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Book Chapter

Early Diagenesis and Lithification of Shallow-Water Carbonate Sediments in South Florida

By
Robert N. Ginsburg
Robert N. Ginsburg
University of Miami
,
The Marine Laboratory, Coral Gables, Florida
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Published:
January 01, 1957

Abstract

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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Contents

SEPM Special Publication

Regional Aspects of Carbonate Deposition

Rufus J. Le Blanc
Rufus J. Le Blanc
Shell Oil Company
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Julia G. Breeding
Julia G. Breeding
Shell Development Company
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
5
ISBN electronic:
9781565762060
Publication date:
January 01, 1957

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