Trace and rare earth elements as indicators of provenance and depositional environments of Lias cherts in Gumushane, NE Turkey
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Trace elements and rare earth elements (REEs) of Lias-aged cherts in the Gumushane area were studied in order to understand their origin and depositional environment. Twenty three chert samples from five stratigraphic sections were analysed by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry, X-ray diffraction, and mineralogical investigation. Lias cherts in the study area are microcrystalline, cryptocrystalline quartz, and megaquartz depending on mineralogical content. Trace elements of the cherts were compared with PAAS, Co, Y, and Th had stronger depletions in the five sections, whereas V, Ni, Zr, Nb, and Hf had smaller depletions. The distribution of Zr, Hf, and Ta yields Zr/Hf, Zr/Ta and Hf/Ta ratios (25/645, 37/665, and 0.18/3, respectively) that differ from those of chondrites and average upper continental crust, suggesting that these elements are likely non-detrital but are sourced from seawater. Th/U ratios range from 0.04 to 0.45 and are lower than those of the upper continental crust (average: 3.9). Liasaged cherts have low total REE abundances and stronger depletions in five sections of the PAAS and chondrite-normalised plots. The cherts are characterised by a positive Eu anomaly (average: 4.9) and LREE-enrichment (La-N/Yb-N = average: 3.5). In addition, about one-half of the cherts exhibit positive Ce anomaly (range: 0.25-2.58), chondritic Y/Ho values (range: 3.3-60), and low (La/Ce)(N) values (average: 1.8). REE and trace element abundance in Lias cherts indicate that these elements were likely derived from hydrothermal solutions, terrigenous sources, and seawater. The REE patterns of the cherts show that they were probably deposited close to a continental margin. (C) 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.