Abstract

Authigenic analcimes were observed in different amounts in Miocene units in central Anatolia, Turkey. Two types of analcime occurrences were defined: (1) as continuous but inhomogeneous concentrations varying from 3 to 75 wt.% in lacustrine sedimentary rocks; and (2) as low concentrations (between 3 and 20%) and discontinuous components in the tuffs and claystones intercalated with tuff. The type 2 analcimes have been investigated by many researchers while the origin and properties of the sedimentary analcimes, which are widespread in different parts of Turkey, have not been clarified. The present study focused on the genesis and the mineralogical and geochemical properties of both types of analcime. The analcimes were investigated using X-ray diffraction, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and chemical analytical methods. In the first type, other than volcaniclastic material, analcime is the only zeolite mineral. The first type of analcime was associated mainly with montmorillonite, dolomite, and feldspar and sometimes with calcite, and rarely with illite and kaolinite. The second type of analcime was found as an accessory mineral accompanied by montmorillonite, feldspar, and heulandite/clinoptilolite, and more rarely by erionite, kaolinite, and mica. The pyroclastic rocks are chemically classified into two subgroups, dacitic and andesitic rocks, with an intermediate to high silica content and a high percentage of alkali cations. Analcime in the pyroclastics intercalated with clay layers commonly replaced early-formed zeolites, such as clinoptilolite or volcanic materials. The first type of analcime was not formed from precursor zeolites and had a different origin than the second type. Type 1 analcime contains larger amounts of Si (34.19 to 34.68 Si per unit cell) and less Al and Na than in theoretical analcime. The theoretical structural formula of analcime is Na16(Al16Si32O96)H2O. The strongly decomposing feldspar and clay minerals (in particular montmorillonite and partially illite) of the older formations and the dissolution of halite and also soda minerals, e.g. thenardite and glauberite, allow the authigenic formation of type 1 analcime, dolomite, K-feldspar, and montmorillonite in a saline and highly alkaline environment such as the marginal part of Lake Tuzgölü. Type 2 analcime may have been precipitated directly from solution, pyroclastic material, or precursor zeolite minerals in saline and alkaline lake water.

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