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Open File Report 1

Atlas of weathered rocks

Robertson, I.D.M. and Butt, C.R.M.

Determining bedrock type from its weathered counterpart is one of the chief problems encountered by exploration geologists, particularly newly qualified geologists, when working in intensely weathered terrain.

This report is an Atlas which makes use of some of the magnificent sectional exposures generated by open pit gold mining in the Yilgarn. It introduces regolith terminology, the principles of weathering and its attendant mineralogical changes. The main part of the Atlas illustrates the fabric and mineralogical changes that take place as rocks weather. The Atlas is presented in hard cover, loose-leaf format and contains 136 annotated colour photographs with detailed descriptions. Many of these are in pairs so as to relate petrographic detail to what can be seen with a hand lens.

It also records the changes in major and trace element contents which occur in the weathered profile, backed by tabulated geochemical data. The Atlas discusses the use of 'immobile' elements to identify rock types and introduces multivariate methods and discriminant analysis.

Improved identification of rock types in the weathered zone will assist interpretation of geochemical data. Being able to recognise the position in the weathered profile from weathering fabrics will lead to a better understanding and prediction of geochemical dispersion.


Lithogeochemistry, fabrics, petrography, immobile elements, multivariate statistics, bedrock identification, regolith terminology, regolith classification, posl lateritic modification, truncation, cementation, soil, lag, initiation of weathering, weathering reactions, mineral stability, colour, mineralogy, geochemistry, phyllite, Beasley Creek, granite, Trial Hill, Barr Smith Range, QAZ cement, Dam Bore, silcrete, aluminosilicate cement, Tammin, sandplain, Bottle Creek, Lights of Israel, Ora Banda, primary fabrics, secondary fabrics, voids, mica relics, palimpsest fabrics, accordion fabrics, void fill fabrics, duricrust fabrics, Reedy, foliation, saprock, saprolite, plasmic zone, kaolinite blasts, quartz segregation fabrics, porphyry, Mt Percy, ultramafic, mafic.

Last updated: Friday, December 24, 1999 09:30 AM


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