Major and minor elements geochemistry of sandstones of Laloon Formation (lower Cambrian) in southwest of Mashhad, Iran


1 Geology Department, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, 51666, Iran

2 Geology Department, Sciences Faculty, Urmia University, Urmia, 57153, Iran


      Laloon Formation (lower Cambrain) in southwest of Mashhad is characterized by a sequence of layers of sandstone (quartz-arenite, sub-litharenite, and Fe-bearing sand) and conglomerate. Petrographic investigations show that quartz is the main detrital mineral in these rocks accompanied by lesser amounts of chert, feldspar, mica, and zircon. Based upon geochemical studies, tectonic setting of these sandstones is the inactive continental margin environment. Values of chemical index of alteration (CIA) (61.51 to 74.38%) and plagioclase index of alteration (PIA) (53.54 to 67.07%) indicate that these sandstones were evolved under moderate weathering conditions. Geochemical considerations reveal a felsic to intermediate igneous provenance for these rocks. By combining the petrographical and geochemical data, it can be deduced that these rocks were likely derived from the erosion of low-grade metamorphosed acid igneous bodies and their related pegmatitic veins. These rocks have suitable economic potential for silica exploitation.


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