Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 83–106 | Cite as

Geochemical differences between subtropical (Ordovician), cool temperate (Recent and Pleistocene) and subpolar (Permian) carbonates, tasmania, australia

  • C. Prasada Rao


Subtropical (10°N) Ordovician carbonates are similar to modern warm-water ones and contain aChlorozoan Biota, diverse non-skeletal grains, abundant micrite, isopachous cements and early diagenetic dolomites and rare evaporites. Sr/Na ratios are around ≥ 3 as in modern warm-water carbonates. Covariance between Mn content and that of Sr and Na indicates stabilization of aragonite to calcite in a semi-closed diagenetic system. Covariance of δ18O and δ13C with Mn, Sr and Na of brachiopods and isopachous cements indicate Late Ordovician marine calcite values were around −5‰ ± 1.0 in δ18O and 1‰ ± 1.0 in δ13C. A small δ18O difference (2‰) between marine calcite and meteoric calcite indicates low latitude meteoric diagenesis. Sr/Mn ratios decrease within increasingly lighter δ13C due to dissolution of calcite in meteoric waters.

Modern and Pleistocene cool temperate (40 to 44°S) carbonates are composed mainly ofBryomol fauna with marine calcite cements and non-skeletal grains are rare. Sr, Na and Sr/Na ratios (∼1) indicate mainly calcitic mineralogy with some aragonite. Covariance between Mn content and that of Sr, Na and Sr/Na indicates marine diagenesis. The δ18O and δ13C field is characterized by heavy δ18O and moderate δ13C values and is distinctly different from the warm-water field. The δ18O and δ13C values are uniform throughout the range of Sr, Na, Mn and Sr/Mn ratios as they are unaffected by meteoric diagenesis.

Subpolar (80°S) Permian carbonates contain abundant glacial dropstones. Fauna is less diverse than in warm-water carbonates butEurydesma, brachiopods, bryozoa, pelecypods and crinoids is abundant. Marine to mixing-zone low Mg-calcite cements formed in water temperatures <3°C. Sr/Na ratios are low }1 due to calcitic mineralogy of fauna and low Mg-calcite cement. Covariance between Mn content and that of Sr and Na indicates open flow diagenesis. The δ18O and δ13C values of skeletal material are similar to those of warm Permian brachiopods and marine cements from other regions because the Tasmanian fauna either equilibrated with melt-water or melt-water diluted low salinity seawater (down to 28 ‰). The δ18O-δ13C field of whole rocks and cements falls in the mixing zone due to extensive melt-water influx. The covariance of δ18O and δ13C values with those of Sr, Na and Mn indicate a reduction of Sr and Na and an increase of Mn due to melt-water dilution. The covariance of Sr/Mn with δ13C reveals appreciable water/rock interaction with melt-waters.


