Geochemistry of red residua underlying dolomites in karst terrains of Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau II. The mobility of rare earth elements during weathering

Hongbing Ji*, Shijie Wang, Ziyuan Ouyang, Shen Zhang, Chenxing Sun, Xiuming Liu, Dequan Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of this study is to characterize the evolution of the rare earth elements (REE) in the Pingba red residua on karst terrain of Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. The in-situ weathering and the two-stage development of the profile had been inferred from REE criterions. The REE were significantly fractionated, and Ce was less mobilized and separated from the other REEs at the highly enriched top of the profile. This is consistent with the increase of oxidation degree in the regolith. And it is also suggested that the wet/dry climate change during chemical weathering caused Ce alternative change between enrichment and invariance in the upper regolith. Chondrite-normalized REE distribution patterns for samples from dolomites and the lower regolith are characteristic of MREE enrichment and remarkable negative Ce-anomalies patterns (similar to the convex-up REE patterns). The following processes are interpreted for the patterns in this study: (1) the accumulation of MRRE-rich minerals in dolomite dissolution, (2) water-rock interaction in the weathering front, and (3) more leaching MREE from the upper part of the profile. The latter two explanations are considered as the dominant process for the formation of the REE patterns. Samples from the soil horizon exhibit typical REE distribution patterns of the upper crust, i.e., LaN/YbN=10 and Eu/Eu*=0.65. All data indicate that the leaching process is very important for pedogenesis in this region. The experiments demonstrating that abnormal enrichment of REE at the upper regolith-bedrock interface is caused by a combination of volume change, accumulation of REE-bearing minerals, leaching of REE from the upper regolith, and water-rock interaction during rock-soil alteration processes. Our results support the conclusion that the weathering profile represents a large, continental elemental storage reservoir, whereas REE enrichment occurs under favorable conditions in terms of stable tectonics, low erosion and rapid weathering over sufficiently long time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-50
Number of pages22
JournalChemical Geology
Volume203
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Abnormal Enrichment
  • Fractionation
  • Karst terrain
  • Red residua
  • REE
  • The convex-up patterns

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