Quantitative clay mineralogy as a tool for lithostratigraphy of Neogene Formations in Belgium: a reconnaissance study
Adriaens, R.; Vandenberghe, N. (2020). Quantitative clay mineralogy as a tool for lithostratigraphy of Neogene Formations in Belgium: a reconnaissance study. Geol. Belg. 23(3-4): 365-378. https://hdl.handle.net/10.20341/gb.2020.018
Although the main stratigraphic frame of the Neogene in North Belgium is well established still several issues remain. This is in particular the case at the boundaries of lithostratigraphic units and where lateral facies have developed. Not only are more biostratigraphic data needed but also the commonly used geophysical well logging needs a better information on the precise influence of the variable mineralogy in the sediments. In particular glauconite, muscovite and clay mineralogy need a detailed analysis. Such an analysis is carried out on the Antwerp Member of the Berchem Fonnation, the Diest Formation, the Kasterlee Formation and the Mol Formation with particular emphasis on the boundary intervals between these units. Clay minerals, glauconite, feldspars and muscovite are analyzed. Interstratified glauconite/smectite appears to be common in the low abundant dispersed clay fraction of sand rich in glauconite pellets. Marine units generally consist of detrital smectite-rich assemblages while kaolinite becomes more abundant in units under more continental influence. The presence of Fe-rich vermiculite in a clayey top facies of the Diest Formation indicates the influx of soil material containing weathered glauconite. It is common to find that the basal sediments of a new unit contain the mineralogical heritage of the underlying unit. The clay mineral content has helped to differentiate between units, to locate the boundaries between units and to understand the reworking that occurred at the base of new stratigraphic units. The mineralogical information can also be used to interpret the natural radioactivity and resistivity signals in the borehole logs.
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