Geochemical characteristics of the Arabshah kaolin deposit, Takab geothermal field, NW Iran

  • Ali Abedini
  • Ali Asghar Calagari
Original Paper


The Arabshah kaolin deposit (Takab geothermal field, NW Iran) is the product of alteration of Miocene dioritic rocks. According to mineralogical data, the rock-forming minerals in this deposit include kaolinite, quartz, muscovite-illite, pyrophyllite, accompanied by lesser amounts of rutile, chlorite, anatase, albite, gypsum, nontronite, and pyrite. Consideration of elemental ratios and geochemical indices such as TiO2, Nb + Cr, Ti + Fe, Sr + Ba, and La + Ce + Y demonstrated that both hypogene and supergene processes played a significant role in the development of this deposit. The mass change calculations revealed that elements like Zr, Ga, Hf, REEs, and Th which are normally immobile in ordinary alteration processes had both incremental and decremental trends during the development of this deposit. The Eu and Ce anomaly values (normalized to chondrite) in kaolinized samples vary within the range of 0.65–1.13 and 0.91–1.05, respectively. It seems that the variation of negative Eu anomaly values was controlled by kaolinization of feldspars by hypogene solutions and by scavenging of this element by Fe oxides and hydroxides (formed during oxidation of hypogene pyrite by supergene solutions). Variation of Ce anomalies also unravels the effective role of reducing hypogene fluids and to some extent of supergene solutions during kaolinization. Combination of the results obtained from mineralization considerations, mass change calculations of elements, and correlation coefficients illustrate that distribution and concentration of major, minor, and rare earth elements during kaolinization at Arabshah were affected by the function of factors such as changes in physico-chemical conditions of altering solutions (e.g., Eh and pH), adsorption, accessibility to complex-forming ligands, water-rock ratios, existing in resistant (to alteration) mineral phases, and scavenging by Fe and Mn oxides.


Diorite Kaolinization Elemental distribution Arabshah Takab Iran 



This project was fully funded by the Research Bureau of Urmia University. Therefore, we would like to acknowledge the generous financial contribution to this work by the authorities of this bureau. Our gratitude is further expressed to Prof. Abdullah M. Al-Amri, and two anonymous reviewers for reviewing the manuscript and making critical comments and valuable suggestions.


