Sedimentology, mineralogy, and geochemistry of the Late Quaternary Meyghan Playa sediments, NE Arak, Iran: palaeoclimate implications

  • Leila AbdiEmail author
  • Hossain Rahimpour-Bonab
  • Mohsen Mirmohammad-Makki
  • Johann Probst
  • Saeed Rezaeian Langeroudi
Original Paper


Playas are shallow ephemeral lakes that form in arid and semi-arid regions. Iran has a large number of playas such as Meyghan Playa, which is located in the northeast of Arak city that borders the central Iran and Sanandaj-Sirjan zones. This study aims to investigate the mineralogical, sedimentological, and geochemical characteristics of the playa sediments. In order to determine the palaeoenvironment, we carried out X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies. Meyghan Playa sediments consist of very fine-grained sediments and contain both evaporite and clastic minerals. The evaporite minerals include calcite, gypsum, halite, glauberite, and thenardite, whereas clastic minerals are quartz and clay. The calcite abundance decreases from the margin to the central portion of the playa but gypsum and halite abundances show an increasing trend from the margin to the center. This observation is consistent with the general zonation of other playas. Variations of calcite and gypsum concentration profiles present increasing and decreasing trends with depth, which could be ascribed to the changes in climatic factors. These factors include brine chemical modifications owing to changes in evaporation and precipitation rates and variations in relative abundance of anions-cations or in the rate of clastic and evaporite minerals due to variations in the freshwater influx (climatic changes) with time. A decrease in calcite and increase in sulfate minerals (especially gypsum) with depth is probably due to the higher water level and rainfall, a more humid climate, and salinity variations.


Mineralogy Geochemistry Palaeoclimate Playa Meyghan Iran 



The University of Tehran provided facilities for this research, for which we are grateful. The authors are gratifying to the Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, for financial assistance through a sponsored research project on MP. We thank the GFZ Potsdam (Helmholtz Center Potsdam German Research Center for Geosciences—GFZ) for their sponsorship of the XRF data. We are grateful to the anonymous reviewers who reviewed our manuscript, which significantly improved our presentation.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leila Abdi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hossain Rahimpour-Bonab
    • 1
  • Mohsen Mirmohammad-Makki
    • 2
  • Johann Probst
    • 2
  • Saeed Rezaeian Langeroudi
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Geology, University College of ScienceUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  2. 2.Humboldt UniversityBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Department of GeologyTeacher training UniversityTehranIran

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