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Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 7–14 | Cite as

Association of phosphorites, organic-rich shales, chert and carbonate rocks

  • Richard P. Sheldon
Article

Abstract

The single-basin association of sequences of marine phosphorite, organic-rich shale, chert, dolomite and biogenic limestone has been known for a number of well studied deposits for many years. It has long been known that organic matter, silica and phosphorus are supplied to shallow shelf areas by upwelling ocean currents. Recent marine sedimentologic research has shown that phosphorite and dolomite are formed by early diagenesis of organic matter and, in the case of dolomite, by early diagenesis of carbonate sediments.

A literature survey of 135 world-wide phosphatic sequences from Lower Proterozoic to Quaternary age shows that the association of organicrich sediment, phosphorite, chert and carbonate has been constant over time, but that the type of carbonate rock has shown a temporal variation. Dolomite is the only significant carbonate in Proterozoic and Cambrian sequences, whereas both limestone and dolomite occur in younger sequences. Some of the organic-rich phosphatic sediments are oil shales or petroleum source rocks. It can be concluded that a significant percentage of world petroleum resources were derived from such source rocks.

These phosphatic sequences tend to be cyclic in nature and, in some instances, the regressive sediments include restricted basin evaporites, carbonates and shales. However, these sediments have not been counted in the upwelling marine associations.

Keywords

Shale Dolomite Ordovician Chert Black Shale 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard P. Sheldon
    • 1
  1. 1.Washington, D.C.

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