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Boletín de Ciencias de la Tierra

Print version ISSN 0120-3630

Abstract

ARISTIZABAL, EDIER; ROSER, BARRY  and  YOKOTA, SHUICHIRO. CHEMICAL WEATHERING TREND AND INDEX OF HILLSLOPE DEPOSITS AND BEDROCK SOURCE IN THE ABURRÁ VALLEY. Bol. cienc. tierra [online]. 2009, n.25, pp.27-42. ISSN 0120-3630.

Tropical chemical weathering of the Aburrá hillslope deposits and their respective bedrock were examined using X-ray fluorescence and X-ray diffraction analyses to document and quantify their chemical weathering profiles, compositions, and mineralogical properties. The Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA), Loss on Ignition (LOI), and the Mobiles Index (Imob) were used to quantify the degree of weathering of hillslope deposits and bedrock source. Weathering patrónds were analyzed using A-CN-K and A-CNK-FM diagrams. The materials mantling the slopes in the Aburrá Valley record an intense weathering history. Chemical weathering is characterized by increased development of clay minerals (kaolinite, halloysite) and iron and aluminum sesquioxides. Lateritization characterizes the final stage of the weathering profiles. Concentrations of CaO, Na2O, K2O decrease markedly in the weathering products compared to the fresh bedrock source, whereas concentrations of Al2O3, Fe2O3, and MgO increase significantly. CIA ratios of matrix slope deposits derived from all four sources near 100, whereas those of boulder slope deposits and saprolites are lower, and intermediate to fresh rock values. Different A-CN-K weathering paths are evident for each lithotype validating the correlation established between the hillslope deposits and their various parents. Chemical weathering indices in some samples are strongly influenced by the presence of sesquioxides, as reflected by high LOI, anomalously low CIA, and varying enrichment patrónds on the A-CNK-FM diagrams. The overall results suggest that tropical conditions have dominated for a long time in the Aburrá Valley, leading to uniformly high weathering indices in matrix slope deposits irrespective of parent materials. Prolonged warm and humid conditions could thus be responsible for the weathering and mobilization of extensive old hillslope deposits during the Quaternary.

Keywords : Geochemistry,; Tropical weathering,; Weathering indices,; Hillslope deposits,; Aburra Valley,; Colombia..

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