Abstract

Lithification, which commenced less than 3000 yrs BP is still active, and has formed a cavernous limestone containing megapolygons, tepees, and speleothems including pisoliths, floe aragonite, and aragonite pool deposits. The emerging waters evolved from low alkalinity waters of Pleistocene sand and clay coastal plain aquifers which passed through an underlying Tertiare marine carbonate aquifer, have high P CO2 , total carbonate, Ca, and sulfate concentrations. They are close to saturation with respect to aragonite, and their mMg (super 2+) /mCa (super 2+) ratios approach or exceed the critical aragonite precipitation value. Features which diagnose ancient examples of this process: primary aragonitic cements with high mSr (super 2+) /mCa (super 2+) values; nonmarine delta 34 S values in gypsum; two superimposed networks of surface polygons, one delineated by extensional boundaries, the other by tepees; high-water vadose-zone isopachous grain cements; interconnected, speleothem-lined cavities; and the presence of evaporites only in surface sediments. Possible ancient examples are recognized in West Texas, Lombardy, and the Atlas Mountains. The areal extent of each of these deposits suggests that the process may be a geologically important feature, and its products may be diagnostic of semi-arid or arid-zone paralic sedimentation.--Modified journal abstract.

You do not currently have access to this article.