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ABSTRACT A field trip was conducted in order to evaluate the geology, geochemistry and origin of gypsum mineralization in the

Nigerian sector of Chad Basin, part of which is the research area. The gypsum mineralization underlain the whole area of about 2247.75km2 within the Chad Basin and comprises of five different forms; Detrital, Balatino – Laminated, Selenite, SatinSpar, and Alabaster. The thickness of the gypsum forms increases with depth, and they are emplaced at various depths. All the gypsum forms retained traces of former lamination except detrital gypsum therefore lamination is a primary structure.The chemical composition of the gypsum forms showed that they are all high grade (over 70% CaSO4 . 2H2O). The moisture content could be used to show fractured areas where circulation of water is easier. Alabaster gypsum is the heaviest as such more suitable for cement works. The chemical composition of all the gypsum forms revealed high trace elements content which could be the product of the brine mixing phenomenon. The petrographic studies of the Balatino, Selenite, SatinSpar and Alabaster gypsum forms revealed that they all recrystallized from the primary laminations during the early diagenesis. The recrystallization appeared to be perpendicular to the primary laminations. There are dissemination of anhydrite in the matrix of the gypsum forms which shows the effect of incomplete rehydration after upliftment. The origin of gypsum mineralization in Chad Basin is both sedimentary and diagenetic, so based on high trace element content and primary lamination, a brine mixing hypothesis was proposed for the origin of the gypsum mineralization in the Chad Basin.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Chapter 1 Introduction 1

Chapter 2 Literature Review 4

Chapter 3 Materials and Methods 8

Chapter 4 Results 16

Chapter 5 Discussion of Results 56

Chapter 6 Conclusion and Recommendation 69



CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Necessity of Gypsum Gypsum mineralization is one of the pivot for Nigeria’s industrial revolution for a self reliant and durable economy especially in the building and agricultural and construction industries. The cement industries, as well as chemical, ceramic, pharmaceutical, paints and may other industries in Nigeria need gypsum as one of the most important raw material for their productions. However, prior to the 1990s, gypsum mineral has been imported from Spain and Morocco. Nigeria spent about N900 million annually on the importation of gypsum for her cement Anonymous (1996). The earliest work on evaporates in the North Eastern region was done by Vischer (1910) in a geographical account of an early expedition into the areas of the Chad Basin and immediate environment. The author described two classes of evaporate mineral deposits. Namely; (a) The magma salt (an admixture of sodium carbonate and bicarbonate, sodium sulphate and sodium chloride in concentrations of

approximately equal magnitude)


Magma natron (mainly sodium carbonate with subordinate amount of sodium sulphate and sodium chloride). The earliest reconnaissance traverse of the area was made by Falconer

(1911) during the Mineral survey of northern Nigeria in the first decade of the century. Gypsum occurrence in North Eastern Nigeria was first reported by Carter et al., (1963) as occurring within a sequence of blue black shales, containing few, thin, impersistent limestone beds and occasional interbedding with thin siltstone beds and lava flows. Reyment (1965) confirmed this by reporting the Fika Formation as consisting of blue-black shales, occasionally gypsiferous with a thickness exceeding 430 meters. Maglione (1981) also confirmed the presence of gypsum mineralization in well drained, well aerated environments within the Nigerian sector of Chad Basin (part of which is the research area). Gypsum occurrence at Nafada Bajoga areas was reported by Orazulike (1988). All these workers confirmed that the Fika shales are gypsiferous. Since then, not much work has been done in this area to determine the economic viability of the gypsum mineralization at various depths and in various places within the Chad Basin. Only the illegal miners patronized the gysiferous areas.



Objectives This research work is in line with the renewed interest in the search for

gypsum in various parts of the country in order to feed the Nigeria’s industri al sector like, cement, chemical and ceramics industries. This would help to attain maximum utilization of gypsum resources by the said industries in order to hasten development in Nigeria. Another objective of the study was to conduct a detailed investigation on the gypsum mineralization in the research area (Fig.1). the detailed research entails studying the geology, geochemistry, origin, as well as the mineralogical and textural evolution of the gypsum prospects in order to assess it’s economic significance.


CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Fika Shales The name Fika Shales was assigned by Raeburn and Brynmor (1934) to the Limestone – Shale group which also includes the Gongila and Pindiga Formations of the present work. The Fika Shles is a sequence of blue – black shales occasionally guypsiferous and containing one or two thin impersistent limestone beds (Carter et al., 1963). The Formation underlies a broad belt of country in the north-western part of the Mutwe plain extending westwards to Fika and south-westwards to form the narrow outerop which strikes southwards from Nafada. Although the beds are poorly exposed, sections are known from wells, boreboles and stream channels (Carter et al., 1963) The shales contain abundant fish fossils and also crocodile remains and Chelonian fragments. The blue-black nature of shale may be indicative of attendant reducing conditions at the time of deposition of the unit. The blueblackk shales were deposited during the middle Cretaceous world-wide marine transgression in both the Benue Trough and Chad Basin (Petters, 1978). These sediments feature sparse population of benthic foraminifera assemblages as


well as high organic matter content suggesting deposition under anoxic conditions (Petters and Ekweozpr, 1982b). However, blackness of sediment can also be due primarily to high abundance of pyrite and may not necessarily signal high organic content. Ekweozor et al., (1989) analyzed many shale cuttings from the Fika Shales and reported that they contain fluffy, biodegraded humic matter (nonfluorescent amorphous organic matter, humosapropelinite showing

intergrowth of micrinite and framboidal purite in some places. This organic matter is inferred to have been derived mostly from oxic paralic swamp or lacustrine depositional environment. The relative abundance of arenaceous benthic foraminifera within Fika Shales point to the prevalence of near – shore environment. Petters (1983) dated Fika Formation as Coniacian to early Maastrichtian. The thickness of Fika Shales overlies the Gongila Formation and underlies the Gombe Sandstone in the Chad Basin, Table 1.


