Geochemical studies of claystone deposits from the Patti Formation in the southern Bida Basin, north-Central Nigeria, were carried out on representative samples to determine the basin’s depositional conditions, provenance and tectonic setting. The localities within the study area included Gegu, Ahoko, Ahoko-Etigi, Omu and Idu.
Semi-quantitative phase analysis using the Rietveld method and X-ray powder diffraction data revealed that the claystone samples had prominent kaolinite with other constituents such as quartz, illite–muscovite, K-feldspar, pyrite, marcasite, anatase, rutile and gorceixite.
Enrichment of Al2O3, Ba, Th, Sr, Cr and La suggests that these elements are primarily controlled by the dominant clay minerals.
Geochemical parameters such as U, U/Th, Ni/Co, V/Cr and Cu/Zn ratios strongly implied that these claystones were deposited in an oxidising environment. Provenance deducing ratios for felsic, mafic and basic igneous rocks were compared. Al2O3/TiO2 ratio suggested intermediate to felsic rocks as the probable source rocks for the claystone samples; however, Y/Ni, Cr/V, La/Sc and Th/Sc ratios suggested a felsic progenitor. The tectonic discrimination diagram showed that the samples’ plot was within the region specified for passive margin-type tectonic setting.
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