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ABSTRACT

Diagenetically altered Pleistocene dolomite occurs in the shallow subsurface of the Arabian Gulf, offshore of Al Jubayl, Saudi Arabia. This dolomite accumulated in relatively shallow marine to sabkha depositional environments. In contrast with the thin extent of most other Quaternary sabkha and sabkha-related dolomite deposits, these deposits comprise a thick (>56 m) accumulation. Additionally, this Pleistocene dolomite displays a high degree of ordering and has a more nearly ideal stoichiometric composition than the dolomite from the depositionally and diagenetically analogous Abu Dhabi sabkha complex. The Pleistocene dolomite also has lower δ13 and δ18O values than the modern Abu Dhabi sabkha dolomite, and higher values than those commonly reported for analogous dolomite from the ancient rock record. The low δ18O values, in conjunction with the geological setting, indicate that the diagenetic waters were meteoric or mixed meteoric and marine in composition. Thus, the degree of ordering, stoichiometric and stable isotopic values indicate that this dolomite has undergone diagenetic alteration relative to its presumed Holocene precursor.