Table. 1

Stratigraphic succession of Chad Basin, Zambuk Ridge and Upper Benue Basin

Upper Benue Basin Pleistocene

Zambuk Ridge Chad Basin Gulani Area Gombe Area Kerri-Kerri Formation

Maestric htian

Lamja Sanstone Companian

Gombe Sandstone Fika Shales

Senonian Upper Cretaceous Turonian Upper Lower cenomanian Santonian Coniacian

Numanha Shale Pindiga Formation Sekule Form Jessu Form Dukul Form Upper Middle Lower Yolde Formation Bima Sandstone

Gongila Formation

Lower Palaeozoic To Pre-cambrian Crystalline Baseme`nt (After Carter et al., 1963)



Chad Basin The Chad Basin which is the largest intracratonic area of inland

drainage basin in Africa (Raeburn and Brynmor, 1934) and (Barber, 1965) occupies an area of about 230, 000km2 in the central Sahara and southern Sudan. The western limit is the water divide which divides the Niger and the Chad drainage systems and the southern limit is the water – shed between the Chad and Benue systems. About one tenth of the basin is situated in the northern part of Nigeria which lies between latitude 10 0N-140N and longitude 100E – 130E. The Chad Basin is endoreic i.e. it does not drain to the outside. It is separated from Upper Benue by a basement dome (Zambuk Ridge) and it also contains Albian-recent sedimentary rocks among which are the Fika Shales that host gypsum mineralization. Some of the sedimentary rocks; Bima

Sandsone, Gongila Formation and Fika Shales have been folded and uplifted during the Maastrichtian orogenic event which trends NW-SE at right angle to Santonian orogenic event which trends NE – SW (Benkhelil, 1982).


CHAPTER THREE: MATERIALS AND METHOD 3.1 Field Work The field work was conducted in the first half of the month of June, 1997. Seven mining sites were visited. The mode of mining in all the mining sites are pitting,( ranging from 0.2 to 13m depth (Table 2, Fig.1) and and

trenching. In most of the mining sites, the carrierbeds (Fika Shales

Mudstone) area shallow, so the pits are not very deep. The mineralization is continuous with minor discontinuities as such it is intercepted by the different mining pits in different mining sites. The sections are shown in Fig.2. The continuity suggests a uniform depositional environment over a wide region. While on the field, observations were made on the gypsum samples along the following lines: (a) different gypsum forms and their various carriers beds (b) structural and textural relationship between the different gypsum forms. The mining sites are confined to stream slopes and areas liable to flood near stream channels between the villages. The streams are part of the tributaries of the River Gongola which drain 90% of the water in the region, Fig.1. Table 2


summarizes the measurement in different mining sites and Fig.2. gives the measured section in the different mining sites. The following are the findings based on the field work: (i) Five different gypsum forms are recognised: Detrital, Balatino, Selenite, SatinSpar and Alabaster. (ii) The changes in gypsum forms is vertical with depth and not horizontal with distance (iii) The thickness and deformation of the gypsum forms increases with depth (iv) All the different gypsum forms at any depth have peculiar carrier beds.


Fig. 1 Map of the Research Areas Showing Mudflat areas (Shoreline Environment) hosting the Gypsum Mineralization within the exposed Fika Shales. (modified after Carter et al., 1963)



Geochemical Analysis Ten samples were analyzed using X-Ray Fluorescence analytical

technique. This was done to determine the chemistry and hence assess the quality of the gypsum. 3.2.1 Sample Preparation Gypsum samples were cleaned and ground into powder using agate mortar and piston. Agate mortar was used to prevent silica contamination. For every sample ground, the agate mortar was washed and dried before grinding another sample. This was also done to prevent contamination of samples. When dealing with samples containing heavy elements in the light (low density) matrix, which is often the case in gypsum, the grain size effect can be an additional source of error in XRF analysis. This was overcome by grinding to very fine particles. The – 60 mesh sieves was used to ensure that the powdered particles are in size. The sieve was made of nylon as iron and steel sieves can introduce Zn, Pb, Ag, Cu or Co contamination into the sample during sieving. 2g of the sample was weighed using a sensitive digital scale.


The 2g of the sample was placed into a pelletizer device for pelletization. No binder was added to the ground gypsum powder because the water of crystallization act as a binder. The pelletizing device compacted the 2g of the powdered sample into pellets and the pellets were used directly for the XRF analysis. The analysis was conducted at the laboratory of the Centre for Energy Research and Training (CERT), ABU Zaria.


Gypsum samples from field

Cleaning, crushing/rolling


Sieving to <60µm



XRF Analyses


Flowchart for Gypsum Sample Pelletization



Petrographic Studies Four different gypsum forms were studied in hand and thin section to

assess their textures and textual evolution. 3.3.1 Sample preparation


Gypsum samples from field Samples; washed, dried and clean

Samples polished using polishing machine Samples gumed on a polished glass surface using Canada Balsam or Araldite Samples polished to 3mm Samples grind with Carborundum of 0.6mm size Samples grind with powdered caborundum of 0.4mm size Samples grind with powdered caborundum of 0.2mm size Polished surface washed, and dried Polished gypsum surface covered with gum (Canada balsam or Araldite) and thin glass The slide is then placed on heater to expel air bubbles and dried up Gypsum slide is then allowed to cool (thin section) Petrographic studies Fig.3 Flowchart for sample preparation


CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS 4.1 Field Studies The results of the field studies are summarized in Table 2 and all the information and findings in Table 2 are plotted in Fig. 2:


Table 2: Summary of the Field Studies.
Names Villages Daura – of Site No. 1 Gypsum Forms Detrital Satinspar Kwayaye Manawaji BalatinoLaminated Selenite Satinspar Kanwaram 3 Detrital Balatino Laminated Satinspar Alangafe 4 Selenite SatinSpar Alabaster Bulgaje 5 Detrital Balatino Laminated Selenite satinSpar alabaster Nyakire 6 Detritali Balatino Laminated satinSpar alabaster Turmi – Malori 7 Detrital Balatino Alabaster Zangaya – Garin Ari 10 – 11m 5 – 6m 4 – 5m 7 – 8m 4m 5 – 6m 6 – 7m 5 – 7cm 1.5 – 3cm 1 – 2cm 4 – 5cm 1 – 2cm 3 – 4cm 4 – 5cm Blue-black Shales 2–3m 6 – 8m 9 – 11m 0.2 – 4m 1 – 2cm 4 – 5cm 7 – 8cm 0.5 – 1cm Mudstone Blue-Black Shales Blue-Black Shales Mudstone 4 – 5m 6 – 7m 12 – 13m 2 – 4m 2 – 3cm 2.5 – 3cm 8 – 10cm 0.2 – 2cm Grey Shales Blue-Black Shales Blue-Black Shales Mudstone 5 – 7m 4 – 5m 5m 8m 0.2 – 2m 1 – 4m 2 – 3cm 2 – 3cm 5 – 6cm 5 – 8cm 0.3 – 1.5cm 1 – 3cm Blue-Black Shales. Grey Shales Grey Shales Blue-Black Shale Mudstone Mudstone 4 – 5m 7m 0.2 -2M 2 – 4M 2 – 2.5cm 4 – 5cm 0.1-0.4cm 1 – 3cm Mudstone and Grey Shales. Blue-Black Shales. Mudstone Mudstone and Gyrey Shale. 2 – 4m 2 – 3cm Mudstone and Grey shales. 2 Detrital Depth Occurrence 0.2 – 3m 5 – 6m 1 – 3m of Thickness Gypsum 0.5 -1cm 6 – 7cm 0.5-0.6cm Mudstone and Grey shales. Blue-Black shales Mudstone of Lithology of Carrier Beds


