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Geochemical characteristics of the alteration of volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks in the Feres Basin, Thrace, NE Greece

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The Tertiary basin of Feres consists of sedimentary rocks, andesitic-rhyolitic volcanic rocks of K-rich calc-alkaline affinities, rocks with calc-alkaline and shoshonitic affinities and volcaniclastic fall and flow deposits. Volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks have variable concentrations of LIL elements (Ba, Sr, Rb, Th) and HFS elements (Zr, V) due to their mode of origin. The pyroclastic flows frequently show more or less intense devitrification, vapour-phase crystallization and, in some cases, evidence of fumarolic activity, as is indicated by the presence of scapolite. The volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks display various types of alteration including formation of zeolites (clinoptilolite, heulandite, mordenite, and laumontite) and smectite, as well as hydrothermal alteration (development of silicic, argillic, sericitic and propylitic zones) associated with polymetallic mineralization. The behaviour of chemical elements during alteration varies. Some are immobile and their distribution is controlled by the conditions prevailing during parent-rock formation and emplacement, but others, such as Ba and Sr, are mobile and selectively fractionate in zeolite extra-framework sites. The formation of zeolite from alteration of volcanic glass is accompanied by an increase in Mg and Al content, and a decrease in Si and Na content, whereas Ca is not affected by alteration. In certain pyroclastic flows, there is a significant difference in K-content between incipient glass and altered rock, due to K-feldspar formation during devitrification and vapour-phase crystallization.
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