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Shogenova et al., 2009a

Composition and properties of the iron hydroxides - cemented lenses in Estonian sandstone of Middle Devonian age

Shogenova, A., Kleesment, A., Hirt, A., Pirrus, E., Kallaste, T., Shogenov, K., Vaher, R.
Kirjastuse kohtPraha
AjakiriStudia Geophysica et Geodaetica
Tüüpartikkel ajakirjas
Eesti autor


The formation of hematite and goethite concretions in different sedimentary rocks including sandstones is an important diagenetic process in the geologic history of the Earth. Its interpretation can also contribute to understanding the diagenetic history of Martian iron hydroxide concretions. A case study of iron-rich concretions from Estonian Middle Devonian sandstones exposed in ancient river valleys in southeastern Estonia was carried out based on the results of mineralogical, petrographical, geochemical, petrophysical and magnetic analyses. It was found that the high Fe2O3(total) content (25.0–39.5%), high magnetic susceptibility, bulk and grain density, very low porosity, corrosion and fracturing of the quartz grains of the platy iron concretions are in contrast with properties of the Devonian host sandstones. However the ferrous iron content (measured as FeO) of iron-rich concretions was as low as in the other Devonian rocks, suggesting an oxidizing environment and arid climate during the cementation by iron-hydroxides. The fracturing of quartz grains cemented by iron hydroxides could take place at near-surface conditions including vadose and phreatic zones in arid climate with high evaporation rates. Such climatic conditions have been reported for the Baltic region during Devonian, Upper Permian and Triassic times. We have found that goethite is prevalent in the cement, replacing clay and carbonate minerals. We assume that this iron-rich cement is originated from the mobilization of iron in host sandstones by groundwater, associated with tectonic activity at the end of the Middle Devonian, evidenced by fracturing in Devonian outcrops and caves. Although this mobilization could occur under reducing conditions, precipitation of goethite and hematite for the cementation could take place in oxidizing environment along bedding planes close to the surface during short sedimentation breaks. Another possible time for the formation of iron concretions could be Permian, under the condition of both arid climate and tectonic activity.

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