2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 18
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


VIVENZIO, Rachel M. and FARTHING, Dori, Geological Sciences, SUNY- Geneseo, 1 College Circle, Geneseo, NY 14454, rmv1@geneseo.edu

A detailed study of historical slag from the Tahawus smelting site in the Adirondacks was conducted to examine its geochemistry and mineralogy. In 1838, the first blast furnace on the site was constructed to smelt ilmenite-magnetite ore. In October 2003, the Open Space Institute purchased 10,000 acres of the Tahawus property in an effort to protect the landscape from development. Samples of slag were studied on a macroscale and with thin sections, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and X-ray fluorescence (XRF). In addition, hydrological and botanical samples were obtained.

These iron slag samples are predominately white and vesicular with a ropy morphology. Internally the slags are blue indicating that the white is an alteration characteristic. Thin sections and XRD analysis indicate clinopyroxene and perovskite as the most predominate phases and these slags have minuscule amounts of glass. Along with the chemistry and mineralogy, the volume of slag has been approximated for the site. This value linked with XRF gives an estimate of the potential of elemental release from the slag pile. Samples of nearby soil, surficial water, and flora have been collected and analyzed to see if this release has occurred.