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Keywords:

  • Calcite cementation;
  • dedolomite;
  • dedolomitization;
  • geochemistry;
  • Winnipegosis Formation

Abstract

Limestone consisting of finely to medium crystalline calcite mosaics is present in the upper part of the Winnipegosis Formation on the east-central margin of the Elk Point Basin where the overlying Prairie Evaporite deposits have been removed. This type of crystalline limestone is interpreted as dedolomite, based on petrographic observations. The δ18O and δ13C values of the Winnipegosis dedolomite vary from −12·8‰ to −11·9‰ VPDB (Vienna Pee Dee Belemnite) and from −0·5‰ to +1·7‰ VPDB, respectively; both values are significantly lower than those for the corresponding dolomite. The 87Sr/86Sr ratios of the dedolomite are significantly higher, between 0·7082 and 0·7087. The spatial distribution and geochemical data of the Winnipegosis dedolomite suggest that dedolomitization was related to an influx of fresh groundwater and dissolution of the Prairie Evaporite anhydrite during the latest Mississippian to the Early Cretaceous when the basin was subjected to uplift and erosion. The Winnipegosis dedolomite displays a series of replacement fabrics showing progressive calcitization of dolomite, including the occurrence of dedolomite restricted along fractures and adjacent areas, dolomite patches ‘floating’ in the dedolomite masses and massive dedolomite with sparsely scattered dolomite relicts. However, the characteristic fabrics resulting from dedolomitization documented in the literature have not been observed in the Winnipegosis dedolomite. Coarsely to very coarsely crystalline, subhedral to euhedral calcite cement is restricted in the dedolomite. The petrographic features, isotopic compositions and homogenization temperatures, coupled with the burial history of the Winnipegosis Formation, constrain the precipitation of the calcite cement from a mixing of basinal brines and fresh groundwater during Late Cretaceous to Neogene time. The more negative C-isotopic signatures of the calcite cement (−5·3‰ to −2·3‰ VPDB) probably reflect a hydrocarbon-derived carbon.