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Minerals 2019, 9(2), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9020093

Trace Element and Stable Isotope Geochemistry of Lwamondo and Zebediela Kaolins, Limpopo Province, South Africa: Implication for Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction

1
School of Environmental Sciences, University of Venda, Thohoyandou 0950, Limpopo Province, South Africa
2
Directorate of Research and Innovation, University of Venda, Thohoyandou 0950, Limpopo Province, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 December 2018 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 4 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Geochemistry and Geochronology)
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Abstract

The aim of the present study was the paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the prevailing environment under which the Lwamondo and Zebediela kaolin deposits were formed. Hence, this study reports deuterium and oxygen stable isotope values and trace and rare earth element concentrations for two samples of kaolin. Upper continental crust-normalised trace-element patterns reveal that large ion lithophile elements and high-field-strength elements are generally depleted in Lwamondo and Zebediela kaolins, whereas transition trace elements are generally enriched in these kaolins. Upper continental crust-normalised rare earth element (REE) patterns show that there is a slight enrichment of heavy REEs (HREEs) compared to light REEs (LREEs) in these kaolins. The δ18O and δD stable isotope values for kaolinite from Lwamondo ranged from 17.4‰ to 19.1‰ and from −54‰ to 84‰, respectively, whereas those values for kaolinite from Zebediela varied from 15.6‰ to 17.7‰ and from −61‰ to −68‰ for δ18O and δD, respectively. The REE patterns and the content of other trace elements indicate ongoing kaolinitisation in the Lwamondo and Zebediela kaolins with minimum mineral sorting. The sources of the kaolins varied from basic to acidic and these were derived from an active margin tectonic setting. Lwamondo kaolin was deposited in an oxic environment whereas Zebediela kaolin was deposited under suboxic/anoxic conditions. Based on the δ18O and δD values of the kaolinite, they formed in a supergene environment at temperatures generally below 40 °C. View Full-Text
Keywords: kaolinitisation; mineral sorting; rare earth elements; source rocks; supergene environment kaolinitisation; mineral sorting; rare earth elements; source rocks; supergene environment
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Raphalalani, A.; Ekosse, G.-I.; Odiyo, J.; Ogola, J.; Bukalo, N. Trace Element and Stable Isotope Geochemistry of Lwamondo and Zebediela Kaolins, Limpopo Province, South Africa: Implication for Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction. Minerals 2019, 9, 93.

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