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Geological, petrographic and mineralogical study of the Bentonitic formations of Hammam Boughrara (North-West Algeria)

Gana Saida, Bouabsa Lakhdar, Lamouri Bachir, Fagel Nathalie

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.14(4), 34-43, April 2019


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Algeria’s “bentonite” clay deposits are located in the north-west and have significant exploitable reserves. They are mainly found in the regions of Maghnia (Tlemcen) and M’zila (Mostaganem). The objective of this work is to undertake a geological, petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical study of the clay formations that characterize the region of Maghnia as they present specific properties for various applications. The study area, located north of the plain of Maghnia, is between two “atlasic” massifs; the mountains of Traras and Fillaoussène in the North and the mountains of Tlemcen in the South. From a geological point of view, the region consists mainly of Miocene and Pliocene formations. The petrographic examination indicates a very clear beginning of bentonitization process which develops from the pearlitic facies. Similarly, pyroclastites, pyroclastic tuffs and rhyolites are more or less vulnerable to bentonitization because of their microlithic matrix, clayey. Further XRD examination of the previous formations revealed that smectite is the main mineral phase, as well as kaolinite and illite with varying proportions. Non-clay minerals are also identified, such as quartz, cristobalite, plagioclases, potassium feldspars, dolomite and magnetite. Finally, results obtained from additional mineralogical analyzes (saturations with LiCl, KCl, and FTIR examination) revealed that the smectite is also of dioctahedral type and it is represented by montmorillonite.


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Geological, petrographic and mineralogical study of the Bentonitic formations of Hammam Boughrara (North-West Algeria)

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