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Thema: Sedimentary Systems Carbonates

Juan Pablo Navarro


Doktorand (PhD. student) Ruhr-Universitt Bochum Institut fr Geologie, Mineralogie und Geophysik Bochum-Germany Juan.NavarroRamirez@rub.de

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Chapter I:

Introduction to the topic of carbonate systems

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Goals
Understand the principles of carbonate sedimentation. Understand the factors that control (sub)tropical carbonate sedimentation. Know what a reef is.

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Nature of (sub)tropical carbonate sedimentation


Over 90% of carbonates formed in modern environments are thought to be biological in origin and form under marine conditions. Distribution of most carbonate is directly controlled by environmental parameters favorable for the growth of the calcium carbonate secreting organisms. These parameters include illumination, temperature, salinity, substrate, and presence/absence of siliciclastics.

Carbonate production in tropical waters is faster than in temperate or cooler waters because high carbonate producers such as hermatypic corals thrive in the warm clear waters of the tropics.

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The reef
The ability of certain carbonate-secreting organisms to dramatically modify their environments by encrusting, frame building and binding leads to the depositional environment typical to the carbonate realm: the reef. Definition of Reef (James, 1983, genetic sense): a solid organic framework that resists waves (and rises above the seafloor). In a modern reef there is an organism sediment mosaic that sets the pattern for the framework reef sequences: 1. Framework organisms, including encrusting, attached, massive and branching metazoa. 2. Internal sediment, filling primary growth as well as bioeroded cavities 3. Bio-eroders, which break down reef elements by boring, rasping, or grazing and therefore contribute sediment to peri-reef and internal reef deposits. 4. Cement, which actively lithifies the carbonate sediment into carbonate rock.

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Subdivision of carbonate sedimentary rocks

After Dunham (1962)

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Framework

Cretaceous (Aptian) of Oman A deep water coral reef off the coast of Belize
(source: www.smithsonianeducation.org).

Recrystallized corals
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Cenomanian of Oman
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Internal Sediments

Cretaceous of Oman

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Bioerosion - Spain

Bioerosion

Sea urchins, Spain

Bioerosion - Spain

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Marine Carbonate Cements

Radiaxial fibrous cement in an Aptian limestone.

Radiaxial fibrous cement in a Carboniferous limestone.

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Carbonate Precipitation

Pathways of carbonate precipitation in aquatic environments a cascade of options governed by the degree of biotic influence. After Schlager (2000), modified.

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Carbonates and Climate

Comparison of terminologies proposed for carbonate sediments of different climatic zones. Most terms are created by combining parts of the names of the most common groups of organisms (Schlager 2005).

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Summary
Carbonates are born not made! Most modern carbonate sediments stem from (sub)tropical coral reefs. Modern analogues are found in the Great Bahamas Bank and the Great Barrier Reef. Nevertheless, none of the these modern platforms match the gigantic platforms of the past.

Modern reefs are mainly built by scleractinian corals but in the geologic past many different organisms took this place. Lithified reefs are characterized by framework organisms, bio-eroders, intra-framework sediments and carbonate cements.

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Keywords
abiogenic carbonate precipitation Autotrophic bio-eroders biogenic carbonate precipitation bio-induced carbonate precipitation carbonate cement Coolwater environmental parameters framework organisms heterotrophic illumination internal sediment reef salinity substrate (sub)tropical temperate temperature

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Chapter II:

Factors controlling carbonate production and rates of carbonate sedimentation

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Goals
Understand the factors that control carbonate sedimentation.

Understand what governs the rates of carbonate production.

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Factors controlling carbonate production

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Temperature

Temperature control on reefs. Recent tropical reefs (red) are limited in the north and south by the position of the 20C-isoherm for the coldest winter month, shown here as a bold line. Cool-water bioherms (blue) occur almost exclusively pole-ward of this line. The 20C isoherm follows the 30 latitude only approximately (compiled from ReefBase in Schlager, 2005).
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Light

Predicted and observed values of coral growth versus depth. Circles Montastrea annularis, red curves: growth rates predicted by the light Growth equation (after Bosscher and Schlager, 1992, modified).

Change of light intensity and tropical carbonate production with depth. Light displays a simple exponential decrease with depth. In tropical carbonate factories, the zone of light saturation reaches to about 20 m for corals (after Bosscher and Schlager, 1992, modified).

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Depth of the euphotic zone in the Indo-Pacific and the Caribbean, constrained by the limits of reef growth (Schlager, 2005).
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Growth forms of corals reflect the environmental changes related to water depth. Example is from the Caribbean. Branching forms dominate the uppermost, highenergy layer of the sea. Domal and massive forms occupy intermediate depths. Below the zone of light saturation, corals become platy and foliose in order to capture a maximum amount of light. At the biologically defined lower limit of the euphotic zone, coral growth in this region is almost negligible (Schlager 2005).

