SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

ABSTRACT

Relatively pure lacustrine carbonates referred to as marl are being deposited in Littlefield Lake, central Michigan, a hard-water lake with little terrigenous clastic influx. Thick accumulations of marl form both progradational marl benches along lake margins, and islands or lakemounts in the lake centre. Marl benches develop flat platforms up to 20 m wide in very shallow water and steeply inclined slopes, up to 30°, extending into deep water. The flat landward platform is frequently covered by algal pisoliths while the upper portion of the lakeward-sloping bottom is overgrown by Chara which in the summertime becomes thickly encrusted with low-magnesian calcite. Marl islands are flat-topped features that formed over relict highs on Pleistocene drift which underlies the lake basin. These are fringed by marl benches identical to those found along lake margins. Marl benches are composed of four units: two thin facies deposited on the shallow-water bench platform and two thicker faces deposited on the bench slope developed in moderate water depths. These in turn overlie a fifth facies deposited in deep water. A coarsening-upward sequence is developed in these sediments as a result of both mechanical sorting, and primary production of carbonate sand and gravel in shallow water. In addition to facies sequences and size grading, trends upsection of increasing carbonate content and decreasing insoluble content may serve to identify temperate-region lacustrine carbonate deposits in the rock record.