International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 105, Issue 4, pp 1215–1231 | Cite as

Hydrothermal dolomitization of basinal deposits controlled by a synsedimentary fault system in Triassic extensional setting, Hungary

  • Kinga HipsEmail author
  • János Haas
  • Orsolya Győri
Original Paper


Dolomitization of relatively thick carbonate successions occurs via an effective fluid circulation mechanism, since the replacement process requires a large amount of Mg-rich fluid interacting with the CaCO3 precursor. In the western end of the Neotethys, fault-controlled extensional basins developed during the Late Triassic spreading stage. In the Buda Hills and Danube-East blocks, distinct parts of silica and organic matter-rich slope and basinal deposits are dolomitized. Petrographic, geochemical, and fluid inclusion data distinguished two dolomite types: (1) finely to medium crystalline and (2) medium to coarsely crystalline. They commonly co-occur and show a gradual transition. Both exhibit breccia fabric under microscope. Dolomite texture reveals that the breccia fabric is not inherited from the precursor carbonates but was formed during the dolomitization process and under the influence of repeated seismic shocks. Dolomitization within the slope and basinal succession as well as within the breccia zones of the underlying basement block is interpreted as being related to fluid originated from the detachment zone and channelled along synsedimentary normal faults. The proposed conceptual model of dolomitization suggests that pervasive dolomitization occurred not only within and near the fault zones. Permeable beds have channelled the fluid towards the basin centre where the fluid was capable of partial dolomitization. The fluid inclusion data, compared with vitrinite reflectance and maturation data of organic matter, suggest that the ascending fluid was likely hydrothermal which cooled down via mixing with marine-derived pore fluid. Thermal gradient is considered as a potential driving force for fluid flow.


Cherty dolomite Extensional basins Hydrothermal fluid Multiphase breccia fabric 



We thank Sándor Kele for geochemical measurements, Zsófia Poros and Bernadett Bajnóczi for the CL study, and Csaba Péró and Pál Pelikán for technical assistance. We are grateful to Mária Vidó and István Vető for their help in interpretation of organic matter data, and László Fodor for stimulating discussions on the structural evolution of the areas studied. We are very grateful to Henry Lieberman for grammatical corrections. We are thankful to journal reviewers, Paola Ronchi and Nereo Preto, for valuable comments and corrections. Kinga Hips is a grantee of the Bolyai János Scholarship. Funding for this project was provided by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund, Grant No. K 81296.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MTA–ELTE Geological, Geophysical and Space Science Research GroupBudapestHungary

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