Advertisement

Facies

, Volume 51, Issue 1–4, pp 592–607 | Cite as

Variations in primary aragonite, calcite, and clay in fine-grained calcareous rhythmites of Cambrian to Jurassic age— an environmental archive?

  • Axel MunneckeEmail author
  • Hildegard Westphal
Original Article

Abstract

Limestone-marl alternations represent a common type of fine-grained calcareous rhythmites during the entire Phanerozoic. Their diagenetic overprint, however, obliterates their value for palaeoenvironmental interpretations. The original mineralogical composition of the carbonate fraction (aragonite, high-Mg calcite, low-Mg calcite) would potentially yield important information on palaeoenvironmental conditions: for example shallow-water carbonate factories are usually characterised by extensive aragonite production, whereas pelagic carbonate production is dominated by calcitic organisms. Therefore, a reconstruction of the pre-diagenetic mineralogical composition of limestone-marl precursors would be desirable.

A particularly conspicuous attribute of fine-grained calcareous rhythmites is the intercalation of two rock types that have undergone two entirely different diagenetic pathways (“differential diagenesis”). As indicated by earlier petrography work, in the interlayers selective aragonite dissolution has taken place, and the dissolved aragonite provided the cement for the limestones. Primary aragonite usually is not preserved in diagenetically mature fine-grained limestones. However, in a recently published paper a method is proposed to quantify the primary mineralogical composition of the precursor sediments of a fine-grained calcareous rhythmite. Here we apply this method to several published data sets from sections of Cambrian to Jurassic age. We try to answer the following questions: Where does the aragonite come from, especially during times of “calcite seas”? What is the impact of the enhanced pelagic carbonate production since the Late Jurassic on the formation of limestone-marl alternations? How much dissolved aragonite is lost to sea water during early marine burial diagenesis, i.e. how closed is the diagenetic system? As demonstrated for the five examples shown here, the new method for reconstructing primary mineralogy potentially provides insight into ancient depositional environments, surface productivity, and ocean chemistry.

Keywords

Limestone-marl alternations Differential diagenesis Aragonite Precursor sediment Calcareous plankton Phanerozoic 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are indebted to Maya Elrick for providing the data on the three North American sections, and to Ulrich Herten and Oliver Kranendonck for sending us the data on Klonk-1. Reviews by David Osleger, Tracy Frank, John Reijmer, and an anonymous referee considerably improved this contribution. For editorial handling of our manuscript we would like to thank André Freiwald and Sonja-B. Löffler. This study was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (We 2492/1; Fr 1134/4), and the HWP grant of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg to HW

