Abstract

As part of a regional geochemical investigation of lower Paleozoic strata in the Hollandale embayment of southeastern Minnesota, elemental concentrations in acid-insoluble residues were determined for carbonate rock in the Middle Ordovician Galena Group. Elemental distribution patterns within the insoluble residues, particularly those of Ti, Al, and Zr, show that the Wisconsin dome and the Wisconsin arch, which contributed sediment to the embayment prior to Galena time, continued as weak sources of sediment during this period. In contrast, trace metals commonly associated with Mississippi Valley-type lead-zinc mineralization, including Pb, Zn, Cu, Ag, Ni, Co, As, and Mo, show dispersal patterns that are independent of those associated with primary depositional phenomena. These trace metals are concentrated in southern Minnesota in carbonate rocks near the interface between limestone- and dolostone-dominated strata. Dispersal patterns imply that the metals were carried by a north-flowing regional ground-water system. The results show that the geochemical attributes of insoluble residues can be used to distinguish provenance and transport directions of primary sediments within a depositional basin from effects of subsequent regional ground-water flow systems.

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