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Origin of analcime in the Neogene Arikli Tuff, Biga Peninsula, NW Turkey

The Arikli Tuff in the Behram Volcanics, NW Anatolia, is characterized by its dominance of authigenic analcime. It was studied by optical microscopy, XRD, SEM/EDX, and ICP for a better understanding of the analcime formation, which occurs as coarse-grained euhedral to subhedral crystals in pores and pumice fragments as well as in clusters or fine-grained single crystals embedded in the matrix. Besides analcime, K-feldspar, dolomite, and smectite are found as further authigenic minerals. Based on the dominance of these authigenic minerals, the tuffs are petrographically separated into phyllosilicate-bearing vitric tuff, dolomite-rich vitric tuff, and K-feldspar-dominated vitric tuff. No precursor of zeolites other than analcime was detected. Petrographical and SEM investigations indicate that euhedral to subhedral analcime crystals found as a coarse-grained filling cement in voids and pumice fragments are precipitated from pore water, whereas fine-grained disseminated crystals are formed by the dissolution-precipitation of glassy material. Hydrolysis of glassy material that is similar in composition to analcime provides the additional Na, Al, Si, and K elements which arc necessary for the formation of analcime.