This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Practical Application of Petrographic Methods to Crushed Stone Aggregate Exploration: Comparing Microstructures and Grain Boundaries to Physical Quality Testing of Aggregate




Nuno, Nicholas

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Geology and Geography


This research attempts to compare and correlate microscopic properties of aggregate material to the aggregates physical engineering properties. Material was collected and tested to obtain physical and mechanical properties of the aggregate. Thin sections were prepared and studied documenting minerals present, internal microstructures, and mineral grain boundaries. The physical aggregate testing properties were compared to the microscopic properties to determine if there is a correlation between the microscopic properties and how the rock will perform in building materials. A direct correlation exists between properties observed under the microscope and physical testing results. The use of microscopy in exploration can result in significant exploration cost savings. Observed properties of potential aggregate such as grain size, mineralogy, absorption, texture, and fractures can be correlated to the quality of potential aggregate and how it will perform.