Calcite cement derived intraformationally in seven stratigraphic units of marine origin (five submarinefan deposits and two shelf deposits) is distributed heterogeneously at the outcrop scale. Sandstone beds intercalated with calcareous shale older than Pliocene tend to be completely cemented, whereas stacked sandstone beds that lack shale interbeds have calcite cement in the form of tightly cemented concretions that make up only 10-30% of a bed. The abundance and distribution of concretions, with few exceptions, are irregular and unpredictable.
Concretion shapes include spheres (<1 m diameter), oblate and prolate spheroids (<1.5 m), tabular forms (to 8 m long), and irregular forms. Patterns of concretions within beds are remarkably varied and include both random and uniform spacing; preference for either the top, middle, or bottom of beds; preference for faults that cut bedding at a high angle; and localization around shale rip-up clasts. There is no preference of concretions for shell-rich layers. Some formations have cement patterns specific to that formation, whereas other formations have different patterns at different outcrops. Most formations have more than one cement pattern in an outcrop.
The lack of strong textural (grain size, graded bedding) or compositional controls on the localization of calcite cement suggests the preeminence of highly localized hydrologic factors in determining the spatial distribution of authigenic pore-filling calcite. Spherical concretions grew by diffusive supply of intraformationally derived components, whereas prolate and elongate concretions grew chiefly under the influence of advective supply. Faults apparently served as fluid conduits and were selectively cemented. In general, only sandstones intercalated with shale are totally cemented. This indicates that shales were a major source of cement components for these sandstones at least.