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Factors controlling rates of carbonate production

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Northward decrease of reef growth and change to cool-water carbonate deposition in the North Pacific. Upper panel: decrease of the rate of reef growth with latitude. Darwin Point marks the northern limit of reef growth. Lower panel: longitudinal change from tropical to cool-water carbonate facies observed on the Wasaii-Emperor chain of islands and seamounts (Schlager, 2005).
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Sedimentation rates of platform margins and lagoons in Belize and Florida. Rates of reef rims are 3 to 25 times higher than the lagoon rates. The difference must recollect higher growth potential of the rim because the lagoons are deep and have unused accommodation (after Schlager, 2005).

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Today, under conditions of relatively high sea level stand, in areas optimal for carbonate facies development, such as the tropical Bahamas platform in the Atlantic, the rates of biological production of carbonate sediments seem to far outstrip the rate of formation of new sediment accommodation space.

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Summary

To main factors control carbonate production: water temperature (< 20C mean annual T for the T-factory for example) and light availability (or the photic zone) for autotrophic coral reefs.

Carbonate production rates are strongly controlled by these factors. Reefal belts have the highest production rates. They are higher than nearly all other factors that control water depth (basement subsidence etc.).

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Keywords
20C-isoherm accommodation space biological production carbonate production cool-water bioherms corals (eu)photic zone light intensity light saturation seawater temperature sedimentation rates tropical reefs

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Chapter III:

Carbonate factories

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Goals
Know the differences between carbonate and siliciclastic settings. Know the three principle carbonate factories (T, C, M). Understand the main characteristics of these factories.

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Differences between carbonate and siliciclastic settings

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Differences between carbonate and siliciclastic settings


Shore-to-slope profiles of siliciclastic, cool-water carbonates and rimmed carbonate platforms. A.) Siliciclastics with abundant sediment supply. Result is seaward dipping surface in equilibrium with deepening wave base. B.) Rimmed carbonate platforms. On tropical platforms, the wave equilibrium profile is grossly distorted by the wave-resistant reefs. C.) Carbonate ramps are accumulations without rims that resemble the siliciclastic equilibrium profile (After Schlager, 2005).

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Typical profile of a siliciclastic coast

Model of a tide-less sea, supplied with sand and mud dominated by onshore winds that set up a strong, shoreward current at the surface and a weaker return flow below. Wave action creates a nearshore zone of sand that interfingers with offshore muds. In the zone of interfingering mud accumulates during calm weather, sand during storms.
Source: Schlager W. (2005)

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A shallow siliciclastic basin, North Sea, The Netherlands

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Shallow-marine carbonates differ from siliciclastics in the following ways I:


Sediment is produced mainly by biological and chemical processes in situ. Grain size is not necessarily related to the amount and/or type of transport. Sediments are commonly both cemented and dissolved in situ; much carbonate mud is produced through bioerosion; precipitation and dissolution of different types of calcite has varied through geological time; and most shallow-water carbonates are deposited in warm shallow water near the equator. Shallow marine carbonates are deposited on carbonate platforms which vary in shape and extent; these include carbonate ramps and rimmed shelf carbonate platforms.

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Shallow-marine carbonates differ from siliciclastics in the following ways II:


Carbonate deposition is controlled by the type and number of organisms; the climate which in turn influences the water temperature, circulation, oxygenation and salinity; and siliciclastic sediment supply and tectonic setting. The physical processes that affect shallow-marine carbonates include waves, tides and currents. The chemical processes include precipitation and dissolution. Biological processes are particularly important in shallow marine carbonates and affect both the amount of deposition and erosion. (Sub)tropical carbonates are rapidly cemented.

In contrast, siliciclastic settings are controlled by physical factors including wave action, currents (hydrodynamic bottom profile), sediment erosion and deposition in the hinterland. Siliciclastics are more easily eroded as they do not cement rapidly.

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The three carbonate factories

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We know three main types of carbonate factories:

The tropical factory (T-factory) presently mainly scleractinian corals The coolwater factory (C-factory) presently mainly bivalves, bryozoa, algae, echinoderms etc. The mound factory (M-factory) presently main deepwater mounds

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Tropical carbonate factories

Asturias, Northern Spain, Pennsylvanian

Orthorectified high-resolution aerial photograph:


Verwer et al. (2005)

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Coolwater carbonate factories

Bryozoa & bivalves, Neogene, Southern Spain

Oyster reef, Pleistocene, Argentina

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Mound carbonate factories

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Carbonate factories. The typical material of the T factory is biotically controlled precipitate from tropical autotrophic organisms (or heterotrophic organisms with autotrophic symbionts); the C factory is controlled by heterotrophic organisms and the M factory by biotically induced precipitates, mostly micrite (Schlager 2005).
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T (tropical) factory produces platforms rimmed by reefs or sand shoals; C (coolwater) factory cannot build shallow offshore rims, only scattered deep-water skeletal mounds. The geometry of the accumulations is that of a ramp with the highest energy conditions close to shore. M (mound) factory forms convex mounds on gentle slopes below the zone of wave action. The mounds develop flat tops and caps of grainstones where they build into the zone of intense wave action. The flanks of mounds may be steeper than the maximum angle of repose of sand and rubble (about 42) because automicrite cements and stabilizes the flanks.
Source: Schlager W. (2005)

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Map of the world showing approximately Late Cretaceous times. Note that the areas of pelagic deposition are not shown separately but include much of the deep ocean and shelf sea. Not all the deposits shown are entirely contemporaneous. Red lines indicate the subtropical zone of major carbonate platform growth.

