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Boron in Illite as an Indicator of Paleosalinity of Illinois Coals
B. F. Bohor, H. J. Gluskoter
The paleosalinity of the Herrin (No. 6) Coal Member of the Illinois Basin (and other coals) was measured by low-temperature ashing and a new technique for determining boron in illite. The new technique modifies the usual method by first purifying the illite from the mineral matter in coal by selective dissolution.
The delta-alluvial plain model for sedimentation during the Pennsylvanian Period in the Illinois Basin presupposes that channel systems had a strong influence on the salinity of the accumulating sediments, including peat. The paleosalinity values from the boron measurements on coal show a close relation to distance from the channel and related features such as crevasse splays. However, the total number of datum points available is limited by the geographical distribution of coal mines in the Illinois Basin, and too few samples were analyzed for the data to be statistically significant.
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