Geological, mineralogical and geochemical characteristics of zeolite deposits associated with borates in the Bigadic, Emet and Kirka Neogene lacustrine basins, western Turkey

Gundogdu M., Yalcin H. , Temel A., Clauer N.

MINERALIUM DEPOSITA, vol.31, no.6, pp.492-513, 1996 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 1996
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/bf00196130
  • Title of Journal : MINERALIUM DEPOSITA
  • Page Numbers: pp.492-513


The Bigadic, Emet and Kirka lacustrine basins of western Turkey may be considered as Tibet-type graben structures that were developed during the Miocene within the Izmir-Ankara suture zone complex. The volcanic-sedimentary successions of these basins are made up of mudstone, carbonate (limestone and dolomite) and detrital rocks, and also of crystal or vitric tuffs about 135 to 200 m thick. The Degirmenli (Bigadic), Emirler (Bigadic) Kopenez (Emet) and Karaoren (Kirka) tuffs constituting the zeolite deposits are situated beneath four berate deposits (colemanite, ulexite, borax). The most abundant diagenetic silicate minerals are K- and Ca-clinoptilolites in the zeolite deposits, and Li-rich trioctahedral smectites (stevensite, saponite and hectorite) and K-feldspar in the berate deposits. In the Degirmenli, Emirler, Kopenez and Karaoren deposits, the following diagenetic facies were developed from rhyolitic glasses rich in K and poor in Na: (glass + smectite), (K-clinoptilolite + opal-CT), (Ca-clinoptilolite + K-feldspar +/- analcime +/- quartz) and (K-feldspar + analcime + quartz), K-feldspar which is also rarely associated with phillipsite (Karaoren) and heulandite (Degirmenli and Karaoren), succeeds clinoptilolite and precedes analcime in these diagenetic facies where dioctahedral smectites, opal-CT and quartz are the latest minerals. No diagenetic transformations exist between clinoptilolite, K-feldspar and analcime that were formed directly from glass. The lateral facies distributions resulted from the differences in salinity and pH of pore water trapped during deposition of the tuffs, but vertical distributions in vitric tuffs seem to have been controlled by the glass/liquid ratio of the reacting system and the permeability or diffusion rate of alkali elements. The Bigadic, Emet and Kirka zeolite deposits which were formed in saline basins rich in Ca and Mg ions, show similar chemical changes, i.e. loss of alkalis and gain in alkaline-earth elements that have taken place during the diagenetic transformation of rhyolitic glasses to dioctahedral smectites or clinoptilolite. The absence of sodic zeolites such as mordenite, erionite, chabazite and silica-rich phillipsite is mainly due to the very high K/Na ratio of the starting materials rather than initial alkaline conditions or high Na content in lake waters.