Early Diagenesis and Lithification of Shallow-Water Carbonate Sediments in South Florida
Robert N. Ginsburg, 1957. "Early Diagenesis and Lithification of Shallow-Water Carbonate Sediments in South Florida ", Regional Aspects of Carbonate Deposition, Rufus J. Le Blanc, Julia G. Breeding
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Diagenesis and lithification include processes which convert sediment into rock. They are of special importance to the study of limestones because of the ease with which they modify texture, structure, and composition of carbonate sediments. The intense physical, chemical, and biological processes which operate during deposition and within the first few feet of burial comprise early diagenesis. Subsequent processes are of longer duration and less intensity, and often, as in silicification and dolomitization, they obscure previous sediment properties, both depositional and early diagenetic. In contrast, the early phase does not generally mask original sediment properties, and often its effects may be just as indicative of the sedimentary environment as depositional features.
Physico-chemical precipitation of calcium carbonate in the shallow tropical seas occurs under extreme conditions of temperature, salinity, and nucleation. It may also take place within submarine sediments, but apparently not as a lithifying cement. Petrographic comparison of lithification of the late Pleistocene Miami Oolite with that of the Mississippian Fredonia Oolite suggests that cementation occurred in both cases only after removal from the marine environment. Unlithified carbonate sediments found well below the surface on some Pacific atolls support this view.
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Regional Aspects of Carbonate Deposition
It was customary during many recent years for the Research Committee of the Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists (SEPM) to sponsor research symposia on special topics at the annual meetings. In addition to the regular Research Committee Symposium presented in 1954 at the St. Louis meeting, a special symposium was also held on Regional Aspects of Carbonate Deposition. This carbonate symposium was organized in response to a special request by H. N. Fisk, who was president of SEPM at that time. During the symposium, special question cards were distributed to the audience and collected after each paper. These questions, together with questions and comments from the floor, formed the basis for the Panel Discussion which followed the symposium. The panel consisted of Moore, Ginsburg, Rodgers, and Walter Bucher, who presented the paper on the Bahamas in the absence of Newell. In addition, two authorities in the field of carbonate deposition, L. V. Illing and R. W. Fairbridge, were invited to join the panel and participate in the discussion.