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Unravelling calcrete environmental controls in volcanic islands, Gran Canaria Island, Spain

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Alonso-Zarza, Ana María and Rodríguez Berriguete, Álvaro and Martín Pérez, Andrea and Martín García, Rebeca and Menéndez, Inmaculada and Mangas, José (2020) Unravelling calcrete environmental controls in volcanic islands, Gran Canaria Island, Spain. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 554 (109797). ISSN 0031-0182

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Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S003101822030242X



Abstract

Volcanic islands are unique contexts to analyze the controls on calcrete development in settings with varied relief, climate and vegetation, and lacking carbonate host rocks. This paper discusses the formation of Quaternary calcrete profiles in Gran Canaria volcanic Island, under direct influence of the SAL (Saharian Air Layer). Calcrete profiles are multi-storey and composed of prismatic, massive, laminar, pisolithic, ooid-bearing, sandy mudstones with rhizoliths and brecciated horizons. Host rocks include basalts, siliceous mudstones, volcanic sands and gravels and bioclastic-rich sands. Carbonate is mostly calcite but some dolomite occurs in massive horizons. The main microfabrics include laminated micrite, fine crystalline dolomite, desiccated micrite, micrite-clay groundmass, oriented Mg-rich clays, peloids, spherulites and coated grains. δ13C varies from −3.26 to −9.18‰ VPDB and δ18O from +0.86 to −3.24‰ VPDB. The 87Sr/86Sr ratios are between 0.707504 and 0.708860, indicating that calcium was mostly supplied from the CaCO3-rich aeolian dust coming from the Sahara Desert.

Calcrete profiles are mostly pedogenic with roots and microorganisms enabling carbonate precipitation within the soils. The correlation trend of δ13C and δ18O points to a climate control on precipitation, with the heavier isotope values in the horizons containing dolomite. Sedimentation rates interplayed with calcrete formation processes and erosion to outline the profiles/horizons. Amalgamated laminar horizons formed when the rate of calcrete formation was higher than sedimentation and erosion, whereas areas or periods with relatively higher sedimentation allowed the separation of calcrete horizons.

The direction of the winds supplying aeolian dust, and the varied relief, vegetation and climate favored better development of calcretes in the relatively arid and lowland areas of the eastern side of the island. Our study shows that calcretes contain the record of the paleoenvironmental controls that operated in volcanic islands with no previous carbonate substrates.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Pedogenic, Aeolian dust, Isotopes, Ooids, Roots, Laminar horizons
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Soil science
Sciences > Geology > Geochemistry
Sciences > Geology > Petrology
ID Code:61004
Deposited On:18 Jun 2020 11:17
Last Modified:18 Jun 2020 12:35

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