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Diagenetic gypsum related to sulfur deposits in evaporites (Libros Gypsum, Miocene, NE Spain)

AutorOrtí, F.; Rosell, L.; Anadón, Pere
Palabras claveNE Spain
Diagenetic gypsum
Native sulfur
Fecha de publicación2010
CitaciónSedimentary Geology 228: 304- 318 (2010)
ResumenThe Libros Gypsum is the thickest evaporite unit of the Miocene infill of the Teruel Basin in NE Spain. During the deposition of this unit, intense bacterial sulfate-reducing (BSR) activity in the lake depocenter generated a native sulfur deposit. Diagenetic gypsum resulted from subsequent sulfur oxidation. The different processes involved in these transformations were first investigated by Anadón et al. (1992). The present paper is concerned with this diagenetic gypsum from the stratigraphic, petrographic, isotopic and genetic points of view.Diagenetic gypsum occurs mainly as continuous or discontinuous layers, individual levels or lenses, irregular masses, nodules and micronodules, and veins. Its main textures are coarse-crystalline anhedral and fine-grained (alabastrine), both of which can replace any former lithology (carbonate, gypsum, and sulfur). The following sequence of processes and mineral/textural transformations is deduced: primary gypsum deposition - BSR and biodiagenetic carbonate/H2S production - growth of native sulfur - growth of diagenetic gypsum - partial recrystallization of the diagenetic gypsum textures. The gypsification of the native sulfur generated two types of banded structures in the diagenetic gypsum: (1) concentric structures of centripetal growth, and (2) expansive, roughly concentric structures. In the first type, the gypsification operated from the outer boundaries towards the inner parts. In the second type, part of the carbonate hosting the sulfur was also gypsified (replaced/cemented).In the diagenetic gypsum, the δ34S values are in agreement with a native sulfur and H2S provenance. The δ18Osulfate values, however, enable us to differentiate two main groups of values: one with positive values and the other with negative values. In the group of positive values, interstitial (evaporated) solutions participated in the sulfur oxidation; this process presumably occurred in a first oxidation stage during shallow-to-deeper burial of the Libros Gypsum unit. In the group of negative values, however, only meteoric waters participated in the oxidation, which presumably occurred in a second oxidation stage during the final exhumation of the unit. A third group of values is characterized by very high sulfur and oxygen values, suggesting that BSR residual solutions also participated in the oxidation processes locally. During the two oxidation stages, both the textural characteristics and the isotopic composition of the diagenetic gypsum indicate that gypsification operated as a multistadic process. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2010.05.005
issn: 0037-0738
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