Palaeoproterozoic magnesite: lithological and isotopic evidence for playa/sabkha environments

Melezhik, V.A., Fallick, A.E., Medvedev, P.V. and Makarikhin, V.V. (2001) Palaeoproterozoic magnesite: lithological and isotopic evidence for playa/sabkha environments. Sedimentology, 48(2), pp. 379-397. (doi: 10.1046/j.1365-3091.2001.00369.x)



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Magnesite forms a series of 1- to 15-m-thick beds within the approximate to2.0 Ga (Palaeoproterozoic) Tulomozerskaya Formation, NW Fennoscandian Shield, Russia. Drillcore material together with natural exposures reveal that the 680-m-thick formation is composed of a stromatolite-dolomite-'red bed' sequence formed in a complex combination of shallow-marine and non-marine, evaporitic environments. Dolomite-collapse breccia, stromatolitic and micritic dolostones and sparry allochemical dolostones are the principal rocks hosting the magnesite beds. All dolomite lithologies are marked by delta C-13 values from +7.1 parts per thousand to +11.6 parts per thousand (V-PDB) and delta O-18 ranging from 17.4 parts per thousand to 26.3 parts per thousand (V-SMOW). Magnesite occurs in different forms: finely laminated micritic; stromatolitic magnesite; and structureless micritic, crystalline and coarsely crystalline magnesite. All varieties exhibit anomalously high delta C-13 values ranging from +9.0 parts per thousand to +11.6 parts per thousand and delta O-18 values of 20.0-25.7 parts per thousand. Laminated and structureless micritic magnesite forms as a secondary phase replacing dolomite during early diagenesis, and replaced dolomite before the major phase of burial. Crystalline and coarsely crystalline magnesite replacing micritic magnesite formed late in the diagenetic/metamorphic history. Magnesite apparently precipitated from sea water-derived brine, diluted by meteoric fluids. Magnesitization was accomplished under evaporitic conditions (sabkha to playa lake environment) proposed to be similar to the Coorong or Lake Walyungup coastal playa magnesite. Magnesite and host dolostones formed in evaporative and partly restricted environments; consequently, extremely high delta C-13 values reflect a combined contribution from both global and local carbon reservoirs. A C- 13-rich global carbon reservoir (delta C-13 at around +5 parts per thousand) is related to the perturbation of the carbon cycle at 2.0 Ga, whereas the local enhancement in C-13 (up to +12 parts per thousand) is associated with evaporative and restricted environments with high bioproductivity.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fallick, Professor Anthony
Authors: Melezhik, V.A., Fallick, A.E., Medvedev, P.V., and Makarikhin, V.V.
Subjects:Q Science > QE Geology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Sedimentology
Publisher:Blackwell Publishing
Copyright Holders:© Blackwell Publishing
First Published:First published in Sedimentology 48(2):379-397
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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