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Rodlets, occurring in shale and coal (uppermost Berriasian to middle Aptian, Lower Cretaceous), were identified from drill cuttings taken from depths between 9330 ft (2844 m) and 11, 460 ft (3493 m) in the Texaco et al., Federal Block 598, No. 2 well, in the Baltimore Canyon Trough. Under the binocular microscope, most of the rodlets appear black, but a few are reddish brown, or brownish and translucent on thin edges. They range in diameter from about 0.4 to 1.7 mm and are commonly flattened. The rodlets break with a conchoidal fracture, and some show an apparent cellular cast on their longitudinal surfaces. When polished and viewed in reflected light, the rodlets appear dark gray and have an average random reflectance of less than 0.1% whereas mean maximum reflectances are 0.48-0.55% for vitrinite in the associated shale and coal. These vitrinite reflectances indicate either subbituminous A or high-volatile C bituminous coal. The rodlets fluoresce dull gray yellow to dull yellow. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) and light microscope reveal the presence of swirl-like features in the rodlet interiors. Minerals associated with the rodlets occur as sand-size grains attached to the outer surface, as finely disseminated interior grains, and as fracture fillings. Electron microprobe and SEM-energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) anlayses indicate that the minerals are dominantly clays (probably illite and chlorite) and iron disulfide; calcium carbonate, silicon dioxide, potassium aluminum silicate (feldspar), titanium dioxide, zinc sulfide, and iron sulfate minerals have been also identified. The rodlets were analyzed directly for C, H, N, O, and total S and are interpreted as true resins on the basis of C and H contents that range from 75.6 to 80.3 and from 7.4 to 8.7 wt. % (dry, ash-free basis), respectively. Elemental and infrared data support a composition similar to that of resinite from bituminous coal. Elements determined to be organically associated in the rodlets include S (0.2-0.5 wt.%), Cl (0.03-0.1 wt.%), and Si (0.05-0.08 wt.%). The ash content of the resin rodlets ranges from 4 to 24 wt.% and averages 12 wt.%. Total sulfur contents range from 1.7 to 3.6 wt.%. Resins of fossil plants are known to have little or no sulfur and ash; therefore, these data and the presence of minerals in fractures indicate that most of the sulfur and mineral matter were introduced into the resin partly or wholly after the time of brittle fracture of the resin. The probable source of the resin rodlets is fossil pinaceous conifer cones, which are known to have resin canals as much as 2400 ??m in diameter. ?? 1984.
Additional Publication Details
Resin rodlets in shale and coal (Lower Cretaceous), Baltimore Canyon Trough