Calcitic, aragonitic and mixed calcitic-aragonitic ooids from the mid-Proterozoic Belt Supergroup, Montana



A great variety of ooid types occurs within the Siyeh and Snowslip Formations of the mid-Proterozoic Belt Supergroup, Montana. Cortical layers are inferred to have been composed either of calcite in a radial-concentric or radial-with-dark-rays fabric or, aragonite in a radial or concentric fabric. The calcitic cortical layers record their original fabrics but the originally aragonitic cortical layers have been replaced by calcite in a range of textures and by quartz and dolomite. Some formerly aragonitic cortical layers are replaced by calcite spar which contains relics of the original cortical structure. Others consist of calcite spar without inclusions, or columnar calcite which grew radially from the nucleus, commonly a calcitic ooid. Some ooids were wholly composed of calcite, others were of aragonite, but two phase ooids were common, mostly consisting of an inner calcitic part and an outer aragonitic part. Probable microdolomite inclusions suggest a high Mg content of the calcitic cortical layers. The depositional environment of these oolites was probably analogous to Baffin Bay, Texas, where a similar range of ooid types is forming today.