n2 (March, 1968), 92-99
Microscopic examination of biogenic opal isolated from the 0.05-0.02-mm total mineral fraction of 12 upland soil profiles indicates that fragments of sponge spicules are minor but ubiquitous constituents of Ohio soils, with major concentrations in the upper 10 to 15 inches of the profile. Quantities range from about 30 to 2000 parts per million biogenic opal or 1 to 65 parts per 10 million parts soil. Spicules are absent or extremely rare in calcareous Wisconsin-age till deposits. Their correlation with horizons high in silt content (50-75%), and their size and depth distribution in landscape positions which preclude an authigenic origin, indicate their aeolian transport from aquatic source areas with other loessial materials. Identification of spicules thus provides direct evidence that these horizons have been derived from loess or loess-till admixtures. This microscopic technique may serve useful for the identification of loess when field or laboratory particle-size analysis yields inconclusive evidence.
Author Institution: Agronomy Department, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Rights:Reproduction of articles for non-commercial educational or research use granted without request if credit to The Ohio State University and The Ohio Academy of Science is given.
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