2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 28-8
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


GARDNER, Daniel J., Geosciences, Georgia State University, 24 Peachtree Center Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30302, ELLIOTT, W. Crawford, Department of Geosciences, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302 and RABIDEAUX, Nathan M., Geosciences, Georgia State University, 24 Peachtree Center Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30303, dgardner9@student.gsu.edu

The minerals of the sand and silt fractions were determined from the kaolin bearing units from the Georgia Kaolin Mining District near Sandersville, Georgia. The sand and silt fractions of the Cretaceous Buffalo Creek Formation kaolins are composed mostly of quartz with small amounts of zircon, rutile, and anatase. The sand and silt fractions of the overlying Eocene Huber Formation kaolins also predominantly contain quartz. Concentrations of trace minerals associated with the Huber Formation however are too low to confidently resolve by X-ray Diffraction. The variability of the mineral assemblages between these two formations can be attributed to source of parent sediment, extent of sediment transport, and degree of weathering. The provenance of the sands and silts in the Cretaceous kaolins is projected to be close to Fall Line region of Georgia. The high quartz content within the Eocene kaolins signifies that these quartz grains were transported longer distances and thus were weathered considerably relative to the sand and silt fractions found in the Cretaceous kaolins. The difference in sediment maturity seen between the Cretaceous and Tertiary kaolins attests to a change in source of sediments and their initial proximity to the Fall Line region as well as a change in depositional setting along the Fall Line.