  1. Arslan M, Kadir S, Abdioglu E, Kolayli H (2006) Origin and formation of kaolin minerals in saprolite of Tertiary alkaline volcanic rocks, Eastern Pontides, NE Turkey. Clay Miner 41:597–617CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Asadi HH, Voncken JHL, Kühnel RA, Hale M (2000) Petrography, mineralogy and geochemistry of the Zarshouran Carlin-like gold deposit, northwest Iran. Mineral Deposits 35:656–671CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boni M, Gilg HA, Balassone G, Schneider J, Allen CR, Moore F (2007) Hypogene Zn carbonate ores in the Angouran deposit, NW Iran. Mineral Deposits 42:799–820CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boni M, Gilg HA, Balassone G, Schneider J, Allen CR, Moore F (2004) Environmental geochemistry of Zarshuran Au-As deposit, NW Iran. Environ Geol 46:796–807CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brimhall GH, Lewis CJ, Ford C, Bratt J, Taylor G, Warin O (1991) Quantitative geochemical approach to pedogenesis: importance of parent material reduction, volumetric expansion and eolian influx in laterization. Geoderma 51:51–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brimhall GH, Dietrich WE (1987) Constitutive mass balance differential feldspar weathering in granites relations between chemical composition, volume, density, porosity, and strain in metasomatic hydrochemical systems: results on weathering and pedrogenesis. Geochim Cosmochim Ac 51:567–587CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brindley GW (1980) Quantitative x-ray analysis of clays. In: GW B, Brown G (eds) Crystal structures of clay minerals and their x-ray identification. Mineralogical Society Monograph, 5, London, pp. 411–438Google Scholar
  8. Cravero F, Dominguez E, Iglesias C (2001) Genesis and applications of the Cerro Rubio kaolin deposit, Patagonia (Argentina). Appl Clay Sci 18:157–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Daliran F (2008) The carbonate rock-hosted epithermal gold deposit of Agdarreh, Takab geothermal field, NW Iran-hydrothermal alteration and mineralization. Mineral Deposits 43:383–404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Daliran F (2003) Mineral exploration and sustainable development. In: Eliopoulos et al. (eds) Discovery of 1.2 kg/t gold and 1.9 kg/t silver in mud precipitates of a cold spring from the Takab geothermal field, NW Iran. Millpress, Rotterdam, pp. 461–464Google Scholar
  11. Daliran F, Walther J (2000) A comparative study of the sediment-hosted gold deposits of Agdarreh and Zarshouran at N-Takab geothermal field, NW Iran. Part II: fluid inclusion study. Eur J Mineral 12:32Google Scholar
  12. Dill HG, Bosse HR, Kassbohm J (2000) Mineralogical and chemical studies of volcanic-related argillaceous industrial minerals of the Central America Cordillera (Werstern Salvador). Econ Geol 95:517–538Google Scholar
  13. Dill HG, Bosse HR, Henning K, Fricke A, Ahrendt H (1997) Mineralogical and chemical variations in hypogene and supergene kaolin deposits in a mobile fold belt the Central Andes of northwestern Peru. Mineral Deposits 32:149–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ekoyun H, Kadir S (2011) Mineralogy, micromorphology, geochemistry and genesis of a hydrothermal kaolinite deposit and altered Miocene host volcanites in the Hallaclar area, Uşak, western Turkey. Clay Miner 46:421–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Feng J (2011) Trace elements in ferromanganese concretions, gibbsite spots, and the surrounding terra rossa overlying dolomite: their mobilization, redistribution and fractionation. J Geochem Explor 108:99–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fulignati P, Gioncada A, Sbrana A (1999) Rare earth element (REE) behaviour in the alteration facies of the active magmatic-hydrothermal system of Vulcano (Aeolian Islands, Italy). J Volcanol Geotherm Res 88:325–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ghorbani M (2013) The economic geology of Iran: mineral deposits and natural resources. SpringerGoogle Scholar
  18. Gilg HA, Boni M, Balassone G, Allen CR, Banks D, Moore F (2006) Marble-hosted sulfide ores in the Angouran Zn (Pb–Ag) deposit, NW Iran: interaction of sedimentary brines with a metamorphic core complex. Mineral Deposits 41:1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jiang N, Sun S, Chu X, Mizuta T, Ishiyama D (2003) Mobilization and enrichment of high field strength elements during late- and post-magmatic processes in the Shuiquangou syenitic complex, Northern China. Chem Geol 200:117–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kadir S, Külah T, Eran M, Önagil N, Gürel A (2014) Minerlogical and geochemical characteristics and genesis of the Gözelyurt alunite-bearing kaolinite deposit within the late Miocene Gördeles ignimbrite, central Anatolia, Turkey. Clay Clay Miner 62:477–499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kadir S, Erkoyun H (2013) Genesis of the hydrothermal Karaçayır kaolinite deposit in Miocene volcanics and Palaeozoic metamorphic rocks of the Uşak-Güre Basin, western Turkey. Turk J Earth Sci 22:444–468Google Scholar
