Abstract

An exceptionally wide variety of carbonate fades, dominated by high-magnesian calcite, occurs along the littoral and shallow sublittoral zones (<50 m) of Lake Tanganyika in central Africa. These facies include exposed and submerged, calcite-cemented ridges of nearshore terrigenous sand, ooid sand shoals, and lithified oolite ridges, Chara meadows of bioturbated calcareous silts, gastropod shell blankets and related coquinas, and extensive thrombolitic microbial reefs.

Though texturally and compositionally similar to many modern and ancient shallow-water marine facies, these deposits record carbonate deposition and cementation in a large, tropical, deep-water lake of tectonic origin. Lithofacies along Lake Tanganyika represent the broadest spectrum of carbonate deposits yet reported from any modern lake and serve as important analogues for lacustrine carbonate sequences in the stratigraphic record.

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