International Geological Journal - Official Journal of the Carpathian-Balkan Geological Association

Perlite deposits of the Central Slovakia Volcanic Field (Western Carpathians): Geology and properties

Published: Jun 2021

Pages: 253 - 281



Abstract: Perlites in the Central Slovakia Volcanic Field are associated with with rhyolite dykes, cryptodomes, extrusive domes, coulées and volcanoclastic rocks of the Jastrabá Fm. (12.3–11.4 Ma). From numerous occurrences only the Lehôtka pod Brehmi (LPB) and Jastrabá (JST) represent deposits of economic interest. The LPB deposit exploits a pile of extruded hyaloclastite breccia composed of grey porous and dark dense fragments. The JST deposit exploits glassy rhyolite breccia composed of grey porous fragments associated with an extrusive dome/coulée. The perlites at both deposits are peraluminous, calc-alkaline of the high-K type, poor in phenocrysts (around 5 %) of plagioclase, biotite and minor amphibole (LPB) or sanidine/anorthoclase (JST). Glass at both deposits is silica rich (75.4–79.5 wt. % dry) with Al2O3, K2O and Na2O as other major constituents. It is inhomogeneous showing domains enriched in Na2O or K2O. Glass water content (3.0–6.0 wt. %) shows a weak positive correlation with its silica content and a negative correlation with its Na2O content. Perlites show porosities of 5–16 % (dark dense), 16–30 % (grey porous) and 30–44 % (pale grey ­pumiceous). Narrow stretched pores represent remnants after outgassing of ascending magma while open undeformed pores grew at a low pressure before quenching. The transformation of volcanic glass into perlite took place owing to the hydration by heated fluids of meteoric origin. The hydration was supported by a significant porosity with inter­connected pores and by sustained elevated temperature. Perlites at both deposits show a low content of tightly-bound water and a low Na/K ratio. These properties are responsible for their relatively low degree of expansion. On the other hand, due to the same reason, the perlites have a good mechanical stability.

Keywords: rhyolite monogenetic volcanoes, perlite, petrography, mineralogy, geochemistry, genesis, properties

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