Seboah Hill - a small body of peralkaline granite (< 0.1 km2) in south-western Egypt containing aegirine minerals ± magnesiohornblende ± riebeckite, cut by dikes of riebeckite-aegirine rhyolite, and exhibiting high radioactivity in veins of K-feldspar-aegirine-chalcedony-quartz ± trace hematite ± trace goethite was sampled and analyzed using inductively coupled plasma methods. Whole-rock chemical compositions of 5 granite, 3-rhyolitedike and 10 radioactive vein samples are presented. Of special significance is the enrichment of trace elements and rare earth elements (REE) in the radioactive veins. These include up to 6081 ppm Zr, 4252 ppm Ce, 1514 ppm Nd, 1433 ppm La, 1233 ppm Nb, 875 ppm Y, 388 ppm Pr, 350 ppm Th, 222 ppm Sm, 189 ppm Gd, 159 ppm Dy, 153 ppm Hf, 83 ppm Er, 76 ppm Yb and 58 ppm U. The chondrite-normalized patterns of REE in all samples show only limited variation and have negative europium (Eu) anomalies. These findings suggest that the sources of the REE are genetically related. Values of the Eu anomalies vary from 0.38-0.41 for the radioactive veins, 0.39-0.53 for the granite and 0.31-0.44 for the rhyolite dikes. Eu variations are consistent for different paragentic stages.
As part of the characterization of the petrified wood of East Cairo at the New Cairo Petrified Forest, representative samples collected from the area were studied by X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and optical microscopy. The samples, as indicated by XRD analysis, are composed of quartz ± some goethite ± minor moganite ± minor gypsum ± trace calcite. The absence of moganite in some samples has been attributed to the transformation of moganite to quartz or to leaching processes. Under the optical microscope, some of the 10 petrified-wood samples are permineralized with mainly microcrystalline quartz (chalcedony), some with a combination of chalcedony and microgranular quartz, and some with microgranular quartz. The sequence of silicification is likely to have been either opaline precursor to chalcedony and quartz, or directly to chalcedony and quartz. The crystallinity indices (C.I.) of the quartz in the samples studied, measured using a standard X-ray powder diffraction procedure, are consistent with the petrographic findings. The chalcedonic samples have the least C.I. values, and the microgranular quartz samples the highest values.
57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy - a versatile technique involving the recoil-free, resonant absorption and emission of nuclear gamma (γ) rays by the iron-57 isotope in natural iron in solids - has been used to provide quantitative information about the mineral host, occupation sites and oxidation states of iron atoms in geological samples. This technique has been applied to the bulk chemistry of a barren soil (Soil A) derived from an aluminous-type granite and another barren soil (Soil B) derived from a sodic-type granite located ~ 100 kilometers apart in the Nubian Deseit in the currently hyper arid south-west of Egypt and which exhibit distinct chemical and mineral differences. The analyses indicate different mineral hosts for the iron in these samples, namely, vermiculite-chlorite plus some hematite in Soil A and hematite and goethite plus minor aegirines in Soil B. Each soil has distinct intensities of oxidized iron (89% for Soil A and 100% for Soil B) and these differences reflect changes in soil sources and processes.
Olivine basalts from southern Egypt were studied by 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy at 297 and 77 K, and by optical microscopy and X-ray diffraction. The 57Fe Mössbauer spectra show three-magnetic sextets, three doublets of ferrous (Fe2+), and a weak ferric (Fe3+) doublet that is attributable to a nanophase oxide (npOx). The magnetic sextets relate to titanomagnetite and the Fe2+ doublets to olivine, pyroxene, and ulvöspinel. Variations in the hyperfine parameters of the various Fe components are attributed to changes in the local crystal chemistry. The intensity of oxidation (Fe3+/ΣFe) in the rocks varies from 20-27% with the oxidized iron largely residing in the titanomagnetite.