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Dolomitization of the Devonian Swan Hills Formation, Rosevear Field, Alberta, Canada
Version of Record online: 14 JUN 2006
Volume 38, Issue 1, pages 41–66, February 1991
How to Cite
KAUFMAN, J., HANSON, G. N. and MEYERS, W. J. (1991), Dolomitization of the Devonian Swan Hills Formation, Rosevear Field, Alberta, Canada. Sedimentology, 38: 41–66. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3091.1991.tb01854.x
- Issue online: 14 JUN 2006
- Version of Record online: 14 JUN 2006
- Manuscript received 27 February 1989; revision received 12 July 1990
The Swan Hills Formation (Middle-Upper Devonian) of the Western Canada Basin is host to several NW-SE-trending gas fields developed in massive replacement dolostone. One of these, the Rosevear Field, contains two major dolostone trends along opposing margins of a marine channel that penetrates into a platform-reef complex. Dolostones consist predominantly of branching and bulbous strdmatoporoid floatstones and rudstones with well-developed moldic and vuggy porosity. Replacement dolomite is coarsely crystalline (100-600 μm), inclusion-rich, composed of euhedral through anhedral crystals and has a blotchy to homogeneous red cathodoluminescence. Geochemically, replacement dolomite is characterized by (i) nearly stoichiometric composition (50.1-51.1 mol% CaCO3), (ii) negative δ18O values (mean=-7.5‰, PDB) and (iii) variable 87Sr/86Sr ratios ranging from values similar to Late Devonian-Early Mississippian seawater (∼0.7082) to radiogenic compositions comparable to saddle dolomite cements (>0.7100).
Dolomitization began after widespread precipitation of early, equant calcite spar and after the onset of pressure solution, implying that replacement dolomite formed in a burial environment. Oxygen isotope data suggest that dolomite formed at 35-75°C, temperatures reached during burial in Late Devonian through Jurassic time, at minimum depths of 450 m. The linear NW-SE orientation of most dolomite fields in the Swan Hills Formation is suggestive of fault control on fluid circulation. Two models are proposed for fault-controlled circulation of dolomitizing fluids at the Rosevear Field. In the first, compaction-driven, updip fluid migration occurred in response to basin tilting commencing in the Late Palaeozoic. Deep basinal fluids migrating updip were focused into channel-margin sediments along fault conduits. The second model calls upon fault-controlled convective circulation of (i) warm Devonian-Mississippian seawater or (ii) Middle Devonian residual evaporitic brines.
The overlap in 87Sr/86Sr and δ18O compositions, and similar cathodoluminescence properties between replacement and saddle dolomites provide evidence for neomorphism of some replacement dolomite. Quantitative modelling of Sr and O isotopes and Sr abundances suggests partial equilibration of some replacement dolomite with hot radiogenic brines derived during deep burial of the Swan Hills Formation in the Late Cretaceous-Palaeocene. Interaction of replacement dolomite with deep brines led to enrichment in 87Sr while leaving δ18O similar to pre-neomorphism values.