References

  1. Arthur MA, Dean WE, Bottjer DJ, Scholle PA (1984) Rhythmic bedding in Mesozoic-Cenozoic pelagic carbonate sequences: the primary and diagenetic origin of Milankovitch-like cycles. In: Berger A, Imbrie J, Hays J, Kukla G, Saltzman B (eds) Milankovitch and Climate. Hingham, Riedel, pp 191–222Google Scholar
  2. Bathurst RGC (1970) Problems of lithification in carbonate muds. Geol Assoc Proc 81:429–440Google Scholar
  3. Bathurst RGC (1980) Lithification of carbonate sediments. Sci Progr 66:451–471Google Scholar
  4. Bausch WM (1965) Strontiumgehalte in süddeutschen Malmkalken. Geol Rdschau 55:86–96Google Scholar
  5. Bellanca A, Claps M, Erba E, Masetti D, Neri R, Premoli Silva I, Venezia F (1996) Orbitally induced limestone/marlstone rhythms in the Albian-Cenomanian Cismon section (Venetian region, northern Italy): sedimentology, calcareous and siliceous plankton distribution, elemental and isotope geochemistry. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 126:227–260Google Scholar
  6. Bennett RH, Bryant WR, Hulbert MH (1991) Microstructure of fine-grained sediments— from mud to shale. Springer, New York, 582 ppGoogle Scholar
  7. Bickert T, Pätzold J, Samtleben C, Munnecke A (1997) Paleoenvironmental changes in the Silurian indicated by stable isotopes in brachiopod shells from Gotland, Sweden. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 61:2717–2730Google Scholar
  8. Blair NE, Aller RC (1995) Anaerobic methane oxidation on the Amazon Shelf. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 59:3707–3715Google Scholar
  9. Boardman MR, Carney C (1991) Origin and accumulation of lime mud in ooid tidal channels, Bahamas. J Sediment Petrol 61:661–680Google Scholar
  10. Boardman MR, Neumann AC (1984) Sources of periplatform carbonates: Northwest Providence Channel, Bahamas. J Sediment Petrol 54:1110–1123Google Scholar
  11. Bown PR (1987) Taxonomy, evolution, and biostratigraphy of late Triassic-early Jurassic calcareous nannofossils. Spec Pap Palaeont 38:1–118Google Scholar
  12. Canfield DE, Raiswell R (1991) Carbonate precipitation and dissolution—its relevance to fossil preservation. In: Allison PA, Briggs DEG (eds) Taphonomy: releasing the data locked in the fossil record. Plenum, New York, pp 411–453Google Scholar
  13. Cherns L, Wright P (2000) Missing molluscs as evidence of large-scale, early skeletal aragonite dissolution in a Silurian sea. Geology 28:791–794CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chlupác I, Kukal Z (1977) The boundary stratotype at Klonk. In: Martinsson A (ed) The Silurian-Devonian boundary. IUGS Ser A 5, Stuttgart, pp 96–109Google Scholar
  15. Christensen AM (1999) Brachiopod paleontology and paleoecology of the Lower Mississippian Lodgepole Limestone in Southeastern Idaho. In: Hughes SS, Thackray GD (eds) Guidebook to the geology of Eastern Idaho. Idaho Museum of Natural History, Pocatello, pp 57–67Google Scholar
  16. Einsele G, Ricken W, Seilacher A (1991) Cycles and events in stratigraphy. Springer, Berlin, 955 ppGoogle Scholar
  17. Elrick M (1995) Cyclostratigraphy of middle Devonian carbonates of the eastern Great Basin. J Sediment Res 65:61–79Google Scholar
  18. Elrick M (1996) Sequence stratigraphy and platform evolution of Lower-Middle Devonian carbonates, eastern Great Basin. Geology 108:392–416Google Scholar
  19. Elrick M, Hinnov LA (1996) Millennial-scale climate origins for stratification in Cambrian and Devonian deep-water rhythmites, western USA. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 123:353–372Google Scholar
  20. Elrick M, Snider AS (2002) Deep-water stratigraphic cyclicity and carbonate mud mound development in the Middle Marjum Formation, House Range, Utah, USA. Sedimentology 49:1021–1047Google Scholar
  21. Elrick M, Read JF, Coruh C (1991) Short-term paleoclimatic fluctuations expressed in lower Mississippian ramp-slope deposits, southwestern Montana. Geology 19:799–802Google Scholar
  22. Enos P, Sawatsky LH (1981) Pore networks in Holocene carbonate sediments. J Sediment Petrol 51:961–985Google Scholar
  23. Falkowski PG, Katz ME, Knoll AH, Quigg A, Raven JA, Schofield O, Taylor FJR (2004) The evolution of modern eukaryotic phytoplankton. Science 305:354–360PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Flügel E, Franz HE (1967) Elektronenmikroskopischer Nachweis von Coccolithen im Solnhofener Plattenkalk (Ober-Jura). N Jb Geol Paläont Abh 127:245–262Google Scholar
  25. Frank TD, Arthur MA, Dean WE (1999) Diagenesis of Lower Cretaceous pelagic carbonates, North Atlantic: Paleoceanographic signals obscured. J Foram Res 29:340–351Google Scholar
