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Geochemical Journal
Geochemical Journal An open access journal for geochemistry
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Geochemistry of Neogene sedimentary rocks from the Jiyang basin, North China Block: The roles of grain size and clay minerals

Geochemical Journal, Vol. 42, No. 5, P. 381-402, 2008


Major and trace element compositions of 83 fine-grained sedimentary rocks (including 14 fine-grained sandstones, 24 siltstones and 45 mudstones) from the Zhanhua Sag of Jiyang basin in the North China Block were analyzed to investigate the effects of sedimentary processes (e.g., source provenance, mineral assemblage, grain size and chemical weathering etc.) on the bulk chemical compositions. Compared with the average upper continental crust (UCC), these rocks have higher TiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3, Ba, Th, U, Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf, Y and REE, but lower SiO2, MnO, MgO, CaO, K2O, Na2O, P2O5, Cr, Co, Ni and Sr. From sandstones, siltstones to mudstones, there exist systematic increase in Rb, Cs, V, Cr, Co, Ni, Nb, Ta, Th, U and REE, and decrease in SiO2, K2O, Na2O and Ba. Such variation trends reflect a predominant role of grain size effect on the geochemistry of these sediments. K2O, Na2O, Ba, Zr and Hf positively correlate with SiO2 and negatively correlate with Al2O3, whereas other elements generally show negative correlations with SiO2 and positive correlations with Al2O3, suggesting that clay minerals are major hosts for most elements, while quartz and feldspar exert a dilution effect. The accessory heavy minerals exert a minor control on the bulk REE composition of the sediments, e.g., the contribution of heavy minerals (apatite, zircon, sphene, monazite etc.) to the bulk REE concentrations is less than 20%. Our results show that grain size and clay minerals are the two most important factors to control the bulk chemical compositions of the Zhanhua Sag sediments, and probably terrestrial fine-grained sediments in general.


grain size, clay minerals, geochemistry, chemical weathering, Jiyang basin

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