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Heavy-mineral analysis as a tool in earth-scientific research

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Informacje o czasopiśmie
Format
Czasopismo
eISSN
2080-6574
ISSN
1426-8981
Pierwsze wydanie
24 Dec 2009
Częstotliwość wydawania
3 razy w roku
Języki
Angielski

Wyszukiwanie

Tom 19 (2013): Zeszyt 1-2 (May 2013)
Heavy-mineral analysis as a tool in earth-scientific research

Informacje o czasopiśmie
Format
Czasopismo
eISSN
2080-6574
ISSN
1426-8981
Pierwsze wydanie
24 Dec 2009
Częstotliwość wydawania
3 razy w roku
Języki
Angielski

Wyszukiwanie

8 Artykułów
Otwarty dostęp

Heavy-mineral analysis in Polish investigations of Quaternary deposits: a review

Data publikacji: 31 May 2013
Zakres stron: 5 - 23

Abstrakt

Abstract

The composition of heavy-mineral assemblages is one of the main textural features of sediments because they can have significant value for the interpretation of, among others, their depositional environment, their depositional processes, and their stratigraphic position. Distinctive features of heavy minerals include their resistance to chemical weathering and mechanical abrasion, their habit, and their density. These parameters are the most widely used in the heavy-mineral research of Quaternary deposits in Poland, as well as in such research in other countries conducted by Polish scientists. Several other heavy-mineral parameters can also be used in various types of interpretation. It is discussed whether heavy-mineral analysis is decisive in the evaluation of deposits or whether it plays mainly a role that may support evidence obtained by other types of analysis. The attention is mainly devoted to transparent heavy minerals; the significance of opaque heavy minerals for interpretational purposes is only mentioned.

Keywords

  • heavy-mineral analysis
  • heavy-mineral resistance
  • heavy-mineral habit
  • heavy-mineral density
  • Poland
Otwarty dostęp

Heavy minerals as a tool to reconstruct river activity during the Weichselian glaciation (Toruń Basin, Poland)

Data publikacji: 31 May 2013
Zakres stron: 25 - 46

Abstrakt

Abstract

The heavy-mineral composition of the Weichselian fluvial successions deposited by an ephemeral meandering river and by a sand-bed braided river in the Toruń Basin (central Poland) was analysed. On the basis of a lithofacies analysis, in combination with the composition of the heavy-mineral assemblages, the fluvial processes and river-channel morphology were reconstructed. This allows determining the provenance of the fluvial deposits and the rivers’ discharge regimes. A model is proposed which can explain the changes in the amount of individual minerals in the fluvial sediments of different ages under the conditions of the oscillating Scandinavian ice sheet. The model assumes that, during the ice-sheet advances, the proglacial streams supplied large amounts of heavy minerals that were less resistant to mechanical abrasion. During the main phase of the ice-sheet retreat, the distance between the ice sheet and the Toruń Basin increased, and the amount of non-resistant minerals diminished as a result of sediment reworking in proglacial rivers. Due to the unique location of the Toruń Basin at the front of the Scandinavian ice sheet during the Weichselian glaciation, the heavy-mineral assemblages in the fluvial deposits form a valuable tool for the recognition of the ice-sheet extent.

Słowa kluczowe

  • heavy minerals
  • ice-marginal valley
  • river-discharge regime
  • channel-pattern transformation
  • Toruń Basin
  • Weichselian
Otwarty dostęp

Heavy and light minerals as a tool for reconstructing depositional environments: an example from the Jałówka site (northern Podlasie region, NE Poland)