Calcite Ordovician Aragonite Micrite Temperate Carbonate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. AL-AASAM, I.S., AND VEIZER, J., 1986, Diagenetic stabilization of aragonite and low Mg-calcite, I. Trace Elements in Rudists:Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 56, p. 138–152.Google Scholar
  2. ANDERSON, T.F., AND ARTHUR, M.A., 1983, Stable isotopes of oxygen and carbon and their application to sedimentologic and paleoenvironmental problems,in Stable Isotopes in Sedimentary Geology: Soc. Econ. Paleo. and Min. Short Course No. 10, p. 1-1-1-151.Google Scholar
  3. BANKS, M.R. AND BAILLIE, P.W., 1989, Late Cambrian-Devonian:in Burrett, C.F., and Martin, E., eds.,Geology and Mineral Resources of Tasmania, Geol. Soc. Aust. Spec. Pub., 15, p. 182–237.Google Scholar
  4. BRAKEL, A., AND TOTTERDELL, M.J., 1990, Glaciation and paleogeography of Australia at the start of Permian:Geol. Soc. Aust. Convention Abstracts, p. 63–64.Google Scholar
  5. PATHURST, R.G.C., 1971,Carbonate Sediments and Their Diagenesis, Elsevier, New York, 620p.Google Scholar
  6. BRAND, U., AND VEIZER, J., 1980, Chemical diagenesis of a multicomponent carbonate system. I: Trace elements:Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 51, p. 987–997.Google Scholar
  7. BROOKFIELD, M.E., 1988, A mid-Ordovician temperate carbonate shelf — the Black River and Trenton Limestone Groups of southern Ontario, Canada:in Nelson, C.S., Non-tropical Shelf Carbonates — Modern and Ancient,Sed. Geology, v. 60, p. 137–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. BURTON, E.A., AND WALTER, L.K., 1987, Relative precipitation of aragonite and Mg-calcite from seawater: a temperature or carbonate ion control?:Geology, v. 1, p. 181–220.Google Scholar
  9. COLHOUN, E.A., 1989, Quaternary:in Burrett, C.F., and Martin, E.L., eds.,Geology and Mineral Resources of Tasmania, Geol. Soc. Aust. Spec. Pub. 15, p. 410–418.Google Scholar
  10. CRAIG, H, AND GORDON, L.I., 1965, Deuterium and oxygen-18 variations in the ocean and marine atmosphere,in Stable Isotopes in Oceanographic Studies and Paleotemperatures, Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche, Laboratoria di Geologia Nucleare, Pisa, p. 1–122.Google Scholar
  11. CROWELL, J.C., 1978, Gondwana glaciation, cyclothems, continental positioning, and climate change:Amer. Jour. Sci., v. 278, p. 1345–1372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. CROWELL, J.C., AND FRAKES, L.A., 1971a, Late Paleozoic glaciation of Australia:Jour. Geol. Soc. Australia, v. 17, p. 115–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. CROWELL, J.C., AND FRAKES, L.A., 1971b, Late Paleozoic glaciation: Part IV, Australia:Geol. Soc. America Bull., v. 82, p. 2515–2540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. DANSGAARD, W., 1964, Stable isotopes in precipitation:Tellus, v. 16, p. 436–468.Google Scholar
  15. DOMACK, E.W., 1988, Biogenic facies in the Antarctic glacimarine environment: Basis for a polar glacimarine summary:Paleogeo. Paleoclim. Paleoecology, v. 63, p. 357–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. DRAPER, J.J., 1888, Permian limestone in southeastern Bowen Basin, Queensland: an example of temperate carbonate deposition:in Nelson, C.S., ed., Nontropical Shelf Carbonates — Modern and Ancient,Sed. Geology, v. 60, p. 155–162.Google Scholar
  17. EMBLETON, B.J.J., 1973, The paleolatitude of Australia through Phanerozoic time:Jour. Geol. Soc. Australia, v. 19, p. 475–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. EPSTEIN, S., AND MAYEDA, 1953, Variation of O18 content of waters from natural sources:Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, v. 4, p. 231–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. FOSTER, M.W., 1974, Recent Antarctic and subantarctic brachiopods:Antarctic Research Series, v. 21, 189p.Google Scholar
  20. GOEDE, A., GREEN, D.C., AND HARMON, R.S., 1986, Late Pleistocene palaeotemperature record from a Tasmanian speleothem:Aust Jour. Earth Sciences, v. 33, p. 333–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. GIVEN, R.K., AND LOHMANN, K.C., 1985, Derivation of the original isotopic composition of Permian marine cements:Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 55, p. 430–439.Google Scholar
  22. HAMBREY, M.J., AND HARLAND, W.B., 1981,Earth's Pre-Pleistocene Glacial Record: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1021p.Google Scholar
  23. JAMES, N.P., AND CHOQUETTE, P.W., 1983, Diagenesis 6. Limestones — The sea floor diagenetic environment:Geoscience Canada, v. 10, p. 162–179.Google Scholar
