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dc.contributor.authorBentz, Jenniferen
dc.description.abstractClay minerals are important targets for interpreting past environments due to their ubiquity on the surface of terrestrial planets, sensitivity to the prevailing geochemical conditions, and ability to preserve biosignatures. Modern saline lakes that develop sulfate-rich brines are less extensively analyzed due to their relative scarcity compared to those that develop bicarbonate-rich brines. Moreover, most modern sulfate-rich systems are small in area (<100 km2), playa dominated, and rich in detritus making them difficult to sample and to study. Yet, the number and diversity of these lakes makes them important for understanding authigenic mineral formation. The goal of this study was to evaluate authigenic and detrital minerals in the mudflats of sulfate-rich saline lakes. This research focused on microscale (cm) investigations of the mudflats from 23 lakes from the Great Plains of southern Saskatchewan, Canada, and Andean Plateau, Bolivia for a total of 407 sediment samples. For detrital-rich sediments, authigenic illite was consistently found within sand lenses of the mudflats, was rich in Al, Mg, and Fe, and displayed lath-like morphologies. Uncommon minerals were also found containing elements usually in minor/trace quantities that concentrate in the closed-basins. In Laguna Chiar Khota, Bolivia for example, the arsenic-rich minerals realgar and hörnesite were found within the mudflats. Lastly, this thesis demonstrates that the biologically-mediated uptake of silica by diatoms can shift the geochemical parameters within the lakes, where Mg-smectite form instead of sepiolite in an otherwise silica-rich environment. Overall, this research contributes to our understanding of authigenic clay formation recognizing similarities between these highly diverse environments. In detrital-rich environments where authigenic minerals are difficult to identify, such as the deltaic-lacustrine deposits in Gale crater, Mars, this study shows that authigenic illite can be found within the sand-lenses of the mudflats. Moreover, this study also shows that we need to consider the factors of diatom dissolution with respect to dissolved silica. The influence of diatoms on the phyllosilicates in brackish lakes suggests we may need to examine the modes of formation for sepiolite in ancient deposits, which may be forming from post depositional alteration of the lacustrine sediments.en
dc.relation.ispartofseriesCanadian thesesen
dc.rightsCC0 1.0 Universalen
dc.rightsQueen's University's Thesis/Dissertation Non-Exclusive License for Deposit to QSpace and Library and Archives Canadaen
dc.rightsProQuest PhD and Master's Theses International Dissemination Agreementen
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dc.rightsThis publication is made available by the authority of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private study and research and may not be copied or reproduced except as permitted by the copyright laws without written authority from the copyright owner.en
dc.subjectSaline Lakesen
dc.titleAnalysis of Clay Minerals in the Mudflats of Sulfate-Rich Saline Lakesen
dc.contributor.supervisorPeterson, Ronalden
dc.contributor.departmentGeological Sciences and Geological Engineeringen's University at Kingstonen

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CC0 1.0 Universal
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as CC0 1.0 Universal