Calcite cements in the Silurian (Ludlovian) Pipe Creek Jr. Reef, north-central Indiana, are compositionally zoned with characteristic minor-element concentrations and stable-isotope signatures, and were precipitated in different diagenetic environments. Superposition and crosscutting relationships allow us to group cement zones and to relate them to the sequence stratigraphic evolution of the reef.
Pipe Creek Jr. Reef grew in normal marine waters, with the reef top high (greater than 50 m) above the platform floor. Flank facies are volumetrically important and are preserved largely as limestone, in contrast to most dolomitized Silurian reefs in the midcontinent. Syndepositional marine cements fill primary porosity and synsedimentary fractures and are interlayered with marine internal sediment. Now low-magnesium calcite, their isotopic compositions are similar to those of depositional grains and cements estimated to have precipitated from Ludlovian sea waters. Depositional porosity was reduced by 75% by the precipitation of these syndepositional cements, which stabilized the steeply dipping flank slope.
Postdepositional, clear calcite cements are interpreted as shallow-phreatic and burial cements on the basis of their relationship to periods of karstification and fracturing. Shallow-phreatic cements, with concentric cathodoluminescent (CL) zonation, precipitated in primary pores and are postdated by fractures and caves filled with Middle Devonian sandstone. CL zonal boundaries are sharp, and some, near a major stratigraphic unconformity, show evidence of dissolution. The volumetric abundance of the individual CL zones varies in the reef, indicating a complex superposition of waters of varying chemistry and rock-water interaction that are probably related to relative sea-level changes. This important aspect of the reef stratigraphy is recorded only by the diagenetic succession, because evidence of earlier sea-level changes is removed by a major later regional unconformity.
Burial cements are the youngest diagenetic feature recognized, and they rest conformably or unconformably over older cements. They exhibit both concentric CL zonation and sectoral zoning, they are ferroan to nonferroan, and they contain thin sulfide zones along growth-band boundaries. Their isotopic compositions do not overlap with shallow-phreatic or marine cement values. Degraded oil postdates burial cements, and is composed of the same sterane class as the Devonian-age Antrim Shale, the probable source rock. This source contrasts with that of reef reservoirs in the Michigan Basin, where Silurian strata are commonly the hydrocarbon source.