Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) was carried out for the determination of trace elements in nonswelling type bentonitic clays. Samples were irradiated in Triga Mark II type of reactor at the Nuclear Institute of Technical University of Istanbul. Irradiation was performed in two steps for "short and long lived" isotopes. The gamma spectra of short lived isotopes were interpreted with respect to Al, Ca, Mg, Na, K, Ti, Mn, V qualitatively and that of long lived isotopes with respect to Sc, Cr, Br, Sb, Cs, La, Ce, Sm, Yb, Hf quantitatively. The relative richness of the trace elements (Al, Ti, Ca, Mg, Na, K) observed in the Sampo 90 program was obtained using Atomic Absorption technique by normalizing its value to that of sodium. The silicon content of samples was determined by gravimetry. The results indicated that Sample I contained relatively higher amount of REE, Sb, Ca and Na than Sample II. The amount of Sc, Cr and Br were about similar in both samples. Concentrations of La, Ce, Sm and Yb are higher than REE abundances found in all natural waters. These results suggest that Ca-bentonite samples are representative of primary deposition environment. In addition, the Sc content of both the samples indicates that Ca-bentonite deposits originated from continental crust. The relatively high amount of REE might bring about porosity problems in the use of Ca-bentonite in cement and concrete production. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.