Abstract

The present occurrence is the only deposit among those found in Eskişehir province containing both sepiolite and palygorskite in economic amounts. To describe the geology, mineralogy and genetic relationships, two representative measured sections were examined by field work and XRD, XRF and SEM analyses. Sepiolite and palygorskite occur in a ∼40 m thick part of Pliocene sequence where saponite is also found. These minerals appear in ascending order as: palygorskite, saponite, saponite + palygorskite, sepiolite and sepiolite + palygorskite, frequently in association with dolomite. Chemical precipitation from the alkaline lake environment under semi-arid or arid conditions was the main process resulting in sepiolite, palygorskite and saponite formation. Of these, saponite and palygorskite were formed when the lake water was rich-in Al and Fe. Changes in pH may have controlled whether saponite or palygorskite could be formed. Palygorskite was also developed by transformation from saponite during diagenesis.

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