Data publikacji: 31 May 2013
Zakres stron: 47 - 66

Abstrakt

Abstract

Part of northern Podlasie (NE Poland), shaped during the Wartanian stadial of the Odranian glaciation (Saalian), was situated in the periglacial zone during the Vistulian (Weichselian) glaciation. Both landforms and sediments were affected by the periglacial conditions. This is recorded at the Jałówka site, at the floor of a dry valley, where mineral deposits of 4.13 m thick, overlying organic deposits from the Eemian interglacial, were examined. These mineral deposits form four units, from bottom to top: a fluvial unit (I), a loess-like unit (II), a solifluction unit (III), and an aeolian unit with ice wedges (IV) on top of unit III. The heavy and light minerals were analysed, as well as the geochemistry, in order to find out about the parent material and to reconstruct the climatic conditions during deposition. The mineral analysis indicates that the Saalian till was predominantly derived from shallow-marine deposits; erosion accompanied by sorting of the heavy minerals took place on the basis of their mass and grain size. The original material of the till seems therefore to be sedimentary rocks from the eastern Central Baltic Basin. This material became strongly weathered under the periglacial conditions, resulting in the destruction of the quartz grains, as well as in leaching, leading to complete decalcification of the deposits. Aeolian activity resulted in infilling of ice wedges and the creation of thin layers. The intensity and the duration of these processes was limited, so that the effects of the aeolian abrasion are insignificant. Neither resulted the aeolian activity in significant reshaping of the landscape.

Słowa kluczowe

  • heavy minerals
  • quartz grains
  • periglacial processes
  • source deposits
  • Vistulian glaciation
  • NE Poland
Otwarty dostęp

Heavy-mineral, mineral-chemical and zircon-age constraints on the provenance of Triassic sandstones from the Devon coast, southern Britain

Data publikacji: 31 May 2013
Zakres stron: 67 - 85

Abstrakt

Abstract

An integrated heavy-mineral, mineral-chemical and zircon-dating study of the Triassic succession exposed on the south Devon coast, in the western part of the Wessex Basin, indicates derivation from a combination of granitic and metasedimentary lithologies of ages of mostly over 550 Ma. These sources were probably located at a relatively proximal location near the southern margin of the basin. Derivation from more distal sources in the Armorican Massif or local Variscan sources to the west appears unlikely in view of the scarcity of Permo-Carboniferous (Variscan-age) zircons. The Budleigh Salterton Pebble Bed Formation was derived from a different combination of source lithologies than the Otter Sandstone Formation, the former including staurolite-grade metasediments that were absent in the catchment area of the Otter Sandstone. The Devon coast succession has provenance characteristics that differ from equivalent sandstones further east in the Wessex Basin, and from sandstones in the East Irish Sea Basin to the north. These differences indicate that sediment supply patterns to the linked Triassic basin systems in southern Britain are complex, involving multiple distinct sub-catchment areas, and that heavy-mineral studies have considerable potential for unravelling these sub- -catchment area sources.

Keywords

  • heavy minerals
  • zircon
  • provenance
  • Triassic
  • Devon
Otwarty dostęp

Heavy-mineral analysis as a tool in tephrochronology, with an example from the La Sal Mountains, Utah, U.S.A.

Data publikacji: 31 May 2013
Zakres stron: 87 - 94

Abstrakt

Abstract

An essentially pure tephra layer on a steep slope in the La Sal Mountains, Utah, U.S.A., is correlated with the 1.65 Ma old Guaje Tephra derived from the Jemez Mountains, New Mexico, U.S.A. The heavy-mineral contents and glass shards in sediments beneath the La Sal tephra layer indicate that tephra constituents are contained in deposits considerably older than the pure layer. This suggests that tephra material may become reworked while retaining its pure character, possibly due to laminar transport or to dislocation in a frozen condition. This raises the need to handle tephrochronological findings with great care.

