Geochemical proxies of the gryphon breccia of mud volcanoes in East Azerbaijan: regularities in the distribution of chemical elements and spatial characteristics of sedimentation

Keywords: gryphon breccia, chemical composition, regularity of distribution, conditions of sedimentation


The paper is devoted to the study of the patterns of distribution of major oxides and trace elements in the gryphon breccia of 12 active mud volcanoes located in various oil and gas regions (Absheron, Gobustan and Lower Kura) of Azerbaijan. Interpretations of the chemical elements found in gryphon breccia samples have allowed the composition of their source rocks, sedimentation conditions, and sedimentation areas to be determined.

Purpose. The main goal of the study is to conduct geochemical studies of gryphon breccias belonging to various oil and gas regions, determine spatial patterns, achieve their explanation, and at the same time determine the conditions for the deposition of mud sediments.

Methods. The chemical composition of mud volcanic breccia samples was analyzed using an “S8 TIGER Series 2” spectrometer and an “Agilent 7700 Series ICP-MS” mass spectrometer. Based on the results obtained, in addition to identifying patterns in the areas, modern approaches based on geochemical interpretation were used to explain them. The results on the genesis of breccias are consistent with the results of the published literature on the development of geodynamic and paleobasin conditions in the region.

Results. Samples with the lowest Si content are characteristic of the Lower Kura mud volcanoes, where the youngest (Quaternary) deposits are recorded. In samples from these mud volcanoes, relatively high contents of Mg and P are also noticeable. High contents of Ca are characteristic of volcanoes located near the Caspian Sea. These mud volcanoes are also rich in trace elements such as Li, Ga, Rb, Zr, Mo, Cs, Pr, Tl, Pb, Th, U and others, but depleted in Ni, Sr, Ba and etc.

Conclusions. Plagioclase-rich source rocks and oxygen-dominated paleobasin environments played a key role in the formation of breccia deposits belonging to the mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan. Geochemical proxies make it possible to link the paleobasin conditions of the formation of the gryphon breccia of the most mud volcanoes of South and Central Gobustan with the continental setting, especially in comparison with some volcanoes of the Lower Kura, as well as Gobustan and Absheron, located on the shores of the Caspian Sea and relatively close to it. The breccias of mud volcanoes located at a relatively large distance from the modern sea boundary and in the steepest northern part of the Lower Kura are associated with marine conditions, as are breccias of mud volcanoes located in the south of this tectonic zone (subjected to intense subsidence) and at a short distance from the Caspian Sea, may be due to geological factors.


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Author Biography

Elnur Baloglanov, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Ministry of Science and Education Republic of Azerbaijan

Researcher of Department of Mud Volcanism


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How to Cite
Baloglanov, E. (2023). Geochemical proxies of the gryphon breccia of mud volcanoes in East Azerbaijan: regularities in the distribution of chemical elements and spatial characteristics of sedimentation. Visnyk of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Series "Geology. Geography. Ecology", (59), 8-17.