Mineralogical and Geochemical Characteristics of Clay Deposits, Bussaya Area, Southern Iraq


  • Ghassan F. Mezaal Iraq Geological Survey, Baghdad, Iraq
  • Kareem Khwedim Department of petroleum geology, College of Science, University of Diyala, Diyala, Iraq
  • Imad K. Abdulzahra Iraq Geological Survey, Baghdad, Iraq




Clay mineralogy; Geochemistry; Paleoclimate; Chemical weathering; Bussaya


Bussaya clay deposits are located in the southern part of Iraq in Al-Muthana Governorate within the Nfayil beds (Middle Miocene), these deposits composed of palygorskite, chlorite and illite representing the clay minerals indentified using X-Ray diffraction technique data on four samples, while the non-clay minerals are quarz, dolomite and halite, twenty three samples of clay deposits were analyzed by using X-Ray Fluorescence technique for the major oxides; which demonstrates that the average values are SiO2: 39.17%, Al2O3: 9.95%, Fe2O3: 6.21%, MgO: 5.9%, CaO: 11.3%, TiO2: 0.9%, L.O.I.: 14.94%, and relativley high values of alkalines, while fifteen samples tested mechanically using Hydrometer method in which the results show a composition of clay, sandy clay, mud, and sandy mud, the chemical  data showed that semi-arid to arid paleoclimate conditions predominated in the  depositional environment as represented by the relationship between SiO2with Al2O3, Na2O, and K2O, While the relationship between Al2O3, CaO, Na2O, and K2O shows a low to relatively moderate chemical weathering, and due to the  relationship between SiO2and (K2O / Na2O), the examined clays tectonically reflect an island arc, the intermediate igneous rocks are shown to be the source of the examined clays according to the Al2O3/TiO2 ratio.