Keywords

  • heavy-mineral analysis
  • tephrochronology
  • reworking history
  • relative dating
  • palaeopedology
Otwarty dostęp

The assemblages of transparent heavy minerals in Quaternary sediments of the Kielce-Łagów Valley (Holy Cross Mountains, Poland)

Data publikacji: 31 May 2013
Zakres stron: 95 - 129

Abstrakt

Abstract

The composition of the transparent heavy-mineral assemblages (0.25-0.1 mm) in Quaternary slope, karst, glacial, fluvioglacial and fluvial deposits with different parent material was investigated in the Kielce-Łagów Valley (the central part of the Palaeozoic core of the Holy Cross Mountains). For the purpose, 93 samples of mostly sandy sediments were examined. Some marker and some supporting minerals can be distinguished. Slope and karst deposits are dominated by the abrasion-resistant minerals zircon, tourmaline, staurolite and rutile. This assemblage points at a source consisting of strongly weathered pre-Quaternary bedrock. Glacial and fluvioglacial deposits are dominated by medium-resistant and non-resistant minerals (garnet, amphibole, pyroxene and biotite). The two types of parent material of the heavy minerals are typical of the Quaternary deposits in the Polish uplands. The two sources are most clear in the younger (Vistulian and Holocene), mostly fluvial sediments. The results of the analysis imply that the impact of Pleistocene glaciers on the central part of the Holy Cross Mountains was neither large enough to hide the local mineralogical background, nor sufficient to dominate over the main processes transforming the mineral composition under the variable climatic conditions of the Quaternary, including aeolian processes and chemical weathering.

Keywords

  • heavy-mineral analysis
  • Quaternary deposits
  • Holy Cross Mountains
Otwarty dostęp

Heavy–mineral assemblages from fluvial Pleniglacial deposits of the Piotrków Plateau and the Holy Cross Mountains – a comparative study

Data publikacji: 31 May 2013
Zakres stron: 131 - 146

Abstrakt

Abstract

The heavy-mineral assemblages of Pleniglacial fluvial sediments were analysed for two river valleys, viz. the Luciąża River (at Kłudzice Nowe) and the Belnianka River (at Słopiec). These sites, on the Piotrków Plateau and in the Holy Cross Mountains respectively, are located in different morphogenetic zones of Poland that were affected to different degrees by the Middle Polish ice sheets. The study was aimed at determining the kind of processes that modified the heavy-mineral assemblages in the two fluvial sediments, at reconstructing the conditions under which these processes took place, and in how far these processes caused changes in the assemblages. The heavy-mineral associations of the parent material was taken as a starting point; this parent material were the sediments left by the Odranian glaciation (Warta stadial = Late Saalian). It was found that heavy-mineral assemblages in the Luciąża valley deposits are varied, particularly if compared with other fluvioglacial Quaternary deposits from the Polish lowlands, with a dominance of garnet. In the fluvial deposits of the Belnianka valley, zircon, staurolite and tourmaline dominate, with minor amounts of amphibole, pyroxene, biotite and garnet. This suggests that the deposits were subject to intensive and/or persistent chemical weathering and underwent several sedimentation/erosion cycles under periglacial conditions. In both valleys chemical weathering and aeolian processes were the main factors that modified the assemblages of the transparent heavy minerals; these processes were largely controlled by the climatic changes during the Pleistocene.

Keywords

  • heavy-mineral analysis
  • fluvial deposits
  • Vistulian
  • Pleniglacial
  • central Poland
  • Holy Cross Mountains
  • Piotrków Plateau
Otwarty dostęp

Possibilities and restrictions of heavy-mineral analysis for the reconstruction of sedimentary environments and source areas

Data publikacji: 31 May 2013
Zakres stron: 147 - 158

Abstrakt

Abstract

The possible reconstruction of ancient sedimentary environments on the basis of heavy-minerals assemblages is presented by means of discriminant lithogeodynamic diagrams that compare modern and ancient sedimentary environments. This is exemplified by Mesozoic-Cenozoic deposits recovered from ODP cores obtained from the Philippine and Japan Seas, the Japan Trench and the North Atlantic, as well as by deposits from folded areas onshore. On the basis of the comparative analysis, it can be deduced that the main tendencies in mineral assemblages of modern deposits that depend on the structural-tectonic conditions, are fairly well preserved in Cenozoic deposits (including the deposits recovered by ODP drilling). On the other hand, the environmental reconstruction of folded and faulted pre-Cenozoic continental areas on the basis of their heavy-mineral assemblages, by comparing them with supposed modern analogs, is not always possible with much certainty. The main reasons may be either a considerable change in the composition of the initial (primary) mineral assemblages as a result of intralayer solution or the absence, at the time of deposition, of geodynamic environments that closely resembled modern ones.