  22. Karakaya N (2009) REE and HFS element behaviour in the alteration facies of the Erenler Dağı Volcanics (Konya, Turkey) and kaolinite occurrence. J Geochem Explor 101:185–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Koppi AJ, Edis R, Foeld DJ, Geering HR, Klessa DA, Cockayne DJH (1996) REEs trends and Ce-U-Mn associations in weathered rock from Koongarra, northern territory, Australia. Geochim Cosmochim Ac 60:1695–1707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kunze GW, Dixon JB (1986) Pretreatment for mineralogical analysis. In: Methods of soil analysis, Part 1, Physical and mineralogical methods. Soil Science Society of America, Medison, Wisconsin, USAGoogle Scholar
  25. Lackschewitz KS, Singer A, Botz R, Garbe-Schobnberg D, Stoffers P (2000) Mineralogy and geochemistry of clay minerals near a hydrothermal site in the Escanaba trough, Gorde Ridge, NE Pacific Ocean. In: Ziereenberg RA, Fouquet, Y, Miller DJ, Normark WR (eds), Ocean drilling program, Scientific results 169, 1–24Google Scholar
  26. MacLean WH, Barrett TJ (1993) Lithogeochemical techniques using immobile elements. J Geochem Explor 48:109–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. MacLean WH (1990) Mass change calculations in altered rock series. Mineral Deposits 25:44–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. MacLean WH, Kranidiotis P (1987) Immobile elements as monitors of mass transfer in hydrothermal alteration: Phelps Dodge massive sulfide deposit, Matagami, Quebec. Econ Geol 82:951–962CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Maiza PJ, Pieroni D, Marfil SA (2003) Geochemistry of hydrothermal kaolins in the SE area of Los Menucos, province of Rlo Negro, Argentina. In: Dominguez EA, Mas GR, Cravero F (eds) 2001, A clay odyssey. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 123–130Google Scholar
  30. Mehrabi B, Yardley BWD, Cann JR (1999) Sediment-hosted disseminated gold mineralisation at Zarshuran, NW Iran. Mineral Deposits 34:673–696CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mishra PP, Mohapatra BK, Singh PP (2007) Contrasting REE signatures on manganese ores of iron ore group in North Orissa, India. J Rare Earths 25:749–758CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Modaberi S, Moore F (2004) Environmental geochemistry of Zarshuran Au-As deposit, NW Iran. Environ Geol 46:796–807CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Moore DM, Reynolds RC (1989) X-ray diffraction and the identification and analysis of clay minerals. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  34. Nabavi M (1976) An introduction to the geology of Iran. Geological Survey of Iran Publication, Tehran, Iran (in Persian)Google Scholar
  35. Ndjigui PD, Bilong P, Bitom D, Dia A (2008) Mobilization and redistribution of major and trace elements in two weathering profiles developed on serpentinites in the Lomié ultramafic complex, South-East Cameroon. J Afr Earth Sci 50:305–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nesbitt HW (1979) Mobility and fractionation of rare earth elements during weathering of a granodiorite. Nature 279:206–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Patino LC, Velbel MA, Price JR, Wade JA (2003) Trace element mobility during spheroidal weathering of basalts and andesites in Hawaii and Guatemala. Chem Geol 202:343–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Salvi S, Williams-Jones AE (1996) The role of hydrothermal processes in concentrating high-field strength elements in the Strange Lake peralkaline complex, northeastern Canada. Geochim Cosmochim Ac 60:1917–1932CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Stoffregen RE, Alpers CN (1987) Woodhouseite and svanbergite in hydrothermal ore deposits: products of apatite destruction during advanced argillic alteration. Can J Mineral 25:201–211Google Scholar
  40. Taylor SR, McLennan SM (1985) The continental crust: its composition and evolution. Blackwell, Oxford, 312pGoogle Scholar
  41. Van der Weijden CH, Van der Weijden RD (1995) Mobility of major, minor and some redox-sensitive trace elements and rare-earth elements during weathering of four granitoids in central Portugal. Chem Geol 125:149–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Walter AV, Nahon D, Flicoteaux R, Girard JP, Melfi A (1995) Behaviour of major and trace elements and fractionation of REE under tropical weathering of typical weathering of typical apatite-rich carbonatite from Brazil. Earth Planet Sci Lett 303:591–601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Whitney DL, Evans BW (2010) Abbreviations for names of rock-forming minerals. Am Mineral 95:85–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geology Department, Faculty of SciencesUrmia UniversityUrmiaIran
  2. 2.Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Natural SciencesUniversity of TabrizTabrizIran

Personalised recommendations