Mineralogical and Geochemical Trends in the Residual Soils above Basement Rocks in Ore Area, Southwestern Nigeria
- Adewole John Adeola
- Emmanuel Tamunobelema Tubonemi
Residual clays and laterite of economic values often occur within weathering profiles above basement rocks in tropical regions due to supergene enrichment and leaching of liable components. Previous studies in Ore area mainly on geochemistry of the basement rocks with scanty information on the weathered profiles. This study was carried out to determine the compositional characteristics of the basement rocks, the geochemical trends within the profiles above the parent rocks and the evaluation of their economic potentials.
Petrographic study was carried out on thin sections of the rock samples. Elemental compositions of the rocks, clay, laterite, and top-soil were determined using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS). Clay mineralogy was determined using X-ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis. Chemical index of Alterations (CIA) was calculated from geochemical data.
Weathering of granite and banded gneiss in Ore resulted in the formation of soil layer, which ranged 0-0.5m, laterite 1.2-3m and clayey zone 2.9-3.0m. Quartz, plagioclase feldspars, microcline, biotite and hornblende were the essential minerals in the parent rocks. Granite and banded gneiss is high SiO2 (>65%) but low in MgO (<2.0%) and CaO (<4.0%). Kaolinite (60-80%), goethite (3-12%) and microcline (4-10%) were the dominant minerals in the XRD of the weathering profiles. Traces of illite were present only in granite. The CIA was generally > 85 indicating advanced state of weathering producing lateritic soil. The lateritic profiles over granite and banded gneiss of Ore area varied with the composition of the parent rocks. The clay layer has economic potential for ceramics, fertilizer and structural wares.
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