  26. Frimmel A (2003) Hochauflösende Untersuchungen von Biomarkern an epikontinentalen Schwarzschiefern des Unteren Toarciums (Posidonienschiefer, Lias ɛ) von SW-Deutschland. PhD thesis, University of Tübingen, 108 pp, http://w210.ub.uni-tuebingen.de/dbt/volltexte/2003/708/Google Scholar
  27. Gartner S (1977) Nannofossils and biostratigraphy: an overview. Earth Sci Rev 13:227–250Google Scholar
  28. Hallam A (1986) Origin of minor limestone-shale cycles: climatically induced or diagenetic? Geology 14:609–612Google Scholar
  29. Hallock P, Schlager W (1986) Nutrient excess and the demise of coral reefs and carbonate platforms. Palaios 1:389–398Google Scholar
  30. Herten U (2000) Petrographische und geochemische Charakterisierung der Pelit-Lagen aus der Forschungsbohrung Klonk-1 (Suchomasty/Tschechische Republik). Ber Forschzent Jülich 3751:1–83Google Scholar
  31. Kranendonck O (2000) Petrographische und geochemische Charakterisierung der Karbonatbänke aus der Forschungsbohrung Klonk-1 (Suchomasty/Tschechische Republik). Ber Forschzent Jülich 3750:1–115Google Scholar
  32. Lasemi Z, Sandberg PA (1993) Microfabric and compositional clues to dominant mud mineralogy of micrite precursors. In: Rezak R, Lavoie DL (eds) Carbonate microfabrics. Springer, New York, pp 173–185Google Scholar
  33. Lowenstam HA (1955) Aragonite needles secreted by algae and some sedimentary implications. J Sediment Petrol 25:270–272Google Scholar
  34. Lowenstam HA (1961) Mineralogy, O18/O16 ratios, and strontium and magnesium contents of recent and fossil brachiopods and their bearing on the history of the oceans. J Geol 69:241–260Google Scholar
  35. Melim LA, Westphal H, Swart PK, Eberli GP, Munnecke A (2002) Questioning carbonate diagenetic paradigms: evidence from the Neogene of the Bahamas. Marine Geol 185:27–53Google Scholar
  36. Milliman JD, Freile D, Steinen RP, Wilber RJ (1993) Great Bahama Bank aragonitic muds: mostly inorganically precipitated, mostly exported. J Sediment Petrol 63:589–595Google Scholar
  37. Munnecke A (1997) Bildung mikritischer Kalke im Silur auf Gotland. Courier Forschinst Senckenberg 198:1–71Google Scholar
  38. Munnecke A, Samtleben C (1996) The formation of micritic limestones and the development of limestone-marl alternations in the Silurian of Gotland, Sweden. Facies 34:159–176Google Scholar
  39. Munnecke A, Westphal H (2004) Shallow-water aragonite recorded in bundles of limestone-marl alternations—the Upper Jurassic of SW Germany. Sediment Geol 164:191–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Munnecke A, Westphal H, Reijmer JJG, Samtleben C (1997) Microspar development during early marine burial diagenesis: a comparison of Pliocene carbonates from the Bahamas with Silurian limestones from Gotland (Sweden). Sedimentology 44:977–990Google Scholar
  41. Munnecke A, Westphal H, Elrick M, Reijmer JJG (2001) The mineralogical composition of precursor sediments of calcareous rhythmites: a new approach. Int J Earth Sci 90:795–812CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Munnecke A, Samtleben C, Bickert T (2003) The Ireviken Event in the lower Silurian of Gotland, Sweden—relation to similar Palaeozoic and Proterozoic events. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 195(1–2):99–124Google Scholar
  43. Neumann AC, Land LS (1975) Lime mud deposition and calcareous algae in the Bight of Abaco, Bahamas: a budget. J Sediment Petrol 45:763–786Google Scholar
  44. O’Brian NR, Slatt RM (1990) Argillaceous Rock Atlas. Springer, New York, 141 ppGoogle Scholar
  45. Palmer TJ, Wilson MA (2004) Calcite precipitation and dissolution of biogenic aragonite in shallow Ordovician calcite seas. Lethaia 37:417–427Google Scholar
  46. Pittet B, Mattioli E (2002) The carbonate signal and calcareous nannofossil distribution in an Upper Jurassic section (Balingen-Tieringen, Late Oxfordian, southern Germany). Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 179:73–98Google Scholar
  47. Pittet B, Strasser A (1998) Depositional sequences in deep-shelf environments formed through carbonate-mud import from the shallow platform (Late Oxfordian, German Swabian Alb and eastern Swiss Jura). Eclogae Geol Helv 91:149–169Google Scholar
  48. Pittet B, Strasser A, Mattioli E (2000) Depositional sequences in deep-shelf environments: a response to sea-level changes and shallow-platform carbonate productivity (Oxfordian, Germany and Spain). J Sediment Res 70:392–407Google Scholar
  49. Pomar L, Brandano M, Westphal H (2004) Environmental factors influencing skeletal grain sediment associations: a critical review of Miocene examples from the western Mediterranean. Sedimentology 51:627–651CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Raiswell R (1988) Chemical model for the origin of minor limestone-shale cycles by anaerobic methane oxidation. Geology 16:641–644Google Scholar