  24. JAMES, N.P., AND BONE, Y., 1989, Petrogenesis of Cenozoic, temperate water calcarenites, South Australia: A model for meteoric/shallow burial diagenesis of shallow water calcite sediments:Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 59, p. 191–203.Google Scholar
  25. KEITH, M.L., 1969, Isotopic composition of carbonates from the Karroo and comparison with the Pass Dois group of Brazil,in Gondwana Stratigraphy (IUGS Symposium, Bueno Aires, 1967), UNESCO (Paris) Earth Sci. Ser., v. 2, p.775–778.Google Scholar
  26. KINSMAN, D.J.J., 1969, Interpretation of Sr+2 concentrations in carbonate minerals and rocks:Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 39, p. 486–508.Google Scholar
  27. KINSMAN, D.J.J., AND HOLLAND, H.D., 1969, The co-reprecipitation of cations with CaCO3, IV. The co-reprecipitate of Sr+2 with aragonite between 16° and 96°C:Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, v. 33, p. 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. LAND, L.S., AND HOOPS, G.K., 1973, Sodium in carbonate sediments and rocks: A possible index to the salinity of diagenetic solutions:Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 43, p. 614–617.Google Scholar
  29. LECLERQ, F., 1976, Permien des Friendly Beaches, Tasmanie Orientale, Australia [unpub. PhD. thesis] Lille, France, Univ. Lille, 521p.Google Scholar
  30. LEES, A., 1975, Possible influence of salinity and temperature on modern shelf carbonate sedimentation:Mar. Geology, v. 19, p. 159–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. LOHMANN, K.C., 1988, Geochemical patterns of meteoric diagenetic systems and their application to studies of paleokarst:in James, N.P. and Choquette, P.W., eds.,Paleokarst. Springer-Verlag, New York, p.58–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. MACKENZIE, F.T., AND PIGOTT, J.D., 1981, Tectonic controls of Phanerozoic sedimentary rock cycling:Jour. Geol. Soc. London, v. 138, p. 183–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. MEYERS, W.J., AND LOHMANN, K.C., 1985, Isotope geochemistry of regionally extensive calcite cement zones and marine components in Mississippian limestone, New Mexico,in Schneiderman, N., and Harris, P.M., eds.,Carbonate Cements, Soc. Econ. Paleo. and Min. Spec. Pub. 36, p. 223–240.Google Scholar
  34. MILLIMAN, J.D., 1974,Marine Carbonates, Recent Sedimentary Carbonates, Pt. 1, New York, Springer-Verlag, 375p.Google Scholar
  35. MILLIMAN, J.D., AND MULLER, J., 1977, Characteristics and genesis of shallow-water and deep-sea limestones,in Anderson, N.R., and Malahoff, A. eds.,The Fate of Fossil Fuel CO2in the Ocean: New York, Plenum Press, p. 655–672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. MUCCI, A., 1988, Manganese uptake during calcite precipitation from seawater: conditions leading to the formation of a psedokutnahorite:Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, v. 52, p. 1859–1866.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. NELSON, C.S., 1978, Temperate shelf carbonate sediments in the Cenozoic of New Zealand:Sedimentology, v. 25, p. 737–771.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. NELSON, C.S., 1988, An introductory perspective on non-tropical shelf carbonates,in Nelson, C.S., ed., Non-tropical Shelf Carbonates — Modern and Ancient,Sed. Geology, v. 60, p.3–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. PINGITORE, N.R., 1978, The behaviour of Zn and Mn during carbonate diagenesis: theory and applications:Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 48, p. 799–814.Google Scholar
  40. PINGITORE, N.R., EASTMAN, M.P., SANDIDGE, M., ODEN, K., AND FREIHA, B., 1988, The co-precipitation of Manganese (II) with calcite: an experimental study:Marine Chemistry, v. 25, p. 107–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. POPP, B.N., ANDERSON, T.F., AND SANDBERG, P.A., 1986, Brachiopods as indicators of original composition in some Paleozoic limestones:Geol. Soc. Amer. Bull., v. 97, p. 1262–1269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. RAO, C.P., 1981a, Cementation in cold-water bryozoan sand, Tasmania, Australia:Mar. Geology, v. 40, p. M23-M33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. RAO, C.P., 1981b, Criteria for recognition of coldwater carbonate sedimentation: Berriedale Limestone (Lower Permian), Tasmania, Australia:Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 51, p. 491–506.Google Scholar
