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The cyclic distribution of various types of carbonates and Mg-clays in early Cretaceous rift-sag phase lacustrine carbonates from the subsurface of the South Atlantic provides an insight into how evolving lake chemistries in highly alkaline settings control facies development. The typically subdecametre scale symmetrical and asymmetrical cyclothems exhibit three main components: mud-grade laminated carbonates, millimetre-diameter spherulites with evidence of having been in a matrix of Mg-silicates, and millimetre–centimetre calcitic shrub-like growths. The laminites contain conspicuous numbers of ostracods and vertebrate remains and were produced by short-lived pluvial events, causing expansion of shallow lakes. Later evaporation triggered Mg-silicate precipitation and...

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