Abstract

Geologic mapping and crystal-chemical analysis of Middle–Upper Miocene volcanics in the Sandıklı-Afyonkarahisar region of Turkey, coupled with published zeolite analyses has revealed that western Turkey hosts unique zeolitic mineral assemblages with distinct paragenetic sequences. The present investigation focused on pyroclastic deposits, including low to intermediate potassic trachytic/trachyandesitic tuffs (LPT) and high potassic tephriphonolitic, tephritic, and trachybasaltic tuffs (HPT), each of which contains various styles of zeolites. Optical petrography, X-ray powder diffraction, and chemical analyses have revealed varying degrees of lithification, probably related to differences in initial emplacement temperature, depositional mechanism and thickness, chilling rate, and extent of mafic composition. Zeolitization was further influenced by meteoric flushing in a hydrologically open system. Chabazite in the LPT from the Selçik area occurs extensively as coatings and infillings of pores. Phillipsite in the HPT found in the Ballık, Küfeke, and Ömerkuyu areas dominates the assemblage and is accompanied by chabazite and minor amounts of analcime. Analcime was probably generated by alteration of leucite which is found as a pyrogene mineral. Alkali zeolites or Ca-bearing zeolites formed as a consequence of the addition of Ca and/or the removal of Na (i.e. dissolution of analcime). The paragenetic sequence may be described as: analcime/phillipsite → chabazite → calcite. The characterization of these assemblages may lead to better exploitation strategies for natural zeolitic resources in the region.

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