Abstract

Variations in clay mineral assemblages, changes in Kübler index (KI), and the chemical composition of chlorites are used to identify source areas in the lacustrine materials in the Lower Cretaceous Leza Limestone Formation of the Cameros Basin, northern Spain. This formation has fairly homogeneous lithological characteristics and facies associations which do not allow for identification and characterization of local source areas. The Arnedillo lithosome of the Leza Limestone Formation contains a clay mineral association (Mg-chlorite, illite and smectite) indicative of its provenance. Chlorite composition and illite KI values indicate that these minerals were formed at temperatures higher than those reached by the Leza Formation which indicates its detrital origin. The similarity in the Mg-chlorite composition between the Arnedillo lithosome and the Keuper sediments of the area indicates that these materials acted as a local source area. This implies that Triassic sediments were exposed, at least locally, at the time of deposition of the Leza Formation. The presence of smectite in the Leza Formation is related to a retrograde diagenesis event that altered the Mg-chlorites in some samples.

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