Journal of Earth Science

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 305–314 | Cite as

Dolomitization by penesaline sea water in Early Cambrian Longwangmiao Formation, central Sichuan Basin, China

  • Xuefei Yang
  • Hao Tang
  • Xingzhi Wang
  • Yaping Wang
  • Yueming Yang
Sedimentology and Basin Dynamics


The Lower Cambrian Longwangmiao Formation shoal dolostone reservoir in Sichuan Basin is currently an exploration and research highlight in China. Reservoir rocks mainly consist of crystalline dolomite with residual grain texture, and dolarenite of which the arene is mainly composed of muddy to micritic dolomite with some crystalline grain directionally aligned. The trace element indicates that the dolomites of Longwangmiao Formation may be related to the high salinity of sea water. The oxygen isotope values of crystalline dolomite and dolarenite are both similar to that of the Early Cambrian marine dolomites, and the carbon isotope values of every kind of dolomites are completely overlapped with that of the seawater in Early Cambrian, indicating the dolomitization fluid is originated from the Early Cambrian sea water. The restricted marine biological communities and a small amount of gypsum pseudonodule seen in muddy to micritic dolomite indicate that the sea water in Early Cambrian was restricted and evaporated. However, the general lack of massive evaporite mineral and gypsum karst breccia indicates that the salinity of sea water during dolomitization was lower than the value of gypsum's precipitation. The Longwangmiao Formation consists of several high-frequency sedimentary cycles, indicating frequent sea level changes. This study indicates that massive dolomitiza-tion may also occur in underwater palaeohigh in carbonate platform through the reflux of penesaline sea water driven by a combination of high- and low-frequency sea-level changes. This kind of dolomiti-zation can explain the generation of massive dolomites in the absence of evaporite precipitation, and further indicates that replacement dolomites can be produced by sea water with a wide range of salinity (normal, penesaline to hypersaline).

Key Words

penesaline sea water dolomitization Early Cambrian Longwangmiao Formation central Sichuan Basin 


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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41602166). This manuscript has been greatly improved from the comments by JES Editor Yao Ge and reviewer Li Zhaoqi. I would like to express my gratitude to the Sichuan Leading Academic Discipline Project for sponsoring the subject, to Mr. Wu Jianping for his assistance in the making of slices, and Xie Lin and Zeng Wei for their assistance in the identification of slices, and He Yun for his assistance in the analysis of trace elements from the state key laboratory of oil and gas reservoir geology and development engineering of Southwest Petroleum University, in addition, to Dr. Bai Xiaoliang for his constructive suggestion in the process of discussion.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

  • Xuefei Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hao Tang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xingzhi Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yaping Wang
    • 2
  • Yueming Yang
    • 3
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and ExploitationSouthwest Petroleum UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.School of Geoscience and TechnologySouthwest Petroleum UniversityChengduChina
  3. 3.Research Institute of Exploration and DevelopmentSouthwest Oil and Gas Field Company, PetroChinaChengduChina

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