Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 26–36 | Cite as

Diagenesis in the coastal quaternary carbonates in Qatar, Arabian Gulf

  • Mohamed M. Abu-Zeid
  • Abd El Nomem T. Abd El Hameed
  • Alia J. Al Kuwari


Combined field studies, thin-section examination and scanning electron microscopy were utilized to study the diagenesis of the Quaternary carbonates in twelve stratigraphic sections along the coastline of Qatar. The sequence is dominated by calcarenites. It comprises three lithostratigraphic units representing two transgressive phases of the Pleistocene sea separated by a regressive phase.

Diagenesis has modified the original textural and compositional characteristics of the Quaternary rocks considerably. Dissolution and cementation played major roles, whereas neomorphism and compaction were much less effective. Dissolution resulted in the development of fabric-and nonfabric-selective types of porosity. Cementation was mainly by calcite and, rarely, aragonite, gypsum and silica. Calcite crystals are nonferroan, mainly low-magnesian and have wide ranges of size, habit and distribution patterns. Aragonite cements are commonly crystals are nonferroan, mainly low-magnesian and have wide ranges of size, habit and distribution patterns. Aragonite cements are commonly isopachous and consist of fibrous and needle-like crystals. Massive and fibrous gypsum and cryptocrystalline and microcrystalline silica fill intergranular pores and microchannels. Aggrading and degrading neomorphism were selective. Compaction effects were more profound in calcarenites which were not subjected to early cementation.

The diagenesis of the Quaternary carbonates occurred in a wide spectrum of settings which prevailed during the eogenetic, mesogenetic and telogenetic phases. The marine phreatic environment witnessed the commence of cementation with aragonite and high-magnesian calcite and the formation of micritic envelopes of fossil shells. The early phases of dissolution, micritization of other allochems and aggrading neomorphism occurred under mixed phreatic conditions. Most of the recorded diagenetic effects were developed in the meteoric vadose and phreatic environments. These include the completion of the dissolution events, the cementation with sparitic low-magnesian calcite, silica and gypsum, and the conversion of aragonite into low-magnesian calcite. There are remarkable variations in the nature and intensity of freshwater cementation throughout the sequence which indicate marked fluctuations in the groundwater levels.


Diagenesis Cementation Aragonite Ooids Quaternary 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. AU-ZEID, M.M., ABD EL HAMEED, A.T., and AL KUWARI, A.J., 1999, Petrology, Mineralogy and Sedimentation of the Coastal Quaternary Carbonates in Qatar, Arabian Gulf:Carbonates and Evaporites, v. 14, no. 2, p. 209–224.Google Scholar
  2. BATHURST, R.G.C., 1975, Carbonate Sediments and Their Freshwater Diagenesis of Saurashtra Miliolites:Journal of Geological Society of India, v. 48, p. 415–419.Google Scholar
  3. BHATT, N. and PATEL, M.P., 1998, Diagenesis in the Quaternary Carbonate Sediments of Saurashtra and Kachchh, Western India,in Alsharhan, A.S., Glennie, K.W., Whittle, G.L., and Kendall, C.G.St.C., eds., Quaternary Deserts and Climatic Change. Balkema, Rotterdam, 621 p.Google Scholar
  4. CAVELIER, C., 1970, Geological Description of the Qatar Peninsula. Department of Petroleum Affairs, Qatar, 39 p.Google Scholar
  5. CAVELIER, C., SALATT, A., and HEUZE, Y., 1970, Qatar Geologicla Maps 1∶1,000,000. Department of Petroleum Affairs, Qatar.Google Scholar
  6. DICKSON, J.A.D., 1965, A Modified Staining Technique for Carbonates in Thin Section:Nature, v. 205, 587 p.Google Scholar
  7. FRIEDMAN, G.M., 1959, Identification of carbonate minerals by staining methods:Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 29, p. 87–97.Google Scholar
  8. FRIEDMAN, G.M., GEBELEIN, C.D., and SANDERS, J.E., 1971, Micrite Envelopes of Carbonate Grains Are Not Exclusively of Photosynthetic Algal Origin:Sedimentology, v. 16, p. 89–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. HEEGER, J.E. 1913, Ueber die mikrochemische Untersuchung fein verteilter Carbonate im Gesteinsschliff: Centralblatt Mineralogie, Geologie, und Palaontologie, p. 44–51.Google Scholar
  10. HESSE, R., 1989, Silica Diagenesis: Origin of Inorganic and Replacement Cherts:Earth Sciences Review, v. 26, p. 253–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. JAMES, N.B. and CHOQUETTE, P.E., 1984, Diagenesis in Limestones. The Meteoric Diagenetic Environment:Geoscience Canada, v. 11, p. 161–194.Google Scholar
  12. LASCHET, C., 1984, On the Origin of Chert:Facies, v. 10, p. 257–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. MOORE, C.H., 1989, Carbonate Diagenesis and Porosity. Developments in Sedimentology, Elseveir, v. 46, 338 p.Google Scholar
  14. MORSE, J.W. and MACKENZIE, F.T., 1990, Geochemistry of Sedimentary Carbonates. Developments in Sedimentology, Elsevier, v. 48.Google Scholar
  15. MÜLLER, G., 1971, Gravitational Cement: An Indicator for the Vadose Zone of the Subarial Diagenetic Bricker, O.P., ed., Carbonate Cements. p. 301–302, Baltimore, John Hopkins Universituy Press.Google Scholar
  16. PERTHUISOT, J.P., 1977, Contribution a l’ étude du Quaternaire Marin de la Péninsule de Qatar:Bulliten Societie Géologie France, v. 7, no. 6, p. 1167–1170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. SCHOLLE, P.A., STEMMERIK, L., and ULMER, D.S., 1991, Diagenetic History and Hydrocarbon Potential of Upper Permian Carbonate Buildups, Wegener Halvo Area, Jamson Land Basin, East Greenland:American Association for Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 75, p. 701–725.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohamed M. Abu-Zeid
    • 1
  • Abd El Nomem T. Abd El Hameed
    • 2
  • Alia J. Al Kuwari
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Geology, Faculty of ScienceUnited Arab Emirates UniversityAl AinUAE
  2. 2.Department of Geology, Faculty of ScienceTanta UniversityTantaEgypt
  3. 3.Department of Geology, Faculty of ScienceQatar UniversityDohaQatar

Personalised recommendations