SatinSpar Selenite Alabaster

Blue-Black Shales Grey Shales Bluee-Black Shales Grey Shales Blue-Black Shales Blue-Black Shales



Selenite satinSpar Alabaster


Mining Site 1 Daura Thin mudstone containing disseminated detrital gypsum crystals Grey shales and mudstone containing detrital gypsum crystals Blue – black shale containing satinspar gypsum

Mining site 2 Kwayaya Mainamaji Mudstone containing laminated and detrital gypsum Grey shales containing selenite gypsum Blue – Black shale containing Satinspar

Mining site 3 Kanwaram Mudstone containing disseminated detrital gypsum Mudstone & Grey shales containing laminated gypsum Blue-Black shales containing SatinSpar gypsum

Fig. 4 cont’d


Mining Site 4 Alangafe Thin layer and mudstone grey shale containing selenite Grey shales containing Satinspar Blue-Black shales containing massive Alabaster gypsum

Mining site 5 Balagaye Laminated gypsum gypsum in Mudstone and disseminated detrital

Selenite gypsum in Mudstone and grey shales Satinspar in Blue – Black shales Enterolithic satinspar in Blue – Black shales Marine Alabaster gypsum in Blue-Black shales

Mining site 6 Nyakire Mudstone containing laminated gypsum disseminated detrital gypsum crystals Blue-black shales containing Satinspar gypsum Blue black alabaster gypsum and

Fig. 4 cont’d

Mining site 7 Turmi – Malori Mudstone containing laminated disseminated detrital gypsum gypsum and

Mudstone, grey shale containing Selenite gypsum Blue-Black shales containing Satinspar gypsum Blue-Black shales containing massive Alabaster gypsum

Mining site 8 Garin Ali – Zangaya Thin Mudstone Grey shales containing Selenite gypsum Blue-Black shales containing Satinspar gypsum Blue-Black shales containing gypsum massive Alabaster

Mining site 9 Fika Thin Mudstone Grey shales containing Selenite gypsum Blue-Black shales containing Satinspar gypsum Blue-Black shales containing massive Alabaster gypsum Fig. 4 cont’d


Fig. 4 Sections of Fika Formation Hosting Gypsum Forms from all the Mining sites.



Petrography and Geochemistry of Gypsum Forms Hand specimen description was merged with the petrographic studies in

order to determine the textural similarities and differences. The chemical composition of the gypsum forms also showed their level of similarities. Five different gypsum forms are recognized on the basis of difference in depth, carrier beds and structures. They are as follows; 4.3 Petrography

4.3.1 Detrital gypsum form: This gypsum form has hemipyramidal to pyramidal crystal structures. The length range from 0.5 – 1cm and they occur disseminated in mudstone and shallow shales of the Fika Formation. Monocrystalline gypsum grains are far more abundant than twined crystals. The apices and edges of the pyramidal crystals are commonly abraded and/or broken (plate 1).


Plate. 1

Detriatal Gypsun Form

Fig. 5 Detrital Gypsun with Pyramid Structure


The long axes of the detrital pyramidal crystal always lie parallel to the shale bedding. The shapes of the crystals range from auhedral to anhedral. The crystal edges and apices seemed to have suffered partial dissolution by ground water. Petrographic studies were impossible because the crystal were too small for thin section preparation. 4.3.2 Balatino Lamnated Gypsum forms: they are finely bedded and the fine beds range in thickness from 1-3mm. They occur within mudstone and the bedding plane between mudstone and shale. Sometimes particles of blue-black shale were seen in between the thin gypsum beds. The surface of the Balatino laminated gypsum is transparent, smooth and tabular (Fig. 6; Plate 2). Some samples of this gypsum form showed evidence of dissolution from the edges of the lamination hence such areas have slightly rough texture. They are found mainly in mudstone at the depth of 2 – 4m with much pyramidal detrital gypsum around them within some of the pits. The individual laminae look equal in size (mainly, 2mm) and extend laterally conforming with the fine bedding of the shale and pseudo-bedding of the mudstone. Petrographically the Balatino laminated gypsum is colourless under plane polarized light but the cleavages are very perfect and distinct. The direction of the cleavage follows the direction of thin lamination.


Plate. 2

Balatino Laminated Gypsum Form

Fig. 6

Baltino or Laminated Gypsum


Under cross polarized light, the individual laminae showed an offlaping relationship with each other. The limit of each laminae showed a kind of mamillary structure. The perfect cleavages are parallel to each other, and conformed to the primary laminations. Each laminae showed white colour with low relief under cross polarized light. The matrix of gypsum laminae showed inclined extinction as the stage is rotated Fig. 7.


Fig. 7 Sketched Photomicrograph of Balatino or Laminated Gypsum

Fig. 8 Sketched Photomicrograph of Satinspar of Fibrous Gypsum


There wer few anhydtrite crystals disseminated within the lamination. These crystals are distinct when the stage is rotated because they have high relief with a strong birefringence. These are an evidence of dissolution from the sides of the laminations. This is marked by tiny fiber-like structures of gypsum then there are small gypsum particles beside those structures which could be detrital crystals of gypsum that recrystallized after dissolution. 4.3.3 SatinSpar Gypsum Form: These are tabular beds of fibrous gypsum commonly parallel to subparallel to the beddings of the blue-black shales. The thickness range from 2cm-6cm and consist of vertically arranged fibers or acicular crystals which are perpendicular to the bedding of the shale (Plate 3; Fig.8, Fig.9a & 9b).