  44. RAO, C.P., 1981c, Geochemical differences between tropical (Ordovician) and subpolar (Permian) carbonates, Tasmania, Australia:Geology, v. 9, p. 205–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. RAO, C.P., 1983, Geochemistry of Early Permian cold-water carbonates (Tasmania, Australia):Chem. Geology, v. 38, p. 307–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. RAO, C.P., 1986, Geochemistry of temperate-water carbonates, Tasmania, Australia:Mar. Geology, v. 71, p. 363–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. RAO, C.P., 1988a, Paleoclimate of some Permo-Triassic carbonates of Malaysia,in Nelson, C.S., ed., Non-Tropical Shelf Carbonates — Modern and Ancient,Sed. Geology, v. 60, p. 163–171.Google Scholar
  48. RAO, C.P., 1988b, Oxygen and carbon isotope composition of cold-water Berriedale Limestone (Lower Permian), Tasmania, Australia, in Nelson, C.S., ed., Non-Tropical Shelf Carbonates — Modern and Ancient,Sed. Geology, v. 60, p. 221–231.Google Scholar
  49. RAO, C.P., 1989, Geochemistry of the Gordon Limestone (Ordovician), Mole Creek, Tasmania:Aust. Jour. Earth Sciences, v. 36, p. 65–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. RAO, C.P., 1990a, Geochemical characteristics of cool-temperate carbonates, Tasmania, Australia:Carbonates and Evaporites v. 5, no. 2, p. 209–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. RAO, C.P., 1990b, Marine to mixing zone dolomitization in peritidal carbonates: Gordon Group carbonates (Ordovician), Mole Creek, Tasmania, Australia:Carbonates and Evaporites v. 5, no. 2, p. 153–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. RAO, C.P., 1990c, Petrography, trace elements and oxygen and carbon isotopes of Gordon Group carbonates (Ordovician), Florentine Valley, Tasmania, Australia:Sed. Geology, v. 66, p. 83–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. RAO, C.P., AND NAQVI, I.H., 1977, Petrography, geochemistry and factor analysis of a Lower Ordovician subsurface sequence, Tasmania, Australia:Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 47, p. 1036–1055.Google Scholar
  54. RAO, C.P., AND GREEN, D.C., 1982, Oxygen and carbon isotopes of Early Permian cold-water carbonates, Tasmania, Australia:Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 52, p. 1111–1125.Google Scholar
  55. RAO, C.P., AND GREEN, D.C., 1983, Oxygen- and carbon-isotope composition of cold shallow-marine carbonates of Tasmania, Australia:Mar. Geology, v. 53, p. 117–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. RAO, C.P., AND WANG, B., 1990, Oxygen and carbon isotope composition of Gordon Group carbonates (Ordovician), Florentine Valley, Tasmania, Australia:Aust. Jour. Earth Sci., v 37, 305–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. REECKMAN, S.A., 1988, Diagenetic alterations in temperate shelf carbonates from southeastern Australia,in Nelson, C.S., ed., Non-Tropical Shelf Carbonates,Sed. Geology, v. 60, p. 209–219.Google Scholar
  58. ROBINSON, P., 1980, Determination of calcium, magnesium, manganese, strontium, sodium and iron in carbonate fraction of limestone and dolomite:Chem. Geology, v. 28, p. 135–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. ROSS, R.J., Jr., JAANUSSON, V., AND FRIEDMAN, I., 1975, Lithology and origin of Middle Ordovician calcareous mudmound of Meiklejohn Peak, Southern Nevada: United States Geol. Surv. Prof. Paper 871, 48p.Google Scholar
  60. RUNNEGAR, B., 1979, Ecology ofEurydesma andEurydesma faunas, Permian of eastern Australia:Alcheringa, v. 3, p. 261–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. SANDBERG, P.A., 1983, An oscillating trend in Phanerozoic non-skeletal carbonate mineralogy:Nature, v. 305, p. 19–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. SHINN, E.A., 1983, Birdseye, fenestrae, shrinkage pores, and loferites: a re-evaluation:Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 53, p. 619–628.Google Scholar
  63. SCHMIDT, D.L., AND FRIEDMAN, I., 1974, Continental deposition of Artarctic tillite indicated by carbon and oxygen isotopes:U.S. Geol. Surv. Jour. Research v. 2, p. 711–715Google Scholar
  64. VEIZER, J., 1977, Diagenesis of pre-Quaternary carbonates as indicated by tracer studies:Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 46, p. 565–581.Google Scholar
  65. VEIZER, J., 1983, Chemical diagenesis of carbonates: Theory and application of trace element technique. in Stable Isotopes in Sedimentary Geology, Soc. Econ. Paleo. and Min., Short Course No. 10, 3-1-3-100.Google Scholar
  66. VEIZER, J., FRITZ, P., AND JONES, B., 1986, Geochemistry of brachiopods: oxygen and carbon isotopic records of Paleozoic oceans:Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, v. 50, p. 1679–1696.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. WILKINSON, B.H., 1982, Cyclic cratonic carbonates and Phanerozoic calcite seas:Jour. Geol. Education, v. 30, p. 189–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Prasada Rao
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

Personalised recommendations