Abstract

The origins of dolocrete and associated palygorskite in the Çanakkale region of Turkey have been little studied, but are of fundamental importance for a more complete understanding of the mineralogy of this region. The present study was undertaken in order to narrow this gap. Siliciclastic red mudstones within alluvial-fan deposits of the Middle Miocene Sariyer Formation locally contain dolocretes in various forms (powdery, nodular, and fracture-filling) and scarce matte-brown, authigenic clay lenses. The mineralogical characteristics of dolocrete and authigenic clay lenses were examined using polarized-light microscopy, X-ray diffraction, differential thermal analysis and thermal gravimetry, scanning-electron microscopy, and infrared spectroscopy, as well as by chemical and isotopic methods. These analyses indicate that the dolocretes are indeed predominantly dolomite, coexisting with variable amounts of palygorskite. The authigenic clay lenses are composed mainly of palygorskite. Dolomite appears as euhedral crystals, whereas palygorskite developed authigenically as interwoven fibers on and between resorbed dolomite crystals, rimming euhedral crystals, and as fiber bundles (where dolomite ± magnesite is absent). The stable-isotope values and some petrographic features, such as alveolar texture and dolomite needles, support a pedogenic origin for the dolocretes. In the initial stage, dolomite formed by replacement of siliciclastic red mudstones and/or by precipitation from percolating soil-derived water in a near-surface setting. Subsequently, palygorskite either precipitated on the dolomite crystals from relatively more evaporative water, replaced the host-rock mudstone in the presence of Al + Fe, or formed directly from solution where the Ca/Mg ratio decreased and the Al + Fe increased. In view of the large Cr and Ni contents of the bulk-rock samples, the elements required for the crystallization of dolomite and palygorskite (namely Mg, Ca, Si, Al, and Fe) may have been supplied by weathering of ophiolitic rocks that crop out in the area.

You do not currently have access to this article.