Plate. 3

Satinspar Gypsum Form

Fig. 9(a)

Satinspar Gypsum Form

Fig. 9(b)

Enterolithic Satinspar


This gypsum form still retained the traces of former laminations which appear as primary structures. The gypsum tabular thick bed alternative with black shale beds from depths of 4 – 8m in the deeper parts of shales. The deeper the shale bed, the thicker the SatinSpar. This shows an obvious probable nucleation of fibrous crystals with depth due to overburden pressure. At greater depth of 9 – 11m, the thick beds of SatinSpar are folded, which appeared to be due to nucleation of the fibrous crystals. Tucker (1981)and Leeder (1982) called it enterolithic folding which could be due to contortion of fibrous gypsum beds under high confining pressure at depth due to lack of space. This phenomenon causes the deformation of blue-black shales as there are many fragments of blue black shale within the folded SatinSpar. This might have happened during the early diagenesis. The enterolithic SatinSpar was found to alternate with deformed blue-Black shales which increase in thickness with depth, it was also obvious that the deformation of shales increase with depth. This may be due to increase in confining pressure coupled with the folding phenomenon. The former lamination was partially preserved. The orientation of the fibrous crystals along the folded side is; inclined-horizontal-inclined. The carrier beds are exclusively blue-black shales.


Petrographic studies of the SatinSpar gypsum showed that, under plane polarize light, the gypsum is colourless. Under cross polars the cleavages are perfect, distinct and seemed to define the direction of lamination on the matrix. These is growth of parallel fibers of gypsum from anterior and posterior sides of the slide towards the centre. These fibers are growing inclined to the laminae and the cleavage. This structure is called “gneissic structure” by Shearman, (1972). The cleavages seemed to persist from the original matrix into the recrystallized fibers. Most of the fibers show low relief, low birefringence when the stage is rotated under cross polars. They showed inclined extinction. This indicates that they are gypsum fibers. A few fibers showed strong birefringence with high relief, so they are remnant anhydrite crystals. 4.3.4 Selenite Gypsum Form: This consist of laterally continues beds of prismatic gypsum crystals that are arranged vertically or obliquely to the bedding planes of mudstones. The thickness of the selenite beds depends on the length of the vertically arranged crystals (Fig.10: plate 4a).


Plate. 4

Selenite & Alabaster Gypsum Form

Fig. 10

Selenite Gypsum Form

Fig. 11 Alabaster Gypsum Form


The length of the crystals range from 2-3cm. the selenite crystals are associated with minor fragments of pyramidal detrital gypsum and fragments of mudstone between the prismatic crystals. The bed of the selenite crystals show traces of former lamination. Sometimes, the prismatic crystals are well developed to the extent that they persist through the former laminations without breaking (Fig.10; Plate 4a). The surface of the selenite bed is irregular and rough and this could be due to leaching by ground water. It is found at the depth of 4 – 6m within mudstone and grey shales in the mining pits. Petrogrphic studies of selenite indicated that under plane polarized light the gypsum is colourless with traces of cleavage. Under cross polars the matrix contain well developed, distinct, perfect cleavage which are oriented in one direction showing the direction of lamination as well as the bedding. The prismatic selenite crystals grow perpendicular to the cleavage and the lamination. The gypsum crystal (prismatic) goes into incline extinction at different times when the stage is rotated indicating probable recrystallization at different times. They all show weak birefringence, low relief, and weak interference colours of white and dark under cross polars. Some of the gypsum crystals go into inclined extinction at 450 while others go into extinction at 400(Fig. 12).


There were very few anhydrite relics in the slide. Some parts of the matrix is recrystallized into megacrysts of gypsum which is further fragmented into selenite and arranged perpendicular to the cleavage and lamination. Most of these megacrysts of gypsum goes into extinction at the same time when the stage is rotated. At the edge of the laminations, there is evidence of dissolution marked by tiny fibers of gypsum. Besides the tiny fibers, there are small angular crystals which could have developed during recrystallization. The petrographic characteristic of the detrital gypsum in the slide (birefringence) is similar to that of the selenite prismatic crystals but there is no cleavage on the tiny angular crystals which recrystallized after dissolution. Similar gypsum crystals going into extinction at different times on the same slide have been described as porphyroblast by Holliday (1973). 4.3.5 Alabaster gypsum Form: This is exclusively massive gypsum. It is internally laminated but the laminations are thicker than that of the Balatino laminated gypsum. It was found at greater depth of 12 – 13m within the highly deformed blue-black shales. It is very heavy and has irregular, rough texture from outside surface. It is internally laminated and the laminations have thickness of 3-4mm. There are lots of blue-black shale fragments trapped between most of the internal gypsum laminations. The internal gypsum laminations appear undisturbed. It looks similar to Selenite only that here there is no evidence of recrystalization in hand specimen. The internal

laminations are thick, well developed, well preserved, and transparent (Fig.11; Plate 4b). The inner laminations are characteristic of meganodule of gypsum at great depth Holliday (1970). The petrographic studies of the Alabaster gypsum showed a marked similarity of that of the Balatino laminated gypsum. Under plane polarize light, the gypsum was colourless and the traces of cleavages were seen. Under cross polarize light; the gypsum appeared to be laminated with the limit of each laminae forming a mammilary structure. The mammillary structures displayed an offlap relationship. All the laminations have distinct, well developed, perfect cleavages which defined the direction of lamination. The recrystallization is marked by the growth of small interlocking crystals which are arranged perpendicular to the laminations as well as the cleavage. Some of the crystals showed low relief, weak birefringence of white and dark colours. They showed inclined extinction when the stage is rotated. Some of the few crystals showed a high relief, strong birefringence of white and dark colours. They go into extinction at 720 as the stage is rotated; this implies that they are remnant anhydrite crystals that were not hydrated, (Fig. 13)


Fig. 12

Sketched Photomicrograph of Selenite Gypsum


Sketched Photomicrograph of Alabaster Gypsum


The cleavages persist from the matrix of gypsum into the recrystallized interlocking crystals. The recrystallize crystals therefore consist of small to large often poorly defined interlocking crystals, many with irregular extinction. This is typically restricted to Alabaster gypsum and is sometimes called Alabastrine texture. Holliday, (1973). There is no evidence of dissolution in the slide; this could be due to lack of enough circulation of water at depth. This is evident from the presence of the remnant anhydrite crystals that were not hydrated and hardness of the gypsum. 4.4 Geochemistry of gypsum Forms

The result of the chemical analysis of the different gypsum forms are given in Table 3:


