Depositional environment of Paleogen amber-bearing quartz-glauconite sands from Zdolbuniv (Rivne region, NW Ukraine): mineralogical and petrological evidences

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Amber-bearing sands from Zdolbuniv mine are Paleogene fine-grained (0.6-0.12 mm) clastic rocks. The material is poorly rounded and moderately sorted out. It mainly consists of quartz, glauconite, and subordinately, feldspars (K-feldspars and plagioclases), mica, carbonates, zircon, epidote,fossil resins (Baltic amber) and ore minerals such as hematite, rutile, anatase, ilmenite. The presence of glauconite in the sands proves that sedimentation basin had to be marine reservoir. The variable composition of individual glauconite grains suggests the environmental conditions had to change during the sedimentation of clastic rocks. The occurrence of minerals, assembly such as zircon, epidote, ilmenite, rutile, anatase in the sands as well as the brown CL color of quartz grains, may suggest that majority of clastic material originated from metamorphic rocks, most probably coming from the Ukrainian Shield. Together with metamorphic material the fragment of fossil resins, i.e. Baltic amber, from the Paleogene off-shore forests could be transported to the sedimentation basin. Nowadays the bottom part of the analyzed profile is the most promising for the recovery of glauconite, whereas the exploration of Baltic amber may be initiated from the top of the profile.

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