Thursday, July 11, 2019

Experiments in Fossil Cleaning with Power Washer

Earlier in the year, I was cleaning with a power washer and thought, "what if I tried this on some of soil stained fossils?". Well, I picked out a few pieces: crinoid plates that had been underwater at Lake Cumberland for a long time and coral and brachiopod fossils from Devonian Period limestones around Louisville.

This first fossil picture shows one of the largest horn corals to ever exist called Siphonophrentis elongata (Rafenesque & Clifford, 1820). It is found in the Jeffersonville Limestone usually in pieces in the soil. The fossil shown is stained a reddish-brown. The other two plates are broken up crinoid stem plates with one showing pieces of a calyx. They were found at Lake Cumberland, Kentucky. They appear to have layers of lake mud on them that is fused to the silica fossils. I like these fossils in that they have bluish look to them.
The next two show after cleaning. The crinoid stem piece did the best. I am not sure there was much change on the crinoid plates.

This next picture is of a coral fossil and brachiopod plate. The second image shows the cleaned fossils. The coral cleaned quite nicely.