Table 3: Chemical Composition of Gypsum Forms SAMPLE IN WEIGHT% PPM
chemical compound wt (0/0) SO3 CaO K2O TiO2 MnO2 Fe2O3 SrO Combined water Trace elements (ppm) CO CU Zn Rb Y Zr 61.9 31.6 28.2 4.68 3.25 7.79 69.6 33.2 21.3 3.82 2.83 5.23 70.5 44.2 22.9 6.84 3.14 7.47 68.1 33.7 25.1 3.96 2.27 3.97 107 42.9 22.4 4.56 2.64 2.89 458 23.4 26.9 2.31 1.33 5.39 in Sample Sample Sample Sample Sample Sample

41.4 28.4 0.53 0.14 0.03 0.19 0.008 15.12

37.8 24.4 0.33 0.15 0.04 0.12 0.007 14.80

37.8 26.6 0.26 0.15 0.05 0.04 0.008 14.31

34.2 23.4 0.36 0.06 0.13 0.04 0.01 19.84

35.1 24.7 0.32 0.18 0.03 0.10 0.007 14.54

34.4 23.7 0.41 0.07 0.02 0.02 0.02 15.03


Chemical compound wt (0/0) SO3 CaO K2O TiO2 MnO2 Fe2O3 SrO Combined water Trace elements in (ppm) CO CU Zn Rb Y Zr 88.5 87.5 29.7 5.47 3.69 6.67 75.4 37.8 38.7 4.76 4.28 7.46 112 123 38.1 5.03 3.38 8.73 165 85.5 70.3 14.6 6.85 13.4 35.3 23.5 0.47 0.17 0.04 0.03 0.02 14.56 46.3 30.9 0.5 0.18 0.05 0.05 0.02 14.50 48.3 31.7 0.5 0.2 0.04 0.02 0.04 14.07 46.7 31.7 0.72 0.43 0.1 0.07 0.02 15.0 Sample Sample Sample Sample


Sample identification by numbers, name and locality #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 – – – – – – – – – Balatino Laminated Balatino Laminated Balatino Laminated SatinSpar SatinSpar Selenite Selenite Alabaster Alabaster Alabaster – – – – – – – – – – Kanwaram Turmi – Malori Kwayaya Garin Ari Bulagaje Turmi – Malori Zangaya Bulagaje Turmi – Malori Fika

# 10 –

The total CaSO4 . 2H2O content in each gypsum form determine the grade, so it is obtain in Table 4.


Table 4: Average weight of the gypsum forms
Gypsum Forms A CaSO4 . 2H2O content in wt. (%) 85.3 77.0 78.7 Average weight in wt. (%)



77.4 74.3 75.9


73.1 73.4 73.3


91.7 94.1 93.4 93.1

A = Balatino Laminated Gypsum Form B = SatinSpar Gypsum Form C = Selenite Gypsum Form D = Alabaster Gypsum Form


The results of this computation are plotted in Fig. 14. The results showed that the Alabaster gypsum form is the heaviest as such very suitable for the cement works. All the gypsum forms are high grade because the CaSO 4. 2H2O content in each gypsum form exceeds 70% (Table 4; Fig.14).


(CaSO4 . 2H2O)


> Selenite


wt %





> Satinspar

Fig. 14

A Bar chart of average weight % against Gypsum forms


Water determines the stability field of gypsum/anhydrite. Loss of water by gypsum convert it to anhydrite which lower the grade of gypsum unless if it is rehydrated to gypsum. The assessment of water content indicates which gypsum form is most stable (i.e with high water content). This estimation is illustrated in Table 5.


Table 5: Average moisture content of the gypsum forms
Gypsum Forms A Moisture content in wt. (%) 15.2 14.8 14.3 14.8 Average Moisture content in wt. (%)


19.8 14.5 17.2


15.0 14.6



14.5 14.1 15.0


A = Balatino Laminated Gypsum B = SatinSpar Gypsum C = Selenite Gypsum D = Alabaster Gypsum The result of these computations is also plotted in Fig. 15;












A Bar chart average moisture content against Gypsum forms




Fig.15 showed that the SatinSpar has the highest water content. This can be interpreted as being the most stable gypsum form in terms of water content. The rest of the gypsum forms also contain appreciable quantities of water and are also stable. The quantity of water can be used to show the uplifted areas or fractured zones which are areas of circulation of ground water. The combined results of the average weight (%) and average moisture content in weight (%) is plotted in Fig. 16.



Y 20 SS 1 6 12 BL SE AL

8 4 X 70 80 90 100

SS – Satinspar Gypsum SE – Selenite Gypsum BL – Balatino Laminated AL – Alabastar Gypsum

Fig.16 Graph of average moisture content against average weight of Gypsum


It clearly indicated that: Satinspar, Selenite and Balatino laminated gypsum are located in areas of circulation of water. This may explain why they are light weighted than Alabaster. It is possible that they are lighter than Alabaster due to dissolution by ground water as seen in the thin section (Fig.7 & Fig.12). All the gypsum the gypsum forms shows appreciable amount of minor and trace elements in their composition. This is common in gypsum that primarily precipitated as laminations Sonnenfield (1991) 4.5 Economic Significance of the Gypsum Forms

The Balatino – Laminated Gypsum, SatinSpar gypsum, Selenite gypsum and Alabaster gypsum are all economically significant because they can be used as raw materials in many industries; cement chemical, pharmaceutical, ceremics, chalk, paper, and etc. The cement companies prefer the heaviest gypsum form to enable them improve the quality of their products. In the present work, the alabaster gypsum form is very suitable for the cement works because it is comparable in composition and weight to the imported gypsum from Spain and Morocco. Table 6 give the relationship


Table 6:

Comparison of chemical composition of gypsum from Nigeria (Research Area) Morocco and Spain A
Nigeria wt. (%) DamagunFika Gypsum 46.7 31.7 0.72 0.43 0.1 0.07 0.02 15.0 93.4

Morocco wt. (%) Moroccan Gypsum 47.32 33.89 0.07 0.05 0.12 1.05 0.60 15.67 95.9

Spain wt. (%) Spanish Gypsum 44.85 31.44 0.2 0.16 0.53 0.50 1.50 18.38 94.7

SO3 CaO K2O TiO2 MnO2 Fe2O3 SrO Al2O2 M2O SiO2 Combined H20 CaSO4 . 2H2O

A = Data from present work B = Data from Sillo and Okunsenogu (1994) C = Data from Orazulike (1988)


