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Date Permissions Signed
Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Pevear, David R.
Suczek, Christopher A., 1942-2014
Three fire clay seams occur near the base of the Eocene Huntingdon formation at Canadian Sumas Mountain, southwest British Columbia. The three seams are separated from each other and overlain by coal partings.
The fire clays consist predominately of b-axis disordered kaolinite with minor amounts of quartz, detrital coal and x-ray amorphous iron oxides. They contain scant amounts of anatase, siderite, illite, and expandable clays. Expandable clays are concentrated in the fine clay fractions and illite is concentrated in the coarse clay fractions.
The lowermost fire clay seam contains better ordered kaolinite and fewer non-kaolinitic minerals than do the overlying two seams. Siderite shows a slight upward increase in quantity through the fire clay section. Anatase distribution is homogeneous.
All three fire clay seams are hard, compact, and non-fissile. Scanning electron microscopy shows them to be composed of small domains of fine-grained, interlocking kaolinite flakes in face-to-face contact. The lowermost seam contains ball-like aggregates of kaolinite that are not found in the overlying seams.
Field relations and mineralogic and textural features of the fire clays suggest that they were deposited as detrital mud derived from a kaolinitic saprolite which underlies the Huntingdon formation. Deposition in an Eocene flood-plain swamp is postulated.
Western Washington University
Sumas Mountain (B.C.)
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Horton, Duane G., "Clay Mineralogy and Origin of the Huntingdon Fire Clays on Canadian Sumas Mountain, South British Columbia" (1978). WWU Graduate School Collection. 641.