Clay Minerals Variations in Quaternary Sediments of Basrah City-Iraq

  •  Mohanad Hamid Al-Jaberi    


Mineralogical and chemical analysis of two well cutting in quaternary sediments at Basrah city. This study have been focused on the quaternary clay minerals variations which give a clear indication to marine transgression and or / regression in Hammar formation. Kaolinite, Illite, Palygoreskite, Illite-Palygorestike mixed layer, Chlorite, Montmorillonite, Vermiculte, and mixed layers of Illite- Smectite are the most quantitatively important phyllosilicates in soil studies in both boreholes. The mineralogical composition of cutting sediments shows significant variability in the different size fractions and depth distribution. Chlorite and kaolinite minerals were increase in the fine grain size especially in the clayey silt, whereas montmoriolllinite and vermiculite minerals were increase in coarse grains especially in silty sand texture. Kaolinite decrease in abundance with depth, which give indicative of a transition from non-marine in quaternary recent sediment ( fresh or brackish water silt) to marine facies in quaternary Hammar formation ( marine shelly silt) during last transgression of quaternary. Palygoreskite mineral percentages increasing at depths 27 and 28 meter , after decreased at 30, 32, 35 , and 40 m respectively , which give data indication that early quaternary marine transgression happened in 32m , and center of quaternary marine transgression detected in 27 and 28 meters , while late marine transgression detected in 17 m , and all of these represent by Hammar formation. Soil ageing also caused to downward increase of montmorillonite suggest to climate became more arid during the early quaternary. Variations ratio of montmorillonite versus kaolinite can be indicated to climatic fluctuation. Illite-Semectite featured indicates changes in both sediment source and paleoclimate. Illite transformation for Illite-Palygoreskite mixed layers with ageing. Vermiculite has strong susceptibility to increase with age. SiO₂, Al₂O₃, CaO, MgO, K₂O, and Fe₂O₃ were the major oxides that identified in present study and used as indicated of clay minerals in studied sediments.

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