The three gypsum forms have very identical weight (above 90%) as such they are all very suitable for cement works prescribed by the Nigeria Industrial Standards (N15.11/1974). All the gypsum forms are suitable for the chemical industry because the average CaSO4 . 2H2O content is over 70%. The Pharmaceutical companies need very clean, undeformed gypsum to produce high quality Plaster of Paris. The Balatino laminated gypsum is suitable because it contain appreciable quantity of CaSO4 . 2H2O (Table 4.). It is clean and transparent as such it would be very good for making Plaster of Paris (P.O.P) for medicine as well as ceramics, paint, and paper industries. A comparison of chemical composition of Alabaster gypsum from Chad Basin (research area), Adoka gypsum (Mid-Benue Trough) and Sokoto gypsum (Sokoto Basin) revealed that the gypsum in Chad Basin is the best in quality for cement works because it is the heaviest (93.4wt.%), followed by Adoka gypsum (89.3wt.%) and the lightest is the Sokoto gypsum (42.4wt.%). Table 7 illustrates this relationship.


Table 7:

Comparison of chemical composition of gypsum in Nigeria (Chad Basin, Mid-Benue and Sokoto Basin)

Yobe State (Chad Basin) Alabaster gypsum 46.7 31.7 0.72 0.43 15.0 93.4wt.%

Benue State (Mid Benue Basin) Adoka gypsum 41.6 29.2 0.09 5.50 18.52 89.3wt.%

Sokoto State (Sokoto Basin) Sokoto gypsum 17.4 15.21 0.63 26.55 9.78 42.4wt.%

SO3 CaO K2O Fe2O3 SiO2 Combined H20 CaSO4 . 2H2O

A – Data from the present work (Chad Basin) B – Data from Sillo and Okunsenogu (1994) C – Data from Sillo and Okunsenogu (1994)


All the gypsum samples are suitable for raw materials in chemical industries. Also a comparison of chemical composition of SatinSpar gypsum (Garin Ari) and that of Pindiga gypsum shows that they are very similar. They also have similar carrier beds (Shales), Table 8 illustrate that relationship.



Table 8:

Comparison of chemical composition of gypsum in Chad basin and Upper Benue Trough.

Chemical Compound wt (%) SO3 CaO K2O TiO2 MnO2 Fe2O3 Combined water CaSO4 . 2H2O Trace elements in (ppm) Mn Zn Rb Y Zr Sr 542.0 23.8 4.3 2.5 3.4 146.0 16.0 16.0 21.0 11.0 10.0 207.0 Garin Ari Gypsum (Chad Basin) 34.65 24.05 0.34 0.12 0.08 0.07 17.19 76.5wt.%

Pindiga gypsum; (Upper Benue) 33.88 24.87 0.22 0.08 1.16 17.25 76.0wt.%

A – Data from present work (Chad Basin) B – Data from Orazulike (1988)


The carrier beds (Fika Shales and Upper Pindiga Shales) are time equivalent of each other, therefore the gypsum could be time equivalent of each other. The evaluation of the tonnage of the gypsum mineralization in the research area was not possible because of shortage of fund but the geographical spread of the mineralization in Chad Basin suggest that it is in economic quantity.


CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION 5.1 Genetic Model It has long been recognized that simple evaporative concentration of sea water is insufficient to produce the great thickness of evaporate salts observed in the geologic record Borchert and Muir (1964). Fig.17 showed that the ideal sequence of salts precipitation from seawater differs somewhat from the actual sequence recorded in evaporates deposit in the geological record. It shows increase in proportion of Na – Mg sulphates. Raup (1970) proposed a brine mixing hypothesis for the salt in the Paradox basin of Colorado. The model is similar to that proposed by Adams (1944) and King (1947) for the Delaware basin; by Dellwig (1955), Briggs (1957, 1958) and Dellwig and Evans (1969) for the Michigan basin; Kuhn (1955) and Richter – Bernburg (1955) for the Werra and Lower Saxony basins of the German Zechstein; and by Hite (1968, 1970). Peterson and Hite (1969).


Fig. 17

Comparative precipitation profiles from (a) Experimental evaporation of sea water (b) From a Zechstein evaporate sequence in Germany and (c) From the average of numerous other marine evaporate sequences around the world (After Borchert and Muri, 1964).


Raup (1982) conducted an experiment by mixing two brines (sea waters) of different evaporative history with different composition and specific gravity. He concluded that, (1) Precipitation of gypsum can occur in a marine evaporate basin by mixing brines of different composition and specific gravity (2) Precipitation occurs without further water loss by evaporation (3) Precipitation can occur from a brine that was under-saturated before mixing (4) The only form of calcium sulfate to precipitate in this case is gypsum. 5.2 Geologic Model The presence of gypsum mineralization in Chad Basin and Upper Benue separated by the Zambuk Ridge suggest a brine mixing hypothesis for the origin of the gypsum mineralization in north-eastern Nigeria Fig.18. This is based on the works of Raup (1970; 1982). The simplest model for sub-aqueous gypsum precipitation is the ‘Shallow Water Barred Basin’ where evaporation proceeds in semi -isolated Chad Basin with replenishment of sea water from Upper Benue Trough over a


restricted entrance (Zambuk Ridge) during Upper Turonian-Maastrichtian marine transgression. Fig.18 illustrates this relationship.


Fig. 18

Diagrammatic cross section of Chad Basin, Zambuk Ridge and Upper Benue Trough showing effects of sea level on influxing currents and formation of stratified brine layers which deposited Gypsum. Movement of current shown by dashed arrows. (Adopted and modified from Raup, 1970 & 1982)


The timing of the gypsum mineralization is consistent with the time of the deposition of the marine Fika Shales in the Chad Basin. Carter et al. (1963), Petters (1978) reported independently that Black Shales were deposited during Mid-Cretaceous marine transgression in both upper Benue and Chad Basin. During the precipitation of gypsum, the epicontinental shallow areas are characterized by the oxidizing conditions due to periodic transgression. It is obvious that there were interruptions during shales deposition. These are marked by gypsum interbedding with shales. The shales are reported to have been deposited under oxidizing condition (because of its composition). These create a conducive and continuous ideal environment for gypsum deposition under oxidizing condition. The inflow of water (transgression) from Upper Benue into the Chad Basin led to salinity changes due to mixing of sea water brines of different stages of evaporation (i.e. sea water brines from Upper Benue and Chad Basin), Fig.18. This led to salinity and density stratification due to the brine mixing phenomenon. The total salinity of the brine in Chad Basin and reflux of dense high salinity brine into the Upper Benue. This marked the period of low sedimentation rate of shales possibly due to change in Ph/Eh as well as salinity conditions.


