Occurrence and paragenesis of diagenetic monazite in the upper Triassic black shales of the Marvast region, South Yazd, Iran

Upper Triassic-Jurassic black shale at Marvast, Iran, contains grey to green-grey ellipsoidal nodules of monazite ranging from 0.1 to 2 mm across.

  • The presence of host-rock mineral inclusions within the monazite grains,
  • low Th content in the monazite,
  • lack of relict yellow cores (characteristic of igneous monazite),
  • and the absence of monazite

in the other sedimentary sequences in the Marvast area rule out a detrital origin for the monazite nodules and suggest authigenic crystallization during sediment compaction.

Enrichment of the cores of the monazite grains in mid-range to heavy rare-earth elements (REE) and their rims in La + Ce point to variations in the degree of REE mobility and/or evolving composition of the diagenetic mineralizing fluid during nodule growth.

The phosphorus and REE required for monazite crystallization were probably derived from seawater and adsorbed on clays and Fe-Mn hydroxides.

The interstitial fluids expelled from the sediments during burial compaction and diagenesis became enriched in P and REE through complexing.

The association of the Marvast monazite nodules with the black shale may indicate that organic complexes aided in the mobilization and transport of the REE into the pore fluids.

Detailed field investigations in the study area and vicinity show that authigenic monazite in the upper Triassic-Jurassic shale sections is spatially associated with quartz lenses.

It is likely that these lenses are surface expressions of shallow intrusive magmas, which provided the heat that promoted the mobilization and redistribution of the REE and P, and initiated precipitation of monazite in the overlying sediments.