Rare Earth Elements of Ajali Sandstone, SW, Anambra Basin in Nigeria: Implication for Soil Genesis
The Ajali Sandstone, South-western, Anambra Basin, was studied for Rare Earth Elements (REEs), using a Phillips 45 channel Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Emission Spectrometer. The standard deviation of the REEs (Dy, Er, Eu, Y, Yb, La and Nd) averages 3.5 mg/L, 0.34 mg/L, 0.32 mg/L, 3.93 mg/L, 1.96 mg/L, 4.02 mg/L and 2.24 mg/L respectively for each of the sampled locations. The REEs concentrations showed both positive and negative concentration anomalies. The enrichment or depletion of the REEs is generally attributed to their tendency to be incorporated into plagioclase preferentially over other minerals. The Ajali Formation is predominantly sand/sandstone, with clay occurring only as intercalations/thin beds of clay drapes with the increasing particle size of the sand grains, makes the rate of adsorption and distribution of REEs in the soil low, and explains the low values of REEs concentration. Soil organic matter (SOC) plays an important role in the adsorption and migration of REEs in the Ecosystems. The SOC is linearly associated with REEs Concentration as it increases with increasing content of SOC. The Ajali Sandstone studied falls in the vicinity of abandoned cropland to cropland in a lower/gentle slope region, correspondingly low in soil organic matter content and as such slow rate of distribution and migration of REEs concentrations in the Ajali Sandstone. The sesquioxides such as Fe oxides increases as REEs contents increases. The 0.46 mean value of Fe2O3 in the Sandstone of the area studied implies a low REEs adsorption rate and subsequently the very low REEs concentrations of the soils. The istribution of REEs within the Ajali Formation soils were grossly affected by the factors that influenced the adsorption and migration rate of the minerals during magmatic fractionation process, hence the low REEs concentration of the Sediments.
Keywords`: Sansdstone, Anambra Basin, Rare Earth Elements, Magmatic fractionation