Petrographic and geochemical analysis of caliche profiles in a Bahamian Pleistocene dune
Article first published online: 14 JUN 2006
Volume 34, Issue 6, pages 991–998, December 1987
How to Cite
BEIER, J. A. (1987), Petrographic and geochemical analysis of caliche profiles in a Bahamian Pleistocene dune. Sedimentology, 34: 991–998. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3091.1987.tb00588.x
- Issue published online: 14 JUN 2006
- Article first published online: 14 JUN 2006
- received 10 October 1986 revision 23 March 1987
Two caliche profiles from a Pleistocene carbonate dune on San Salvador Island, Bahamas, were examined by petrographic and geochemical analysis. Profile A is an immature buried caliche profile characterized by caliche pisolites, a friable crust and abundant Cerion. Profile B is a more well-developed caliche profile at the top of the dune which contains abundant pisolites, rhizomorphs, laminated calcrete, a breccia and abundant Cerion.
Geochemical changes in caliche profiles relative to the host rock are an increase in Al2O3, Fe2O3 and total organic carbon, a decrease in Mg and Sr, and a decrease in δ13Ccarb, δ18Ocarb and δ13Corg. The magnitude of these changes is probably a function of the duration of subaerial exposure and resultant colonization by dune plants and associated microflora.
Abundance of calcified filaments and needle-fibre crystals in profile A attests to the importance of microbial processes in the early development of caliche profiles. Biogenic structures are largely destroyed in profile B due to recrystallization, but indirect evidence of biological activity is retained in the form of carbon isotope values.