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Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 21–37 | Cite as

Geochemical and neomorphic alteration of dolomite: A review

  • S. J. Mazzullo
Article

Abstract

Many ancient dolomites are suspected of being alteration products of preexisting dolomite phases rather than being originally formed, unaltered dolomites. Such diagenetic alteration commonly results in changes in geochemistry and/or neomorphic changes in dolomite crystal sizes and textures. Hence, previous studies that have interpreted environments of initial dolomitization based on presumed preservation of diagnostic geochemical compositions and textures must be reevaluated because these parameters ar known to reequilibrate during later diagenesis. The principal driving forces for neomorphism are the inherent thermodynamic instability of preexisting, non-stoichiometric dolomites, and to an unknown extent, the surface free energy-driven recrystallization of fine crystalline mosaics to coarser crystalline textures. The four inter-related criteria that are used commonly as collective evidence of alternation of preexisting dolomites are: (1)) non-stoichiometric and poorly-ordered dolomites have an inherent tendency to transform to the more stoichiometric and better ordere phase typical of many ancient dolomites, a process that commonly is concurrent with (2) the neomorphic change from fine crystalline to coarse crystalline mosaics of either planar or nonplanar texture; (3) based on comparison to modern dolomites, depletion in18O isotopic composition and Sr and Na concentrations relative to ppresumed preexisting phases; and (4) homogenization of primary cathodoluminescent zonation that may have been present in the preexisting phase. Although certainly not unequivocal, the inference or recognition of such changes suggest the complexity of diagenetic modifications that have affected many ancient dolomites.

Keywords

Dolomitization Crystal Size Distribution Planar Texture Crystalline Dolomite Ancient Rock 
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 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. J. Mazzullo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeologyWichita State UniversityWichita

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