As the surface layers of water becomes more and more dense, part of it will sink until it reach water of the same specific gravity. This process formed a series of stratified brines, the densest at the bottom and the least dense at the top. Precipitation of gypsum would occur where brines mixed at the interface between dense basal layers and the less dense overlying layers. This is one laudable mechanism for gypsum precipitation as pure salt laminations. This model is similar to that of Adams (1944); and Raup (1970; 1982). During the period of high sea level (Fig.18 Y); the depth of water in Chad Basin and over the barrier (Zambuk Ridge) is greatest. Water flowing into the Chad Basin (transgression) is little restricted, and because of the high water level, space is sufficient for dense high – salinity brines to flow out as an under-current (reflux). If the sea level continues to lower, eventually the refluxing brines cannot overcome the friction of the influxing surface currents and reflux stops (Fig. 18z). This produces an increase in both salinity and rate of gypsum precipitation in the Chad Basin and the parts of Upper Benue adjacent to the Zambuk Ridge.



Mechanism for the evolution of the Gypsum Forms The main process of formation of the present gypsum forms is

anhydritization during early diagenesis after the precipitation of gypsum. All the gypsum forms (except detrital forms) have traces of lamination both in hand specimen and in thin section so they all evolved from a primary laminated gypsum. The present structures of the gypsum forms, mammillary structures, prismatic structures, fibrous structures and enterolithic structures are all secondary structures imparted on the primary laminated gypsum during anhydritization (diagenesis). This is shown in Fig.19.


Fig. 19 Model for the mechanism of anhydritization of primary gypsum during early diagenesis.
(Adopted and modified after, Sonnenfeld, 1991).


Diagenesis of gypsum occurred simultaneously with the diagenesis of the mudstone and shale (the host rock). During the early diagenesis, the main physical post-depositional process affecting the shale and gypsum as a whole is compaction due to the overburden pressure. Compaction is the main process that converts sediment into sedimentary rock and the salt into a rock salt. The compaction led to the loss of water by both shale and the gypsum. The loss of water in the gypsum led to the increase in strength, structural changes resulting from chemical changes and yields to deformation by reaction hence the different structures at various depths. This is the main process of anhydritization as well as the mechanism of formation of the present gypsum forms. At greater depth under higher overburden pressure, the deformation is higher than at shallow depth, and after the anhydritization all the primary gypsum must have been converted to anhydrite. At shallow depth laminated gypsum was converted to laminated anhydride with mammillary structure. At the upper parts of intermediate depth, the laminated gypsum was converted to prismatic anhydrite. At the lower parts of the intermediate depth, the laminated gypsum is converted to fibrous enterolithic anhydrite under medium overburden pressure. At greater depth, the thick laminated gypsum was converted to massive anhydrite.


During the late diagenesis, there was upliftment of the whole area followed by erosion; as a result the different anhydrite forms were converted back to the present gypsum forms by rehydration. The level of rehydration depends on the level of upliftment. Dehydration CaSo4 . 2H2O Rehydration Gypsum Anhydrite CaSO4 + 2H2O

The process of rehydration is accompanied by dissolution of anhydrite and gypsum as all of them are slightly soluble in water. The dissolved gypsum recrystallized again within the mudstone and shale to form detrital pyramidal crystals of gypsum in disseminated form. So at the end we have; Balatino laminated gypsum form laminated anhydrite; Selenite gypsum from prismatici anhydrite; SatinSpar gypsum from fibrous anhydrite; Alabaster gypsum from thick massive anhydrite and finally the detrital pyramidal crystal of gypsum precipitating from solution within mudstones, bedding planes, fissile structures and cracks. The summary of the whole process is: Dehydration Gypsum Anhydrite Rehydration Gypsum



Paleaoenvironment of Gypsum Deposition The suitable environment of gypsum precipitation is a shallow marine,


near-shore sabkha environment. This environment is

characterized by fluctuation of reducing and oxidizing condition (but mostly oxidizing condition), mostly due to periodic incursion of water from the adjacent sea. This could be the condition under which the gypsum carrier beds (Fika Shales) were deposited. Ekweozor et al,. (1989) reported that the organic matter in Fika shales were derived mostly from oxic paralic swamps. This confirm that there was persistent oxidizing condition during the deposition of shallow parts of Fika Shales and this is evident by the alternate bedding of the shales with gypsum. Ekweozor et al., (1989) reported that the organic matter in Fika shales were derived mostly from oxic paralic swamps. This confirm that there was periodic oxidizing condition during the deposition of Fika Shales and this is evident by the interbedding of the shales with gypsum. Reyment (1965) have suggested deposition of Fika Shales under a shallow, epicontinental sea due to the low diversity of benthic foraninifera assemblages and the scarcity of planktonic species.


Barber (1965) reported that only 10% of the whole Chad Basin lies in Nigeria. This area or most parts of it could be the epicontinental shallow areas sloping from the Zambuk Ridge into the Chad Basin. This could be the reason why only the Nigerian sector of Chad Basin contains economic gypsum deposit. The Zambuk Ridge is basement dome that separated the Chad Basin from Upper Benue. This done seem to be the structural barrier that created a conducive, shallow, epicontinental environment on its flanks which led to the gypsum precipitation in both the Chad Basin and Upper Benue, Fig.18. All this events most have happened before any diagenesis and/or orogeny took place. Sennenfield (1991) reported that gypsum precipitation occur in the shallow areas within the photic zone (about 300-400m depth), below which the gypsum scavenging continues by the anaerobic bacteria (Disulfovibrio).


