Abstract

At sites 390 and 392 (Deep Sea Drilling Project, Leg 44) on the Blake nose, thoroughly lithified Lower Cretaceous limestone more than 250 m thick is abruptly overlain by a condensed sequence of Barremian to Eocene pelagic carbonate ooze. The Lower Cretaceous sediments consist of three units: limestone with moldic porosity (base), oolitic limestone, and fenestral limestone. Subaerial diagenesis of the limestone section is recorded by (1) caverns with vertical dimensions of up to 10 m, (2) stalactitic intergranular cement, and (3) meniscus sediment (or cement). Compatible with these subaerial features are mud cracks, fenestral fabrics, intraclasts, and cryptalgal structures.

Inasmuch as these shallow-water and tidal-flat deposits are now beneath 2,607 m of sea water (plus 99 m of younger sediments), they serve to dramatize the apparent degree of Barremian and later subsidence of this part of the Atlantic outer continental shelf.

Porosity and permeability are high in vuggy samples, which are common in the skelmoldic limestone. Cementation has destroyed most of the extensive primary porosity of the two younger units.

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