Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 113–133 | Cite as

Timing- and origin of dedolomite in upper Wappinger Group (Lower Ordovician) strata, southeastern New York

  • Baiying Guo
  • John E. Sanders
  • Gerald M. Friedman


Detailed petrographic-, geochemical-, and geologic (including surface- and subsurface) study of the massive regional-scale dolostones of the upper Wappinger Group (Lower Ordovician part of Sauk Sequence, southeastern New York) enables us to recognize the products of three stages of dolomitization and of one episode of dedolomitization. The three dolomite stages are: (1) earliest syndepositional dolomite, very fine crystalline dolomite (10 to 30 μm) and some tiny cores of coarser rhombs and displaying δ18O mean value of −7.2‰ and δ13C mean value of −1.2‰; (2) second-stage, shallow-burial dolomites including both replacement-type phases (fine- to coarsely crystalline dolomite), and some dolomite cement that was precipitated between crystals of replacement origin and displays δ18O mean value of −7.6‰ and δ13C mean value of −1.7‰; and (3) late-stage dolomite that fills fractures and crosscuts earlier-stage dolomites and that probably formed at intermediate depth of burial.

The dedolomite displays progressive degrees of replacement fabric from intercrystalline through pseudomorphic to massive. With its bright-yellow CL color, dedolomite is easy to distinguish from the dull-CL precursor calcite, from dull-CL veinlet calcite, and from the reddish-CL-colored dolomites. Dedolomite and its related fracture-filling bright-CL-colored calcite display δ18O mean value −7.4‰ and δ13C mean value of −2‰. The evidence that dedolomite, with its high concentration in Mn2+ and low content of Fe2+, depleted oxygen isotope-ratio, and distribution restricted to the top three formations that were eroded at the post-Sauk, pre-Tippecanoe surface of unconformity formed suggests that dedolomitization took place early in the Middle Ordovician as a result of post-Early Ordovician uplift,-subaerial exposure, and karstification, when meteoric water circulated within the porous dolostones near the Earth’s surface.

Petrographic textural data prove that dedolomite replaced second-stage dolomite; oxygen-isotope data indicate that dedolomite and second-stage dolomite are not co-precipitated minerals. Therefore, the second-stage dolomite must have been stabilized during the Early Ordovician initial episode of subsidence that was associated with a passive-margin tectonic regime. The maximum possible depth of burial was several hundred meters. Subsequently, the top three formations of the Wappinger Group were deeply buried and late-stage dolomite in places filled fractures. This subsequent deep burial did not significantly alter either the second-stage, shallow-burial dolomites or the dedolomites.


Calcite Dolomite Ordovician Diagenesis Dolomitization 
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Copyright information

© Springer 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Baiying Guo
    • 1
    • 3
  • John E. Sanders
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gerald M. Friedman
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Rensselaer Center of Applied GeologyNortheastern Science Foundation, affiliate of Brooklyn College of the City University of New YorkTroy
  2. 2.Department of Geology114 Hofstra UniversityHempstead
  3. 3.Department of GeologyBrooklyn College and Graduate School of the City University of New YorkBrooklyn

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