Keywords

  • heavy-mineral assemblages
  • sedimentary environments
  • ODP cores
  • Mesozoic folded belts
8 Artykułów
Otwarty dostęp

Heavy-mineral analysis in Polish investigations of Quaternary deposits: a review

Data publikacji: 31 May 2013
Zakres stron: 5 - 23

Abstrakt

Abstract

The composition of heavy-mineral assemblages is one of the main textural features of sediments because they can have significant value for the interpretation of, among others, their depositional environment, their depositional processes, and their stratigraphic position. Distinctive features of heavy minerals include their resistance to chemical weathering and mechanical abrasion, their habit, and their density. These parameters are the most widely used in the heavy-mineral research of Quaternary deposits in Poland, as well as in such research in other countries conducted by Polish scientists. Several other heavy-mineral parameters can also be used in various types of interpretation. It is discussed whether heavy-mineral analysis is decisive in the evaluation of deposits or whether it plays mainly a role that may support evidence obtained by other types of analysis. The attention is mainly devoted to transparent heavy minerals; the significance of opaque heavy minerals for interpretational purposes is only mentioned.

Keywords

  • heavy-mineral analysis
  • heavy-mineral resistance
  • heavy-mineral habit
  • heavy-mineral density
  • Poland
Otwarty dostęp

Heavy minerals as a tool to reconstruct river activity during the Weichselian glaciation (Toruń Basin, Poland)

Data publikacji: 31 May 2013
Zakres stron: 25 - 46

Abstrakt

Abstract

The heavy-mineral composition of the Weichselian fluvial successions deposited by an ephemeral meandering river and by a sand-bed braided river in the Toruń Basin (central Poland) was analysed. On the basis of a lithofacies analysis, in combination with the composition of the heavy-mineral assemblages, the fluvial processes and river-channel morphology were reconstructed. This allows determining the provenance of the fluvial deposits and the rivers’ discharge regimes. A model is proposed which can explain the changes in the amount of individual minerals in the fluvial sediments of different ages under the conditions of the oscillating Scandinavian ice sheet. The model assumes that, during the ice-sheet advances, the proglacial streams supplied large amounts of heavy minerals that were less resistant to mechanical abrasion. During the main phase of the ice-sheet retreat, the distance between the ice sheet and the Toruń Basin increased, and the amount of non-resistant minerals diminished as a result of sediment reworking in proglacial rivers. Due to the unique location of the Toruń Basin at the front of the Scandinavian ice sheet during the Weichselian glaciation, the heavy-mineral assemblages in the fluvial deposits form a valuable tool for the recognition of the ice-sheet extent.

Słowa kluczowe

  • heavy minerals
  • ice-marginal valley
  • river-discharge regime
  • channel-pattern transformation
  • Toruń Basin
  • Weichselian
Otwarty dostęp

Heavy and light minerals as a tool for reconstructing depositional environments: an example from the Jałówka site (northern Podlasie region, NE Poland)

Data publikacji: 31 May 2013
Zakres stron: 47 - 66

Abstrakt

Abstract

Part of northern Podlasie (NE Poland), shaped during the Wartanian stadial of the Odranian glaciation (Saalian), was situated in the periglacial zone during the Vistulian (Weichselian) glaciation. Both landforms and sediments were affected by the periglacial conditions. This is recorded at the Jałówka site, at the floor of a dry valley, where mineral deposits of 4.13 m thick, overlying organic deposits from the Eemian interglacial, were examined. These mineral deposits form four units, from bottom to top: a fluvial unit (I), a loess-like unit (II), a solifluction unit (III), and an aeolian unit with ice wedges (IV) on top of unit III. The heavy and light minerals were analysed, as well as the geochemistry, in order to find out about the parent material and to reconstruct the climatic conditions during deposition. The mineral analysis indicates that the Saalian till was predominantly derived from shallow-marine deposits; erosion accompanied by sorting of the heavy minerals took place on the basis of their mass and grain size. The original material of the till seems therefore to be sedimentary rocks from the eastern Central Baltic Basin. This material became strongly weathered under the periglacial conditions, resulting in the destruction of the quartz grains, as well as in leaching, leading to complete decalcification of the deposits. Aeolian activity resulted in infilling of ice wedges and the creation of thin layers. The intensity and the duration of these processes was limited, so that the effects of the aeolian abrasion are insignificant. Neither resulted the aeolian activity in significant reshaping of the landscape.

