Comparison between Subtropical and Temperate Carbonate Elemental Composition: Examples from the Great Barrier Reef, Shark Bay, Tasmania (Australia) and the Persian Gulf (United Arab Emirates)

  1. G. F. Camoin3 and
  2. P. J. Davies4
  1. C. P. Rao1,
  2. Z. Z. Amini1 and
  3. J. Ferguson2

Published Online: 27 MAY 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304879.ch17

Reefs and Carbonate Platforms in the Pacific and Indian Oceans

Reefs and Carbonate Platforms in the Pacific and Indian Oceans

How to Cite

Rao, C. P., Amini, Z. Z. and Ferguson, J. (1998) Comparison between Subtropical and Temperate Carbonate Elemental Composition: Examples from the Great Barrier Reef, Shark Bay, Tasmania (Australia) and the Persian Gulf (United Arab Emirates), in Reefs and Carbonate Platforms in the Pacific and Indian Oceans (eds G. F. Camoin and P. J. Davies), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304879.ch17

Editor Information

  1. 3

    CEREGE, Aix-en-Provence, France

  2. 4

    University of Sydney, Australia

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Geology, University of Tasmania, GPO Box 252C, Hobart, Tas. 7001, Australia

  2. 2

    Australian Geological Survey Organisation, GPO Box 378, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 MAY 2009
  2. Published Print: 23 MAR 1998

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632047789

Online ISBN: 9781444304879

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Keywords:

  • subtropical and temperate carbonate elemental composition - Great Barrier Reef, Shark Bay, Tasmania (Australia);
  • biochemical fractionation and rate of precipitation;
  • Great Barrier Reef - largest modern reef province in the world;
  • subtropical bulk carbonates from Great Barrier Reef, Shark Bay and Persian Gulf;
  • Percentile distribution of Fe in bulk carbonates - from tropical Great Barrier Reef (GBR);
  • subtropical to temperate carbonate variation - carbonate mineralogy, seawater temperatures, seawater composition;
  • carbonate mineralogy - major controls on Mg, Sr, Na, Mn and Fe values in modern carbonates

Summary

The Persian Gulf (United Arab Emirates) is renowned for subtropical carbonates. Extensive subtropical (Great Barrier Reef and Shark Bay) to temperate (Tasmania) carbonates are also forming in shallow seas around Australia. These carbonates differ in the types and proportions of skeletal to non-skeletal grains and cements, and are forming in normal to hypersaline shallow-marine environments.

The elemental composition of subtropical carbonates differs from that of their temperate counter-parts mainly because of differences in seawater temperature, carbonate mineralogy, salinity, rate of precipitation and the proportion of skeletal to non-skeletal grain composition. Differences in the Mg concentrations of the bulk carbonates result from variations in the temperature of sea water and carbonate mineralogy. Sr concentrations are higher in subtropical carbonates relative to temperate ones because of a higher proportion of aragonite in the tropical carbonate and calcite mineralogy. Na values increase with increases in salinity and rate of precipitation. Under reducing conditions appreciably higher Mn and Fe concentrations enter the calcite lattice compared with aragonite.

The results from this study demonstrate that modern subtropical carbonate elemental composition differs distinctly from that of temperate carbonates. Thus, these differences can be used in the recognition of the ancient spectrum of subtropical to temperate carbonates based on the relative concentrations of elements and their ratios.