Abstract

There are numerous bentonite deposits, formed by the alteration of volcanic rocks, in the Kapιkaya area (Eskişehir, western Turkey). These deposits can be classified into three groups according to their stratigraphical levels. X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM), major, rare-earth and trace-element analyses of bentonites and their parent rocks from the Kapιkaya area were used to evaluate the mineralogical and geochemical properties of bentonites and their parental affinities. Mineral assemblages resulting from bentonite deposits consist mostly of clay minerals, gypsum, cristobalite/opal-CT, quartz, feldspar, calcite and dolomite. The clay minerals are represented mainly by dioctahedral smectite and lesser amounts of illite and chlorite. The enrichment and depletion of the elements indicates open-system alteration conditions. The enrichments in MgO, Fe2O3, TiO2, Co, Pb, Zn, and Ni are related to the precipitation of hydrothermal solutions channelled throughout ultramafic sources. The main differences in mineralogy and geochemistry of bentonites from the Kapιkaya area are in the smectite composition and the contents of major, rare-earth and other trace elements. The data obtained show that the types of parent rock the influenced the mineralogical and geochemical compositions of the bentonites.

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