Geochemical discrimination of Silurian mudstones according to depositional process and provenance within the Southern Welsh Basin

T. K. Ball, Jeremy Davies, R. A. Waters, J. A. Zalasiewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A preliminary geochemical investigation of Silurian (Llandovery) basinal mudstones (turbidites and hemipelagites) from the Southern Welsh Basin is described. Turbidite mudstones show higher concentrations of Fe2O3, MgO, TiO2, MnO, LOI, Zn and Zr than laminated hemipelagites. This is consistent with the observed higher concentrations of chlorite and Ti-bearing minerals in turbidite mudstones. Laminated hemipelagites show higher values of REEs (Ce and La), concentrated within authigenic monazites, and Ni, As, Cu and Pb within sulphide minerals (pyrite and galena) reflecting the influence of primary organic carbon levels and anoxic bottom waters on early diagenesis. Deposition of hemipelagites under oxidizing conditions is reflected in lower concentrations of authigenic sulphide mineral hosted elements compared with laminated hemipelagic lithologies. There is a distinct geochemical difference between mudstones of easterly and southerly provenance in the Southern Welsh Basin. This is shown for both turbidites and hemipelagites. The differences are due to the increased input of illite and the chemical elements associated with this mineral (K2O, A12O3, Rb and Ba). Turbidite mudstones sourced from the south show increased levels of heavy minerals, especially those associated with Ti-rich minerals. There is also an increase in elements associated with detrital monazites: Th and Y. The hemipelagites show higher values of REE and chalcophile elements consistent with their more reduced nature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-572
Number of pages6
JournalGeological Magazine
Volume129
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1992
Externally publishedYes

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