The microfossil laboratory


    Infrastructure Details


    This is a laboratory for processing microfossils. Through decades of continuous refinement and development, primarily by the late Professor Lennart Jeppsson, we are now able to process very large samples (up to more than 100 kg each) and get very concentrated sample residues that will significantly decrease picking time. Using buffered and diluted (c. 10%) acetic acid that will easily digest different types of limestone without etching phosphatic microfossils. After dissolving the rock slabs the residues are treated further, for example magnetic and/or density separation, depending on what end product is requested. The technique is primarily developed for phosphatic microfossils (such as conodonts and fish scales) but works very well also for organic-walled microfossils such as scolecodont, chitinozoans, and graptolites. Other rest products obviously include silicified, phosphatized and pyritized fossils and acid resistant mineral grains. The head of the laboratory, Git Klintvik Ahlberg, has years of experience of extracting acid resistant microfossils.

    Relevant references:Jeppsson, L. 2005. Biases in the recovery and interpretation of micropalaeontological data. In M.A. Purnell & P.C.J. Donoghue (eds.): Conodont biology and phylogeny – interpreting the fossil record. Special Papers in Palaeontology 73: 57–71.Jeppsson, L., Anehus, R., Fredholm, D. 1999. The optimal acetate buffered acetic acid technique for extracting phosphatic fossils. Journal of Paleontology 73: 964–972.

    Equipment and resources

    Tanks and tubs for rock digestion in acid. Computer system monitoring acid exchanges. Magnetic and heavy liquid separation equipment.

    Digital and physical collections

    Vast collections of various microfossils stored both in-house and at departments abroad.

    Services provided

    Dissolving rocks for the recovery of acid-resistant microfossils (see Overview description)

    The cost per sample varies considerably depending on sample size, lithology and necessary further treatment of the residues. Please contact us for an estimate.

    The sample residues will be delivered in dry state and sub-divided into different fractions, normally one light and one heavy fraction (the latter of which contains phosphatic fossils). As a rule our finest sieve is 63 um. If you would like a finer sieve, that can be arranged.

    Management of the infrastructure

    Head of lab: Git Klintvik Ahlberg
    Co-responsible: Professor Mats E. Eriksson

    UKÄ subject classification

    • Geology

    Type of infrastructure

    • Equipment