  51. Reinhardt EG, Cavazza W, Patterson RT, Blenkinsop J (2000) Differential diagenesis of sedimentary components and the implication for strontium isotope analysis of carbonate rocks. Chem Geol 164:331–343Google Scholar
  52. Ricken W (1986) Diagenetic bedding: a model for limestone-marl alternations. Lecture Notes on Earth Science, Vol. 6, Springer, Berlin, 210 ppGoogle Scholar
  53. Ricken W (1987) The carbonate compaction law: a new tool. Sedimentology 34:571–584Google Scholar
  54. Ricken W, Eder W (1991) Diagenetic modification of calcareous beds—an overview. In: Einsele G, Ricken W, Seilacher A (eds) Cycles and events in stratigraphy. Springer, Berlin, pp 430–449Google Scholar
  55. Rullkötter J (2000) Organic matter: the driving force for early diagenesis. In: Schulz HD, Zabel M (eds) Marine geochemistry. Springer, Berlin, pp 129–172Google Scholar
  56. Saltzman MR (2002) Carbon isotope (δ13C) stratigraphy across the Silurian-Devonian transition in North America: evidence for a perturbation of the global carbon cycle. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 187:83–100Google Scholar
  57. Sandberg PA (1983) An oscillating trend in Phanerozoic non-skeletal carbonate mineralogy. Nature 305:19–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Schlager W (2003) Benthic carbonate factories of the Phanerozoic. Int J Earth Sci 92:445–464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Schulz HD (2000) Quantification of early diagenesis: dissolved constituents in marine pore water. In: Schulz HD, Zabel M (eds) Marine geochemistry. Springer, Berlin, pp 87–128Google Scholar
  60. Schulz HD, Zabel M (2000) Marine geochemistry. Springer, Berlin, 455 ppGoogle Scholar
  61. Schwarzacher W (2000) Repititions and cycles in stratigraphy. Earth Sci Rev 50:51–75Google Scholar
  62. Scotese CR (2001) Paleomap Project: http:// www.scotese.com/ (July 2001)Google Scholar
  63. Seibold E (1952) Chemische Untersuchungen zur Bankung im unteren Malm Schwabens. N Jb Geol Paläont Abh 95:337–370Google Scholar
  64. Seibold E, Seibold I (1953) Foraminiferenfauna und Kalkgehalt eines Profils im gebankten unteren Malm Schwabens. N Jb Geol Paläont Abh 98:28–86Google Scholar
  65. Stanley MS, Hardie LA (1999) Hypercalcification: paleontology links plate tectonics and geochemistry to sedimentology. GSA Today 9:2–7Google Scholar
  66. Swart PK (2000) The oxygen isotopic composition of interstitial waters: evidence for fluid flow and recrystallization in the margin of Great Bahama Bank. Ocean Drill Progr Sci Res 166:91–98Google Scholar
  67. Towe KM, Hemleben C (1976) Diagenesis of magnesian calcite: evidence from miliolacean foraminifera. Geology 4:337–339Google Scholar
  68. Westphal H (1998) Carbonate platform slopes—A record of changing conditions. Lecture Notes on Earth Science, Vol. 75. Springer, Berlin, 179 ppGoogle Scholar
  69. Westphal H, Munnecke A (1997) Mechanical compaction versus early cementation in fine-grained limestones: differentiation by the preservation of organic microfossils. Sediment Geol 112:33–42Google Scholar
  70. Westphal H, Munnecke A (2003) Limestone-marl alternations—a warm-water phenomenon? Geology 31:263–266Google Scholar
  71. Westphal H, Head MJ, Munnecke A (2000) Differential diagenesis of rhythmic limestone alternations supported by palynological evidence. J Sediment Res 70:715–725Google Scholar
  72. Westphal H, Böhm F, Bornholdt S (2004a) Orbital frequencies in the sedimentary record: distorted by diagenesis? Facies 50:3–11Google Scholar
  73. Westphal H, Munnecke A, Pross J, Herrle JO (2004b) Multiproxy approach to understanding the origin of Cretaceous pelagic limestone-marl alternations (DSDP Site 391, Blake-Bahama Basin). Sedimentology 51:109–126Google Scholar
  74. Winland HD (1968) The role of high Mg calcite in the preservation of micrite envelopes and textural features of aragonite sediments. J Sediment Petrol 38:1320–1325Google Scholar
  75. Wood R (1993) Nutrients, predation and the history of reef-building. Palaios 8:526–543Google Scholar
  76. Wright P, Cherns L (2004) Are there “black holes” in carbonate deposystems? Geol Acta 2:285–290Google Scholar
  77. Wright P, Cherns L, Hodges P (2003) Missing molluscs: Field testing taphonomic loss in the Mesozoic through early large-scale aragonite dissolution. Geology 31:211–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Zabel M, Hensen C, Schlüter M (2000) Back to the ocean cycles: benthic fluxes and their distribution patterns. In: Schulz HD, Zabel M (eds) Marine geochemistry. Springer, Berlin, pp 373–395Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PaleontologyUniversity Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany

Personalised recommendations