Abstract

Stromatactis, long familiar as reticulate masses of sparry calcite in Paleozoic mud mounds and more recently identified as a system of cement-filled cavities, has been studied in limestones of Ordovician age in Sweden, of Devonian age in Australia, and of Carboniferous age in England. The origin of the cavity system has been uncertain. However, many features suggest a linking of its origin to cementation of a succession of submarine crusts and the development of cavities in the intercalated, less-cemented carbonate muds. Examination of the morphology of the sediment layers between the masses of spar reveals a similarity with thin brittle sheets or crusts alternating with incoherent mud—a situation perhaps not unlike that seen today on lithoherms in the Straits of Florida.

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