Słowa kluczowe

  • heavy minerals
  • quartz grains
  • periglacial processes
  • source deposits
  • Vistulian glaciation
  • NE Poland
Otwarty dostęp

Heavy-mineral, mineral-chemical and zircon-age constraints on the provenance of Triassic sandstones from the Devon coast, southern Britain

Data publikacji: 31 May 2013
Zakres stron: 67 - 85

Abstrakt

Abstract

An integrated heavy-mineral, mineral-chemical and zircon-dating study of the Triassic succession exposed on the south Devon coast, in the western part of the Wessex Basin, indicates derivation from a combination of granitic and metasedimentary lithologies of ages of mostly over 550 Ma. These sources were probably located at a relatively proximal location near the southern margin of the basin. Derivation from more distal sources in the Armorican Massif or local Variscan sources to the west appears unlikely in view of the scarcity of Permo-Carboniferous (Variscan-age) zircons. The Budleigh Salterton Pebble Bed Formation was derived from a different combination of source lithologies than the Otter Sandstone Formation, the former including staurolite-grade metasediments that were absent in the catchment area of the Otter Sandstone. The Devon coast succession has provenance characteristics that differ from equivalent sandstones further east in the Wessex Basin, and from sandstones in the East Irish Sea Basin to the north. These differences indicate that sediment supply patterns to the linked Triassic basin systems in southern Britain are complex, involving multiple distinct sub-catchment areas, and that heavy-mineral studies have considerable potential for unravelling these sub- -catchment area sources.

Keywords

  • heavy minerals
  • zircon
  • provenance
  • Triassic
  • Devon
Otwarty dostęp

Heavy-mineral analysis as a tool in tephrochronology, with an example from the La Sal Mountains, Utah, U.S.A.

Data publikacji: 31 May 2013
Zakres stron: 87 - 94

Abstrakt

Abstract

An essentially pure tephra layer on a steep slope in the La Sal Mountains, Utah, U.S.A., is correlated with the 1.65 Ma old Guaje Tephra derived from the Jemez Mountains, New Mexico, U.S.A. The heavy-mineral contents and glass shards in sediments beneath the La Sal tephra layer indicate that tephra constituents are contained in deposits considerably older than the pure layer. This suggests that tephra material may become reworked while retaining its pure character, possibly due to laminar transport or to dislocation in a frozen condition. This raises the need to handle tephrochronological findings with great care.

Keywords

  • heavy-mineral analysis
  • tephrochronology
  • reworking history
  • relative dating
  • palaeopedology
Otwarty dostęp

The assemblages of transparent heavy minerals in Quaternary sediments of the Kielce-Łagów Valley (Holy Cross Mountains, Poland)

