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Volcanic deposits characterization for hidrogeological purposes using clay mineral determinations xrd, sem, tem and effective porosities in the southern Andes, Colombia


, : Volcanic deposits characterization for hidrogeological purposes using clay mineral determinations xrd, sem, tem and effective porosities in the southern Andes, Colombia. Congres Geologique International, Resumes 33

The Narino High Plateau is located in the northern Andes in the border between Colombia and Ecuador. It reaches heights of 2900 m.a.s.l and 1500 Km2 of extension. This region has low pluviosity due to climatic and geographic factors as well as scarse rivers. Due to all these conditions the Narino High plain has low water supply. This zone consists of Pliocene ? Pleistocene explosive volcanic deposits composed by oligoclase bearing andesites. These rocks reach up to 400m of thickness, they are interbedded with pyroclastic flows, volcanic ash falls, surges and palaeosoils which were formed by alteration of volcanic deposits. All these deposits were analyzed for hydrogeologycal purposes, reason why clay minerals were characterized as well as its interaction with the possibility of underground water reservoirs occurrence, clay minerals were analyzed trough X-ray Diffraction (XRD), scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) and transmission electronic microscopy (TEM), as well as trough petrographic studies and effective porosities measurements. XRD results show that volcanic materials (Volcanic glass, plagioclases and amphibols) alter mainly to caolinite group clay minerals, especially halloysite 10Aa and dewatered halloysite (7Aa), smectites (sm), illites as wells as 10-14 sm and 10-14 chlorithe occasionally as interbedded minerals. A transmission electronic microscopy (TEM) special preparation allowed to watch clearly the morphology related to halloysite crystal which is characterized by tabular and rose habits. These features proved the halloysitic composition of the clay minerals which constitute all volcanic deposits. Scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) allowed to analyze both micromorphology and microscopy of materials emphasizing on measuring percentage and size of empty spaces, wherever porosity was interconnected homogeneous and abundant, within 3 - 10mu m diameter. In the microstructure the face-face and face-border contacts are predominant, being the cause of all microporosity. Petrographic analysis of different samples showed porosity ranges due to two types: primary porosity mainly found in the pyroclastic surges which reaches values up to 24%, and secondary porosity which ranges between 5-10%. This last porosity is mainly related to soil formation, bioturbation and mechanic jointing due to hydration and cracking. All high effective porosity results obtained by mineralogic and petrographyc characterization through SEM and petrography allowed to determining the expansive to slightly expansive nature of all clay minerals. All volcanic deposits that constitute the Narino High Plateau show characteristics of underground water reservoirs.

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