Over the last few weeks Katherine and I have worked towards picking a few hypothesis that we can study for the rest of the semester. My emphasis of the research will be focusing on the mineralogy, crystal morphology, sorting of the grains, rounding, and determining if there are fossils present in the clay layers. Together we will both focus on looking at the depositional structures that are present in the layers above and below the bentonite and whether the they differ in multiple locations.  We have found articles from New Mexico and Serbia that we would like to compare our on research to.

Our hypothesis states that there will be multiple depositional structures in the layers above in below in varying locations. We will test it my taking samples from multiple locations along a measured sectioned. We will also make a stratigraphic column that will represent our results. Katherine will be expanding on the depositional structures in her hypothesis of age dating. We will also be looking at any defining features that may set the measured section apart.

My hypothesis is that the bentonite will vary in which cation it exchanges based on the mineralogy that it predominatly surrounded by. I expect it to be mostly Ca rich, based on the abundant sandstones in the region. I would also expect the sorting and rounding to be very well rounded and well sorted. I am comparing the crystal morphology and the mineralogy to the articles that we have found where other layers of bentonite are located. I am expecting the depostitional enviroment to play a major role in our results. With the help of Preston Larson I will be using the Scanning Electron Microscope to looking at the grain size, sorting, chemical anaylsis, and crystal morphology.  I am also stating that there will not be fossils present in the layers of bentonite, but they should be found in the layers surrounding it. I am hoping to take sample and be able to test by looking in a hand sample.


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