Abstract

Mapping stable-isotope isolines in both modern and ancient evaporative carbonate formations demonstrates that regional variations of δ18O values exist. In the case of the Messinian Central Sicilian Basin, an ancient evaporite basin, the distribution pattern of the δ18O isolines can be related to the paleogeometry and paleohydrology of the basin. Isolines of equal δ13C values also show large regional variations possibly reflecting the domination of different bacterial processes (oxidation, sulfate reduction, or methanogenesis) in different regions. The potential application for stable-isotope mapping in evaporative carbonate formations deposited in both marine and lacustrine environments lies in its ability to predict the location of depositional centers in ancient evaporite basins.

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