MINERALOGICAL AND GEOCHEMICAL COMPARISON BETWEEN THE SHALES OF BEDUH AND BALUTI FORMATIONS IN THE NORTHERN THRUST ZONE, KURDISTAN REGION, IRAQ: IMPLICATION FOR PROVENANCE AND TECTONIC SETTING

ABSTRACTthumbnail of MINERALOGICAL AND GEOCHEMICAL COMPARISON BETWEEN THE SHALES OF BEDUH AND BALUTI FORMATIONS IN THE NORTHERN THRUST ZONE, KURDISTAN REGION, IRAQ IMPLICATION FOR PROVENANCE AND TECTONIC SETTING

The mineralogical and geochemical data are employed to determine the provenance, paleoweathering, and depositional setting of the shales from the Beduh (L. Triassic) and Baluti (U. Triassic) formations at Sararu area N of Iraq. The mineralogical data (e.g., high illite content and moderate illite crystallinity index in Beduh shale and kaolinite in Baluti shale) and geochemical parameters of the shales (major, trace, and REE-based discrimination diagrams, Al2O3/TiO2, and LREE/HREE ratios) indicate that both shales were evolved from acidic source rocks. This is reclined by the enrichment of LREEs, depletion of HREEs, and negative Eu anomaly. The paleoweathering parameters (chemical index of alteration and chemical index of weathering), in addition to the A-CN-K (Al2O3-CaO+Na2O-K2O) diagram of the Beduh shale induce that the source terrain was moderately to intensively and for Baluti shale was intensively chemically weathered. The Beduh shale was plot perpendicular to the A-K line indicates the K-metasomatism, and for Baluti shale was fall parallel to the A-K line suggesting intense weathering with no evidence for K-metasomatism. The discriminant diagrams based on major elements in addition to critical trace and REE parameters suggest that the origin of the sediments was probably from passive (Arabian Shield and the Rutba Uplift) tectonic environments for both with the effect of the active (volcanic activity) tectonism on the Beduh shale. The geochemical parameters such as U/Th, V/Cr, and Ni/Co ratios and negative Eu anomalies indicate the study shales were deposited in an oxic environment.
Keywords: Beduh Formation; Baluti Formation; REE; Shale; Provenance

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Mahmud was born and raised in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. He has seven years of experience in the field of higher education and research in Iraq and USA. Mahmud had worked as a teaching assistant at Salahaddin University in 2011; after his graduation in late 2010 which he was graduated as the second best student among his peers. In 2013, Mahmud received an exemplary scholarship to study his master’s degree in the United States of America. The scholarship program was granted by Exxon-Mobil Oil Company and organized by the Institute of International Education. Studying abroad in the United States of America provided a great opportunity for Mahmud for the first time to live closely with people from different racial backgrounds. In August 2016, Mahmud returned to his home country per the terms and conditions of the scholarship exchange program. Currently, he is working as lecturer at Salahaddin University-Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Mahmud is a member of several local and international scientific societies since 2012; such as Kurdistan Geological syndicate, Geological Society of America, and American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

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