Natural resources in the environment (A case study of basaltic rocks in Ameta, southern Benue Trough, Nigeria)
Keywords:Ameta, Basaltic rocks, Gabbro, Rare earth elements
Rare earth element (REE) Geochemistry of the basaltic rocks in Ameta were studied in order to determine the fractionation pattern of the magma that form the rocks and as well to determine the economic potential of the REE in the rocks. The field occurrence of the basaltic rock shows evidence of decrease in the thermal effects of the magma. Presence of phenocrysts of mafic minerals (biotite and olivine) in the rocks indicate slow rate of cooling of the magma that gave rise to the rocks. Field occurrence depicts that crystallization of the magma closed the vent through which the magma erupted thereby making the rocks to appear as plutons. The rare earth element geochemistry of the rocks shows the fractionating pattern of the magma. The REE is characterized by a sloping pattern which indicates the trend of the fractionation. There are enrichment of most of the light rare earth elements (LREE) and depletion of the heavy rare earth element (HREE). There are slight positive Eu anomalies in the rocks which defines the level of plagioclase fractionation. The concentration of REE in the rocks have shown the economic potentials of the rocks. REE is a useful natural resource for 21st century technology.
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