Carbonate Depositional Environments
For more than 100 years geologists have been ex amining and describing modern sediments with an eye toward using characteristic features to aid in the interpretation of depositional settings of ancient strata. This field of interest developed particularly during the 1950s and 1960s with the creation of detailed models for modern carbonate deposition in Florida, the Bahamas, Cuba, the Persian Gulf, Belize, Pacific atolls, the Great Barrier Reef and other areas. An understanding of the depositional environments of these modern models, coupled with increased understanding of diagenetic effects, has led to vastly improved interpretations of ancient limestones. Such models also improved the “predictability” of many carbonate reservoir rocks.
In spite of the great strides made in our knowledge about carbonate depositional environments, their characteristic features have never been synthesized in a single work. Although excellent textbooks exist which describe some aspects of the interpretation of both ancient strata and modern sediments, systematic treatment of the entire subject is available only in the primary literature.
This book is an attempt to bring together this widely disseminated literature. The volume is specifically designed for use by the non—specialist-the petroleum geologist or field geologist—who needs to use carbonate depositional environments in facies reconstructions and environmental interpretations. Yet it is hoped that the book will also serve as a valuable reference for the specialist or advanced graduate student.
Toward that purpose, the book is extensively illustrated with color diagrams and photographs of sedimentary structures and facies assemblages. The text focuses on the recognition of depositional environments rather than on the hydrodynamic mechanisms of sediment movement.
Travertines are accumulations of calcium carbonate in springs (karstic, hydrothermal), small rivers, and swamps, formed mainly by incrustation (cement precipitation and/or biochemical precipitation).
The term travertine has a local origin from Tivertino, the old Roman name of Tivoli in Italy where travertine forms an extensive deposit. It has already been used by Lyell, 1863; Cohn, 1864; Weed, 1889; and Howe, 1932.
These deposits have also been reported as tufa, calc tufa, calcareous tufa, plant-tufa, carbonate concretions, petrified moss, Vaucheria tufa, Chironorriid tufa, spring-sinter, calcic-sinter, sinter crust, and others, and by local names. The term tufa refers to highly porous,...