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Dissolution and depletion of ferromagnesian minerals from Holocene tephra layers in an acid bog, New Zealand, and implications for tephra correlation

Abstract
This study examines the depletion of ferromagnesian silicate minerals from a sequence of thin, distal, mainly rhyolitic tephra layers of Holocene age preserved in an acid peat bog (Kopouatai), North Island, New Zealand. The rate of such depletion has been fast, as indicated by the complete loss of biotite from one tephra layer (Kaharoa Tephra), in which it is normally dominant, in only ca. 770 yr. Chemical dissolution is advocated as the likely cause for the depletion, with amphiboles and other mineral grains commonly showing etch pits, microcaves, and other characteristic surface solution features. Theoretical thermodynamic and kinetic models show a marked increase in the rate of dissolution of all ferromagnesian minerals under conditions of low pH (< 4), but that where silica concentrations in solution are high the relative proportions of minerals remaining are unaffected. However, where concentrations of dissolved silica are low, as in most bog environments, the relative proportions of ferromagnesian minerals are affected as well as absolute amounts being decreased. Amphiboles are depleted relative to pyroxenes, consistent with kinetic studies. The results show that the identification and correlation of tephras on the basis of relative abundances of ferromagnesian minerals alone may be unreliable, and emphasise the need to use multiple criteria in such studies.
Type
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Series
Citation
Hodder, A.P.W., de Lange, P.J. & Lowe, D.J. (1991). Dissolution and depletion of ferromagnesian minerals from Holocene tephra layers in an acid bog, New Zealand, and implications for tephra correlation. Journal of Quaternary Science, 6(3), 195-208.
Date
1991
Publisher
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