Data publikacji: 31 May 2013
Zakres stron: 95 - 129

Abstrakt

Abstract

The composition of the transparent heavy-mineral assemblages (0.25-0.1 mm) in Quaternary slope, karst, glacial, fluvioglacial and fluvial deposits with different parent material was investigated in the Kielce-Łagów Valley (the central part of the Palaeozoic core of the Holy Cross Mountains). For the purpose, 93 samples of mostly sandy sediments were examined. Some marker and some supporting minerals can be distinguished. Slope and karst deposits are dominated by the abrasion-resistant minerals zircon, tourmaline, staurolite and rutile. This assemblage points at a source consisting of strongly weathered pre-Quaternary bedrock. Glacial and fluvioglacial deposits are dominated by medium-resistant and non-resistant minerals (garnet, amphibole, pyroxene and biotite). The two types of parent material of the heavy minerals are typical of the Quaternary deposits in the Polish uplands. The two sources are most clear in the younger (Vistulian and Holocene), mostly fluvial sediments. The results of the analysis imply that the impact of Pleistocene glaciers on the central part of the Holy Cross Mountains was neither large enough to hide the local mineralogical background, nor sufficient to dominate over the main processes transforming the mineral composition under the variable climatic conditions of the Quaternary, including aeolian processes and chemical weathering.

Keywords

  • heavy-mineral analysis
  • Quaternary deposits
  • Holy Cross Mountains
Otwarty dostęp

Heavy–mineral assemblages from fluvial Pleniglacial deposits of the Piotrków Plateau and the Holy Cross Mountains – a comparative study

Data publikacji: 31 May 2013
Zakres stron: 131 - 146

Abstrakt

Abstract

The heavy-mineral assemblages of Pleniglacial fluvial sediments were analysed for two river valleys, viz. the Luciąża River (at Kłudzice Nowe) and the Belnianka River (at Słopiec). These sites, on the Piotrków Plateau and in the Holy Cross Mountains respectively, are located in different morphogenetic zones of Poland that were affected to different degrees by the Middle Polish ice sheets. The study was aimed at determining the kind of processes that modified the heavy-mineral assemblages in the two fluvial sediments, at reconstructing the conditions under which these processes took place, and in how far these processes caused changes in the assemblages. The heavy-mineral associations of the parent material was taken as a starting point; this parent material were the sediments left by the Odranian glaciation (Warta stadial = Late Saalian). It was found that heavy-mineral assemblages in the Luciąża valley deposits are varied, particularly if compared with other fluvioglacial Quaternary deposits from the Polish lowlands, with a dominance of garnet. In the fluvial deposits of the Belnianka valley, zircon, staurolite and tourmaline dominate, with minor amounts of amphibole, pyroxene, biotite and garnet. This suggests that the deposits were subject to intensive and/or persistent chemical weathering and underwent several sedimentation/erosion cycles under periglacial conditions. In both valleys chemical weathering and aeolian processes were the main factors that modified the assemblages of the transparent heavy minerals; these processes were largely controlled by the climatic changes during the Pleistocene.

Keywords

  • heavy-mineral analysis
  • fluvial deposits
  • Vistulian
  • Pleniglacial
  • central Poland
  • Holy Cross Mountains
  • Piotrków Plateau
Otwarty dostęp

Possibilities and restrictions of heavy-mineral analysis for the reconstruction of sedimentary environments and source areas

Data publikacji: 31 May 2013
Zakres stron: 147 - 158

Abstrakt

Abstract

The possible reconstruction of ancient sedimentary environments on the basis of heavy-minerals assemblages is presented by means of discriminant lithogeodynamic diagrams that compare modern and ancient sedimentary environments. This is exemplified by Mesozoic-Cenozoic deposits recovered from ODP cores obtained from the Philippine and Japan Seas, the Japan Trench and the North Atlantic, as well as by deposits from folded areas onshore. On the basis of the comparative analysis, it can be deduced that the main tendencies in mineral assemblages of modern deposits that depend on the structural-tectonic conditions, are fairly well preserved in Cenozoic deposits (including the deposits recovered by ODP drilling). On the other hand, the environmental reconstruction of folded and faulted pre-Cenozoic continental areas on the basis of their heavy-mineral assemblages, by comparing them with supposed modern analogs, is not always possible with much certainty. The main reasons may be either a considerable change in the composition of the initial (primary) mineral assemblages as a result of intralayer solution or the absence, at the time of deposition, of geodynamic environments that closely resembled modern ones.

Keywords

  • heavy-mineral assemblages
  • sedimentary environments
  • ODP cores
  • Mesozoic folded belts

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