Concepts and Models of Dolomitization—An Introduction
The problem of the origin of dolomite was initially addressed in 1791, when the French naturalist Déodat de Dolomieu first described dolomite rock. As sedimentary geologists are well aware, the literature on dolomite and dolomitization has become voluminous. The interest in dolomite derives not only from natural scientific curiosity, but also from the fact that many extensive sheet-like or other bodies of dolomite have proved to be of considerable economic importance as hydrocarbon reservoirs or hosts for ore deposits. This volume demonstrates the existence of a considerable range of opinion regarding the mechanism(s) of dolomitization. However, the diversity of dolomite occurrences described here must be considered to be the product of real differences between distinct dolomite types. Clearly, because of the variety of dolomite types that exist in nature, a single process of dolomitization does not exist and there is no one unique model to explain all dolomite.
Several reviews of dolomite and dolomitization have been published in English in this century including works by Steidtmann (1911), Van Tuyl (1916), Fairbridge (1957), Ingerson (1962), Sonnenfeld (1964), Friedman and Sanders (1967), and Zenger (1972b). The latter two works discuss the several Holocene occurrences of marine marginal mostly supratidal, penecontemporaneous dolomite that had been discovered in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s in such areas as the Coorong of South Australia (Alderman and Skinner, 1957; von der Borch and others, 1964), the Bahamas (Shinn and others 1965), and Florida Keys (Shinn and Ginsburg, 1964), the Persian Gulf (Curtis and others, 1963; Illing