Journal of Earth Science

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 315–332 | Cite as

Fluid inclusion and geochemistry studies of calcite veins in Shizhu synclinorium, central China: Record of origin of fluids and diagenetic conditions

  • Xiao Wang
  • Jian Gao
  • Sheng He
  • Zhiliang He
  • Yan Zhou
  • Ze Tao
  • Jiankun Zhang
  • Yi Wang
Sedimentology and Basin Dynamics


Calcite veins in carbonate fracture have been investigated by petrographic, fluid inclusion, geochemical analyses and coupled with basin modeling techniques to provide useful insights into fluid activity and deformation conditions of the Cambrian to Triassic Shizhu synclinorium from the western region of Mid-Yangtze, central China. The results of the fluid inclusion microthermometry show a wide range of homogenization temperatures (78.6-215.5 °C) and salinities (0.18-23.11 wt.% NaCl equivalent), indicating the formation under diverse fluid conditions. All the calcite veins have negative Ce anomalies, which are the typical characteristic of marine carbonate sediments; it is therefore plausible that calcite veins were precipitated from the marine basin fluid. The stable carbon iso-topic compositions of calcites (δ 13CV-PDB=-2.5‰-4.26‰) and host limestones (δ 13CV-PDB=-3.56‰-5.80‰) are very similar with a correlation coefficient of 0.86, however, four calcites from the Lower Permian and Lower Triassic show lower δ 13C values relative to the host limestones, and they are depleted in total REE concentrations (ΣREE ratio varies from 0.74 to 2.06), suggesting the derivation of dissolved carbon from marine carbonates hosting the calcite veins and, less commonly, from the degradation of organic matter. Calculated δ 18O of the fluids-precipitating calcites (δ 18OV-SMOW=-0.41‰-14.42‰), 87Sr/86Sr ratios varying in the range of coeval seawater and the distinct REE pattern simultaneously suggest calcite-forming fluids in each stratigraphic unit could have formed from the involvement of fluids that originated from coeval seawater and evolved through different degrees of water rock interaction. However, the presence of more radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr ratios than coeval seawater and pronounced positive Eu anomalies in calcites of Lower to Middle Ordovician rocks indicate that terrestrial input from upper strata mudstone and siliciclastic rocks could be involved in the precipitation of the Ordovician calcite. Fluid-inclusion data combined with burial and thermal history modeling indicate there was large-scale flow of evolved basinal fluids through the carbonate formation fractures spanning a time frame from 135 to 50 Ma (Early Cretaceous-Eocene). Therefore, the geochemical characteristics of calcite veins can provide the basis for deformation events in Late Yanshanian and Early Himalayan orogeny.

Key Words

Mid-Yangtze marine carbonate fluid flow calcite veins fluid inclusions geochemistry 


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This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41672139), and also supported by Grant (No. 2017ZX05005-001-008) from the National Key Scientific Special Project of China. Additional supports were provided by the Programme of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities (No. B14031). The final publication is available at Springer via

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Copyright information

© China University of Geosciences and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiao Wang
    • 1
  • Jian Gao
    • 1
  • Sheng He
    • 1
  • Zhiliang He
    • 2
  • Yan Zhou
    • 2
  • Ze Tao
    • 3
  • Jiankun Zhang
    • 4
  • Yi Wang
    • 5
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Tectonics and Petroleum Resources of Ministry of EducationChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and ProductionSINOPECBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of Earth and Ocean SciencesCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  4. 4.Research Institute of Exploration and DevelopmentPetroChina Jidong Oilfield CompanyTangshanChina
  5. 5.Research Institute of Geological Survey in Hubei ProvinceWuhanChina

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