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Dolomite

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Dolomite

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  1. Dolomite

  2. Introduction • Dolomite mineral • CaMgCO3 • Dolomite used for mineral & rock • use dolomite (mineral) dolostone (rock)

  3. Dolomite Precipitation • Precipitation requires elevated Mg/Ca ratio • Problem: How get elevated ratios Precipitation:    Ca2+ (aq) + Mg2+ (aq) +2CO32- (aq) = CaMg(CO3)2 (solid)Dolomitization:  2CaCO3 (solid) + Mg2+ (aq) = CaMg(CO3)2 (solid) + Ca2+ (aq)

  4. Most dolomite diagenetic www.ask.com/wiki/Unconformity • Early/late diagenetic replacement • May cut across depositional units • May be associated with unconformities • May destroy textural features • May occur as randomly distributed rhombs • Some dolomite precipitated from water 500-million-year-old dolomite nonconformably overlies 1.5-billion-year-old rhyolite.

  5. Paleozoic Dolomite, UK

  6. Typical dolomite outcrop

  7. Stromatolites in dolomite Precambrian stromatolites South Africa Modern stromatolite mats, Brazil vsites.unb.br/ig/sigep/sitio041/fig2.jpg

  8. Classification • A. According to carbonate content • 1. limestone = 0-10% dolomite • 2. dolomitic limestone = 10-50% • 3. calcitic limestone = 50-90% • 4. dolomite = 90-100% • B. According to grain size • 1. dolorudite, dolarenite, dolosparite, dolomicrite • C. Can use Folk or Dunham modifiers: • 1. e.g. dolomitic biosparite or dolobiosparite

  9. Dolomite increases back through time • Possibilities: • Change in seawater chemistry • More dolomite forming environments in past • Diagenetic replacement of older limestones

  10. Dolomite forming environments • Bahamas, Arabian Gulf, Bonaire Island, and Florida • 1. hard crust on surface--supratidal to 1m depth • 2. dolomitized pellets, gastropods = early replacement • 3. In Arabian Gulf & Bonaire evaporites associated with dolomitic seds • 4. All above cases Mg/Ca ratio 3-4x seawater

  11. Dolomite forming environments • B. San Andreas Island, Colombia • 1. Pleistocene l.s. dolomitized by downward moving brines • 2.brines formed through evaporation- supratidal zone

  12. Dolomite forming environments • C. Coorong, S. Australia • 1. dolomite forms in coastal lagoons & lakes • 2. no evaporation associated • 3. groundwater modified through evaporation, enters lakes

  13. Controversial Origin of Dolomite • Seepage-reflux model • Covers San Andreas Island • Flooding and capillary movement of seawater • Evaporation = pore waters w/high Mg/Ca ratio • Pore waters move downward causing dolomitization • Problem--this type of dolomitization not demonstrated on geologic scale

  14. Controversial Origin of Dolomite • Evaporative pumping • Covers Arabian coast • Seawater moves laterally from lagoon to supratidal seds • Process driven by evaporation in sabkhas • Evaporation results in high Mg/Ca ratios; get dolomitization • Widespread dolomitization possible during regressions

  15. Seepage-reflux & Evaporative pumping models • imply dolomitization = supratidal process • some dolomites not supratidal

  16. Alternative Models • groundwater/seawater mixing--Andros IS • Seawater supersaturated w.r.t. to dolomite • Easier to precipitate aragonite and calcite • Hghly ordered dolomite structure difficult to produce • Mix meteoric water with seawater • produce undersaturation w.r.t. calcite but increased saturation of dolomite • Then contact with freshwater • Freshwater mixing with seawater in buried seds also possible • Problem: slow rate of dolomite precip=no large scale dolomite formation

  17. Alternative Models • Precipitation of scattered dolomite • Mg leaching from high Mg calcite or from clays

  18. Dedolomitization • Calcite replaced by dolomite • Rhomb occupied by calcite • Or calcite replaces edges http://www.lib.utexas.edu/geo/balcones_escarpment/pages101-114.htm The centers of dolomite rhombs have been leached and later refilled with single crystals of calcite. Some of the rhombs in this photograph are still hollow.

  19. Paleozoic Dolomite, UK