CHAPTER SIX: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION 6.1 Summary The primary gypsum that was deposited in the Chad Basin during the brine mixing phenomenon was laminated gypsum. It was deposited alternately with shale or as shale interbeddings. Sonnenfeld (1991) reported that the position or precipitation was always accompanied by subsidence that is why gypsum alternates with shale at various depths. During the early diagenesis, the shale and laminated gypsum were affected concurrently by compaction. The laminated primary gypsum at various depths reacted differently depending on the pressure regime. This process imparted different structures on the laminated gypsum depending on the level of emplacement. So the structures are; laminated, prismatic, fibrous and enterolithic, and massive. All these are secondary structures. They are mainly anhydrite structures. During the late diagenesis and probably during the Maastrichtian orogeny which trends NW – SE, the marine sequence in the Chad Basin were folded and upliftment (Benkhelil, 1982). This suggest why the different anhydrite forms were uplifted within the Fika Shales. This upliftment led to the rehydration of the anhydrite at various depths by ground


water circulation and meteoric water which led to the formation of the present gypsum forms (Balatino Lamined, Selenite, SatinSpar and Alabaster). The rehydration is always accompanied by slight dissolution and so the dissolved gypsum later recrystallized in mudstone and shale to form the detrital pyramidal crystals of gypsum in disseminated form. Many studies of gypsum-anhydrite relationship have shown that the stable phase is determined by the activity of water and temperature (Hardie, 1967). Recrystallization of equant and lath anhydrite produces coarse granular mosaics (‘pile of bricks’ texture), large fibrous crystals and fibro-radiating aggregates (Holliday, 1973). Alabaster gypsum consists of small to large, often poorly-defined interlocking crystals, many with irregular extinction (Holliday, 1970). Veins of SatinSpar (fibrous) gypsum grew under pressure in water-filled veins induced by hydraulic fractures (Shearman et al., 1972). The detrital pyramidal gypsum results from crystals growth in more permeable zones under phreatic condition (Arakel, 1980). So the transformation is; gypsum compaction anhydrite dehydration gypsum rehydration. by


The petrographic studies of all the gypsum forms (except detrital form) indicated traces of lamination which are defined by perfect cleavage. All the recrystallized crystals occur inclined-perpendicular to the lamination which confirmed that they are secondary and the lamination is a primary structure. There are very few disseminated anhydrite crystals within the gypsum crystals and this showed the remnant anhydrites that were not completely hydrated. The chemical composition of the gypsum forms showed that all the gypsum forms Balatino laminated, Selenite, SatinSpar and Alabaster are high grade gypsum because the contained over 70% CaSO4 . 2H2O. Economically they are good gypsum raw materials but the Alabaster being the heaviest, is the most suitable for cement works. Balatino, Selenite, SatinSpar and Alabaster could serve as good raw materials for the chemical industries especially in manufacture of fertilizer. The pure Balatino laminated gypsum is the best for the pharmaceutical, ceramic, paint and paper industries because it makes a very good, Plaster of Paris (Calcined gypsum) because of its pure quality. A brine mixing hypothesis is proposed to account for the origin of gypsum mineralization in northeastern Nigeria (part of which is the research area (Chad Basin)). This is based on evidence from recent works of Raup

(1970; 1982), the presence of gypsum mineralization on both sides of the Zambuk Ridge (Chad Basin and Upper Benue), the similarity of carrier beds of gypsum (mudstones and shales) from Chad Basin into the Upper Benue, and similarity in structure and composition of the gypsum in Chad Basin and Upper Benue. Sonnenfeld (1991) reported that most primary laminated gypsum have very high concentration of minor and trace elements like Sr, Zr, Y, Rb, Zn, Cu, Fe, Co etc. All the gypsum forms have high concentration of these elements and it could have been concentrated by more than one brine. This adds more evidence to the brine mixing hypothesis. A model for the evolution of the present gypsum forms is proposed based on Sonnenfeld (1991). Ekweozor et al. (1989) reported that the organic matter in Fika Shales have been derived most probably from on oxic parallic swamp which is poor in oil generation. This condition seem favourable for the gypsum mineralization as low organic content have been shown by (Sonneenfeld, 1991) to influence what gypsum form will be present depending on

prevailing Ph/Eh conditions. Sonnenfeld (1991) reported that proteins, naphthenic acids, amino acids, resins and sugars delay gypsum precipitation or even prevent it. The higher the Ph (>7) during gypsum precipitation, the


stubbier are the crystals. Alkanes, phenols, and fatty acids foster the formation of more tabular, equidimensional, or discoidal lenticular crystals of gypsum. Elongate, prismatic gypsum crystals grow in low Ph (<7) environments or in the presence of dissolved silica. It is therefore inferred that at shallow level in Chad Basin, the Balatino laminated gypsum is formed in the presence of alkanes, phenols and fatty acids. Selenite and SatinSpar gypsum are formed under higher Ph (alkaline) conditions because some of them have stubbier crystals. The Alabaster gypsum grows under lower pH (acid) conditions because it is nearer to the reducing environment at depth. 6.2 (1) Conclusion The brine mixing hypothesis is proposed for the primary gypsum

mineralization in Chad Basin on the basis of the following; (a) Evaporation alone cannot produce the great thickness of salt in all the

evaporate basins of the world. (b) The gypsum mineralization in Chad Basin is similar to the one in the Upper Benue both in composition and structure of the gypsum forms (Table.8).



The gypsum mineralization in Chad Basin have shale and mudstone as carrier beds and the one in Upper Benue also have shales and mudstone as carrier beds. The carrier beds are horizontal and lateral equivalent of each other so the gypsum mineralization in both basins is time equivalent of each other.


The abnormally high concentration of minor and trace elements in all the gypsum forms originate from more than one source because evaporation alone cannot concentrate that much.


Five different gypsum forms are recognized; Balatino Laminated Gypsum; Selenite gypsum; SatinSpar gypsum, Alabaster gypsum; and Detrital gypsum. With the exception of detrital gypsum, all the past high grade because the contained over 70% CaSO 4 . 2H2O. This implies that they are economically significant.


With the exception of the detrital gypsum, all the other forms showed traces of lamination both in thin section and hand specimen. This suggest that lamination is a primary structures.


Balatino Laminated, Selenite, SatinSpar and Alabaster gypsum forms all have secondary structures (like; mammillary, prismatic, fibrous and


granular) which are imparted on the primary gypsum during early diagenesis. (5) The main agents of evolution of present gypsum forms are; chemical changes, loss of water due to compaction which increases with depth. (6) Dissolved organic matter is an important steering mechanism of evaporative precipitation; it influences gypsum precipitation and determines the type of gypsum form and thickness. (7) The rehydration and transformation of anhydrite to the present gypsum forms could not have involved complete dissolution stage but there could be a gelatinous stage. This is because most of the gypsum forms preserved the primary laminations which would have been obliterated if there is a complete dissolution stage. (8) The changes in the gypsum forms is not horizontal with distance but vertically with depth (9) So it is justifiable that the importation of gypsum into Nigeria should be banned.


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