Provenance of sandstone on the western flank of Anambra Basin, Southwestern Nigeria

  • Osazuwa A. Ogbahon
  • Saka A. Opeloye


Petrographic and heavy mineral studies were carried out on clastic deposits that crop out in Ikpeshi, Auchi and Fugar localities in order to determine the provenance of the sediments and the tectonic setting of the source area. The localities are in the western flank of the Anambra basin, southwestern Nigeria. Petrographic study shows that the sandstone deposits are composed of variable amounts of quartz, feldspars and lithic fragments with minor occurrence of authigenic silica and chlorite cements. Quartz is the predominant detrital mineral in all the samples accounting for over 87 % of the total framework composition. The representative samples from all the localities contain 88-94 % quartz, 1-8 % lithic fragment, 1-4 % cement and 0-4 % matrix. Feldspar is present in small amount only in samples from Fugar locality. The sandstones each classify as quartz arenites and sublitharenites. Both opaque and transparent heavy minerals occur in the sandstones. The opaques are magnetite, ilmenite and leucoxene. Together, they account for 35 – 55 % of the total heavy mineral abundance. The transparent heavy minerals are zircon, tourmaline, rutile, staurolite, and apatite listed in order of decreasing abundance. The heavy mineral assemblages in the localities are similar except for the absence of rutile from the sediments of Ikpeshi locality. The heavy mineral grains are subangular to rounded. The zircon-tourmaline-rutile (ZTR) index for the sediments from the three localities are generally high and range from 90.5 to 100% indicating high degree of mineralogical maturity of the sandstones. The heavy mineral suites and the petrographic signatures of the sandstones suggest derivation mainly from acid igneous rocks, gneisses and older sandstones in both stable tectonic and recycled orogenic settings. However, the absence of rutile in sandstone from Ikpeshi may suggest derivation from lithologically more restricted provenance.


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eISSN: 1596-6798