Geochemistry of Upper Cretaceous sediments of Bozeş Formation (Apuseni Mts., Romania) – provenance implications

Luminita Zaharia, Ramona Balc, Cosmin Ciprian Stremtan, Adriana Socaciu


A whole-rock geochemical study was carried out on sandstones from the Upper Cretaceous Bozeş Formation in the southeastern part of the Apuseni Mountains (Romania) in order to constrain their provenance and depositional setting. The geochemical results were compared and integrated with previously reported provenance indicators, such as framework composition and heavy mineral assemblages. The chemical composition is similar for all samples investigated, with limited ranges for both major oxides and trace elements. The sandstones are potassic (Na2O/K2O < 1) and can be classified mainly as arenites with a few greywackes. Their immature to relatively mature character is revealed by the SiO2/Al2O3 ratios, ranging between 3.90 and 11.25, as well as their high Sr/Rb ratios. The source rocks were affected by weak to moderate chemical alteration, as indicated by the specific index (CIA), with values between 47 and 71. The detrital material was influenced by a little hydraulic sorting during transportation, while post-depositional effects were limited to K-metasomatism. Two major potential source types were identified based on the chemical composition of the samples studied: a felsic magmatic arc and a recycled, quartzose metasedimentary basement. Our data indicate that the depositional setting is likely to be on a convergent margin. The results are consistent with uplifted and exhumed Transylvanian basement as the major source area.


geochemistry; provenance; Upper Cretaceous; Bozeș flysch; Apuseni Mountains

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