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Book Chapter

Primary Features in A Potash Evaporite Deposit, The Permian Salado Formation of West Texas and New Mexico

By
Tim Lowenstein
Tim Lowenstein
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
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Published:
January 01, 1982

Abstract

The late Permian Salado Formation is up to 700 m in thickness in New Mexico and Texas, and it contains a complex array of both primary (including syndepositional diagenetic) and secondary minerals, textures, and fabrics. Primary textures and fabrics have been identified for saline minerals such as gypsum (now pseudomorphed by anhydrite, poly-halite, halite, and sylvite as vertically oriented prisms, wave-rippled grains, mud-incorporative euhedra, and laminae made of small crystals) and halite (vertically oriented “chevrons” and “cornets,” equant hoppers, laterally linked “hopper rafts,” “cumulate” aggregates, and mud-incorporative cubes).

Vertical sequences are organized into cycles consisting of either 1) mud-free halite grading upward into muddy halite (30 cm to 6 m in thickness), or 2) mud, followed by laminated anhydrite-magnesite, grading into laminated anhydrite with primary gypsum textures and fabrics, followed by mud-free halite (with primary “cumulate” and syn-taxial bottom growth features), and ending with a muddy halite cap (1 to 11 m in thickness). Within a cycle, the primary chemical environment has evolved from relatively dilute waters initially producing alkaline earth carbonate to brines ultimately halite saturation. By comparison with modern evaporite environments, the primary sedimentary environment in a vertical sequence is a “shallowing upward” cycle beginning with a shallow perennial lagoon or lake at alkaline earth carbonate saturation, progressing to one saturated first with gypsum and then with halite, and ending finally as a dry salt pan and saline mudflat at halite saturation.

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Contents

SEPM Core Workshop Notes

Depositional and Diagenetic Spectra of Evaporites - A Core Workshop

C. Robertson Handford
C. Robertson Handford
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Robert G. Loucks
Robert G. Loucks
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Graham R. Davies
Graham R. Davies
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
3
ISBN electronic:
9781565762589
Publication date:
January 01, 1982

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