Scanning Electron Microscope Examination of Quartz Sandgrain Microtextures

David Krinsley


 The use of the scanning electron microscope in the examination of microtextural features on the surfaces of quartz sand grains is discussed. Differences in texture can be used to distinguish a number of different weathering or depositional environments. Thus it is possible to identify quartz sand grains emplaced in the following settings: weathered from granites, youthful rivers, subaqueous marine, aeolian and glacial. This technique can be used to reconstruct ancient depositional environments; sands as old as Lower Triassic have been successfully subjected to textural analysis.

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