Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 41–55 | Cite as

The isotopic composition and diagenetic history of pleistocene carbonates, North Qatar

  • Hanafy Holail


Field, petrographic, and geochemical data for Pleistocene oolitic carbonates from North Qatar suggest that the ooids formed in a marine environment separating the open Gulf from the coastal sabkhas. Locally, the more homogeneous granulometry and abundant cross-bedding of these rocks reveal an aeolian depositional environment. Petrographic examination shows that theserrocks are ooid grainstones with low-Mg calcite cements. The sequence of petrographic features suggests a progression of diagenetic fluids from more marine to more meteoric. Early marine cementation was followed by partial dissolution of the ooids and cements. Dissolution and cementation processes redistributed the primary porosity. After mineralogical stabilization was completed, subsequent meteoric flow caused very localized cementation. The final diagenetic phase precipitated was a low-Mg calcite spar cement, representing diagenesis in a fresh-water zone. There is no indication for the presence of dolomites. This sequence of diagenetic features was the result of a fall in eustatic sea-level following deposition.

Stable isotopic evidence suggests that diagenetic fluids dominated by meteoric water were responsible for dissolution and cementation processes. Oxygen isotopes of ooid grains and low-Mg calcite cements range from +0.9%. to −2.1%. PDB and from −3.6%. to −8.0%. PDB, respectively. The δ13C values of the ooid grains (+4.8%. to +2.5%.PDB) are slightly heavier than those of the low-Mg cacite cements (+3.4%. to −1.7%. PDB). This may suggest that the diagenetic system was closed with respect to carbon, with little introduction of carbon from a non-carbonate source.


Calcite Isotopic Composition Pleistocene Diagenesis Aragonite 
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Copyright information

© Springer 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanafy Holail
    • 1
  1. 1.Geology Department, Faculty of ScienceAlexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt

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