Dolomite–magnesite formation and polymetallic mineralization in a rift-sag basin on the western margin of the Red Sea: Paleoenvironmental, hydrothermal, and tectonic implications

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Afify, A.M. and Sanz Montero, M. Esther and González Acebrón, Laura (2022) Dolomite–magnesite formation and polymetallic mineralization in a rift-sag basin on the western margin of the Red Sea: Paleoenvironmental, hydrothermal, and tectonic implications. Journal of sedimentary research, 92 (2). pp. 144-165. ISSN 1527-1404

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.2110/jsr.2021.100



Abstract

The present study gives new insight on the formation conditions of dolomite and magnesite in an early–middle Miocene succession related to a half-graben rift-sag basin on the western margin of the Red Sea. The studied Miocene succession comprises two units of siliciclastic–carbonate rocks separated by a magnesite bed. The succession is enriched with epigenetic–supergenetic polymetallic minerals, dominated by zinc-bearing ferromanganese oxides. These represent oxidized Mississippi Valley-type deposits (MVT) formed during uplifting in late Miocene–Pliocene time. Multistage dolomitization (four dolomite types: D1–D4) and magnesite authigenesis, enhanced by tectonic uplifting and faulting related to the Red Sea rifting, have been recorded. The first dolomite phase (D1) is pervasive early diagenetic dolomicrite (replacement type), which is dominant in the lower unit. Magnesite occurs as microcrystalline aggregates exclusive to the lower unit, where its authigenesis was after D1 and before D2. Occurrence of magnesite was mostly related to a restricted environment in a sag fault-bounded basin with shallow evaporative hypersaline conditions in coastal areas. D2 dolomite occurs in the lower and upper units as replacement and/or cement type of medium- to coarse-crystalline dolomite crystals. The three magnesium-rich carbonates (D1, magnesite and D2) are related to successive events of sea-level fall and rise in mesohaline and hypersaline conditions. Enrichment of magnesite and D2 dolomite with Na (up to 2.16 wt.%) and Sr (up to 1483 ppm) supports their formation under more saline evaporative conditions if compared with D1 dolomite which was formed in near-normal sea water or mesohaline fluids. The third and fourth dolomite phases (D3 and D4) are late diagenetic pore-filling coarsely crystalline and zoned, and restricted mainly to faulted areas associated with the polymetallic ore deposits. Elemental analyses of the four dolomite phases show different chemistries, i.e., non-ferroan dolomites (D1 and D2), alternation of manganiferous and non-ferroan zones (D3) and/or ferroan-type dolomite (D4). Stable- isotope values of the four dolomite types (δ18OVPDB of –7.82‰ to –5.88‰) and geochemistry suggest involvement of shallow evaporative conditions in coastal areas, enhanced either by dry and hot climate or by hydrothermal process in their formation. Nonetheless, the localized occurrence of D3 and D4 types along the faults, their concomitant occurrence with the epigenetic–supergenetic polymetallic ore deposits, and the preservation of unaltered feldspar grains ruled out the meteoric-water interaction and reinforce the fault-controlled and deep-seated hot fluid evolution for these two dolomite types. The underlying ultramafic and serpentinite rocks along with the intercalated magnesium-rich clays and/or the modified seawater most probably played a critical role in the diagenesis and/or precipitation of dolomite and magnesite. The proposed model can contribute to better understanding the genetic mechanisms of magnesite and dolomite hosted by mixed siliciclastic–carbonate deposits and their relations with MVT mineralization conditions in rift basins.


Item Type:Article
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Mineralogy
ID Code:71511
Deposited On:28 Mar 2022 15:17
Last Modified:30 Mar 2022 08:07

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