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Correlation of upper Llandovery–lower Wenlock bentonites in the N r (Gotland, Sweden) and Ventspils (Latvia) drill cores: role of volcanic ash clouds and shelf sea currents in determining areal distribution of bentonite

DOI: 10.3176/earth.2012.4.08

Keywords: correlation , bentonites , K-bentonites , sea currents , Silurian , East Baltic , Gotland.

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Abstract:

Study of volcanic ash beds using biostratigraphy, sanidine composition and immobile elements within bentonites has manifested several well-established and some provisional correlations between Gotland and East Baltic sections. Energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence microanalysis of phenocrysts has revealed bentonites containing Mg-rich or Fe-rich biotite. Sanidine phenocrysts contain, in addition to a major Na and K component, often a few per cent of Ca and Ba. On the basis of new correlations the mapping of the distribution areas of bentonites has been extended from the East Baltic to Gotland. The bentonite distribution can be separated into two parts in North Latvia–South Estonia, indicating the existence of shelf sea currents in the Baltic Silurian Basin.

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