Bioinduced precipitation of barite and celestite in dolomite microbialites Examples from Miocene lacustrine sequences in the Madrid and Duero Basins, Spain



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Sanz Montero, M. Esther and Rodríguez Aranda, Juan Pablo and García del Cura, M. Ángeles (2009) Bioinduced precipitation of barite and celestite in dolomite microbialites Examples from Miocene lacustrine sequences in the Madrid and Duero Basins, Spain. Sedimentary geology, 222 . pp. 138-148. ISSN 0037-0738

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This paper provides an ancient analogue for biologically mediated celestite and barite formation in dolomite precipitating microbial mats developed in lacustrine environments during the Miocene. Barite and celestite occurrences were studied in three temporally and spatially separated sedimentary successions: S1 and S2 in the Madrid Basin and S3 in the Duero Basin. In S1, macrocrystalline selenite gypsum occurs as laterally continuous beds; in the two other successions (S2 and S3), calcite pseudomorphs of lenticular gypsum aggregates are hosted in dolomite beds as evidence for the former presence of this evaporite. In S1, only celestite is associated with dolomite. Celestite crystals occur as both intergrown clusters, concentrated in pockets likely created by the dissolution of intrasedimentary anhydrite precursors, and as single precipitates associated with dolomite masses that replace selenite gypsum. Celestite crystals are nucleated commonly on organic substances that are pervasively associated with them. In S2 and S3, scarce single celestite crystals are restricted to calcite pseudomorphs after gypsum, whereas barite is the sulphate precipitated in the pseudomorphs' surroundings. Barite is commonly present as patchy poikilotopic crystals which include microbial structures and is embedded in organic matter. Additionally, barite is found as a secondary precipitate within Ba-bearing feldspars. Feldspar weathering is, thus, envisaged as amajor source of barium at these sites. Petrographical, isotopic and compositional observations point out that the barite and celestite formation was not caused by abiological processes only. Rather, the patchy distribution of the sulphates, close links to organic matter with biogenic isotope signatures, and inclusion of microbial structures, such as biologically mediated dolomite, provides evidence for the involvement of microbes in the formation of the sulphates. The coprecipitation of barite and celestite with dolomite entails complex interactions between different microorganisms and reinforces the biological formation of dolomite in saline lakes.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Microbialites; Biomarkers; Sulphates; Lake deposits; Tertiary
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Petrology
ID Code:58521
Deposited On:14 Jan 2020 11:47
Last Modified:14 Jan 2020 12:02

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