As part of the mapping of industrial clay potential in the Minnesota River Valley (MRV) and
Cottonwood River Valley (Zanko et al., 1998), 94 samples were collected for reference and future
analysis. The primary focus of that study was to outline areas of potential for industrial clays,
primarily kaolins, and ball clays, based on field observations and examining the water well logs for
the area. The mapping project’s goal was to produce a GIS-based reference tool for land-use
planning and clay exploration.
This study was conducted to analyze 27 selected samples from Area 10 of Zanko et al.
(1998), along the Cottonwood River in Brown County, Minnesota. This area was selected for
additional work, based on field mapping, because of the high potential for the delineation of useful
industrial clays. The lack of analytical data about the clays in this area made determining the
potential of the area difficult.
The clays included in the study are largely Cretaceous in age, Cretaceous sediments, and
secondary sediments (Zanko et al., 1998), and a sample of an uncertain age, possibly a weathered
Paleozoic shale. Most of these clays formed from the weathering and reworking of crystalline
Archean bedrock, along with mineral contributions from weathered Paleozoic bedrock in the
southeastern part of the study area. Similar Cretaceous clays are currently mined by the Ochs Brick
and Tile Company, Springfield, Minnesota, and Minnesota Valley Minerals Inc., Mankato,
Minnesota, for use in brickmaking and artistic ceramic clays. Other industrial clays in the area come
from primary kaolin deposits, clays which formed in place from the intense weathering of crystalline
Archean bedrock. No samples of primary kaolins are included in this study, but they do make up
the largest tonnage of industrial clays mined in the MRV area, and are dominantly used in the
production of portland cement.
The files attached to this record include the report (RI-1999-03.pdf) and the files for Appendices I-V (described in the report on pages 26-36): Appendix I (SLOCMRV3.xls), Appendix II (MRV3PSA.xls), Appendix III (MRV3XRY.xls), Appendix IV (MRV3CHEM.XLS), and Appendix V (AppendixV.zip, a zipped file containing the ArcView 3.1 and dBase IV files used to reproduce Figure 1 in ArcView GIS format, as described in the report on pages 34-36).
Funded by the Minerals Coordinating Committee from the Minerals Diversification Program of the Minnesota Legislature, with funding through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; and the Natural Resources Research Institute, University of Minnesota Duluth, 5013 Miller Trunk Highway, Duluth, MN 55811-1442.
Heine, John J; Zanko, Lawrence M.
Testing Of Selected Samples From Mapping Of Industrial Clay Potential In The Minnesota River Valley, South-Central Minnesota.
University of Minnesota Duluth.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
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