Abstract

The Serinhisar-Acipayam basin of western Anatolia hosts a Neogene alkaline lake which formed in some graben and semi-graben depression zones as a result of N–S tension. The basin is filled with fluvial and lacustrine sediments dominated by clayey materials. The filling of the basin with fine sediments and associated water level changes caused the development of swampy and/or semi-swampy, alkaline-lake environments where sepiolite, palygorskite, saponite and dolomitic sepiolite or palygorskite precipitated periodically in the basin. Sepiolite is predominant in the Kuyucak section and is intercalated with saponite-dominated levels, whereas saponite accompanied palygorskite at Kocapinar where basaltic volcanism occurred. The contacts between sepiolite-palygorskite and saponite levels are more or less sharp, reflecting rapid changes in the physicochemical conditions of the depositional environment. Micromorphological images reveal that both sepiolite and palygorskite grew as interwoven fibers or fiber bundles and masses where dolomite was absent, indicating direct precipitation from solution, whereas fibrous networks grew authigenically on and out of dolomite in dolomitic sepiolite and dolomitic palygorskite. Saponite is either green or reddish brown due to its organic material-rich content and derivation from products of basaltic volcanism. Synsedimentary basaltic volcanism was the main source of Fe and Al, whereas Si and Mg were derived from surrounding ultrabasic and detrital units and partly from the volcanism. It can be concluded that sepiolite, palygorskite and saponite formed either by direct precipitation from alkaline lake water or authigenically from interstitial pore-water between dolomite rhombs as controlled by concentration of Si, Mg, Al and Fe, rather than by mutual transformation.

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