Authigenic quartz and albite in Devonian limestones: origin and significance

Authors

  • N. MOLENAAR,

    1. Comparative Sedimentology Division Institute of Earth Sciences, State University of Utrecht, Budapestlaan 4, Postbox 80.021, 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
  • A. F. M. de JONG

    1. Department of Geochemistry, Institute of Earth Sciences, State University of Utrecht, Budapestlaan 4, Postbox 80.021, 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author

ABSTRACT

Euhedral quartz and albite crystals are common in Devonian (Givetian-Frasnian) shallow-marine shelf carbonates from the Belgian Ardennes. Several features such as morphology, the presence of carbonate inclusions, inversion temperatures and occurrence in the insoluble residues of stylolitic surfaces indicate that these crystals have developed authigenically. Oxygen isotope ratios point to an intermediate deep burial realm of origin at temperatures of 60–90°C. The predominance of illite and the almost total absence of smectite clay minerals is interpreted as an indication that illitization produced the silica needed for authigenesis. The mineral composition of inclusions indicates that the carbonate host rock must have consisted of low-Mg calcite already at the time of authigenesis. These inclusions represent an earlier diagenetic stage than the present carbonate rock, since they were protected from further diagenetic alteration by the surrounding quartz. The calcite inclusions display a higher Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca ratio than the carbonate host-rock. Because neomorphic diagenesis of the carbonate continued after silicate authigenesis, the contents of Mg and Sr in the calcite of the host carbonate are even lower. The authigenic feldspar mineralogy seems to be determined by the composition of the host-sediment.

Ancillary