Abstract

Trace element study of Lower Paleozoic carbonate formations on Somerset and Prince of Wales Islands (Arctic Canada) suggests the following interpretation: (1) Na contents of the formations studied reflect the paleosalinities of their depositional and (or) early diagenetic environments; (2) K is not suitable as a paleosalinity indicator; (3) the post-Allen Bay limestones studied were probably originally (bio)chemical aragonitic muds associated with environments having hypersaline tendencies; (4) Sr distribution of penecontemporaneous – early diagenetic dolostones (Cape Storm, Somerset Island, Peel Sound Formations) suggests that they are replacements of aragonitic muds, frequently in hypersaline settings; (5) the late diagenetic dolostones (Lang River and Allen Bay Formations) are probably hyposaline replacements of CaCO3 precursors deficient in high-Sr aragonite; aragonite may have undergone diagenetic transformation into calcite prior to dolomitization.

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