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Proportions of abiotic, biotically induced and biotically controlled material in factory output estimated from the composition of some well-known Phanerozoic carbonate formations. C factory consists almost entirely of one category (Schlager, 2005).

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Mineralogical composition of sediments in the three factories (Schlager, 2005).

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Production rates and depth window of production of carbonate factories. Dominance of photo-autotrophic (i.e. lightdependent) organisms in the tropical factory leads to very high production rates but only in a narrow depth window (Schlager, 2005).

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Sedimentation rates of the T, C, and M factories plotted against the length of the time interval of observation. Rates of all three factories decreased with increasing time length a general pattern of sedimentation rates caused by the occurrence of hiatuses on all scales in the record. Rates of T factory are highest, M factory is similar but overall production is lower as the factory exports less sediment laterally. Rates of C factory are about 25% of the T-factory rates in the million year domain (after Schlager, 2005).

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Map of the world showing distribution of main carbonate factories (except M factory) where sediment are produced and accumulating at the present time.
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A comparison of the rates of accumulation for pelagic, shallow cool-water and shallow warm-water carbonates, and the rate at which accommodation space may be created by glacio-eustasy, basin subsidence, and faultrelated subsidence.
Source: Coe et al. (2003)

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Summary

Carbonates differ in a number of characteristic ways from siliciclastic settings. A main aspect is that carbonates a mainly biogenic whereas siliciclastics are mainly physical in nature. Carbonates lithify rapidly whereas siliciclastics lithify more slowly. Following Schlager, we differentiate three main carbonate factories: T, C and M factory. Each factory has characteristic carbonate mineralogy and proportion of controlled, induced or, abiogenic products. Production rates vary with time and between different factories with T factories having the highest rates of carbonate production.

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Keywords
abiotic angle of repose aragonite automicrite autotrophic biotic biotically controlled biotically induced C factory calcite carbonate depositional environments carbonate ramp cementation depth window equilibrium with wave base heterotrophic in situ carbonate production M factory Mg calcite production rate sand shoals scleractinian corals siliciclastic depositional environments T factory

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Chapter IV:

Carbonate reefal facies through time

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Goals
Understand that carbonate factories have change considerably through geological time following changes in the marine ecosystem.

Understand that the past is not a priori a key to the Present.

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Today, corals and red algae construct the reef frame. Green algae contribute to the reef system. Reef organisms have undergone a progressive evolution through geologic time, therefore causing changes in the nature of carbonate constructions.

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Distribution of stromatolite types across a high-energy (windward), Proterozoic, rimmed carbonate shelf from lagoon to deep fore-slope. The barrier-reef complex is characterized by strongly elongate stromatolite mounds and columns. Conical stromatolites form below wave base; domal stromatolites grew in low-energy, back-reef lagoon; tufas, including microdigitate stromatolites, formed by precipitation on tidal flats.
Source: R. Wood (1999)

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Precambrian stromatolite reef South Africa.

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2 5
Reconstruction of Upper Cambrian reef community. Llando Uplift, Texas. 1: Thrombolite; 2: eocrinoids; 3: lithistid sponges (Wilberniscyathus); 4: calcified cyanobacterial mats (Girvanella); 5: calcified cyanobacterial bushes (Renalcis); 6: horizons rich in ooids; 7: wackestone/packstone sediments; 8: gastropod

Source: R. Wood (1999)

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Sponges and crinoids

Anomalocaridid, a bizarre life form.

Cambrian reefal communities


Natural History Museum Chicago and various other sources

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5 1 2

6 7 9 3

Lower Ordovician reef reconstruction: Thrombolite-Lichenaria-Renalcis community. 1: Living algal mats and thrombolite heads; 2: Lichenaria (tabulate coral); 3: Renalcis (calcified cyanobacterium); 4: swimming trilobite; 5: crinoids; 6: brachiopods; 7: straight nautiloid; 8: coiled nautiloid; 9: grazing gastropod.

Source: R. Wood (1999)

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Nautilids, trilobites, gastropods, crinoids, bryozoa.

Ordovician reefal communities


Natural History Museum Chicago and University of Wisconsin

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7 3 12 1 2 11 9 8 6 4

10 5

Reconstruction of Silurian (Wenlock) patch reef, England. 1: Tabulate coral (Favosites); 2: tabulate coral (Heliolites); 3: tabulate coral (Halysites); 4: bryozoan (Hallopora); 5: rugose coral; 6: spirifid brachiopod (Atrypa); 7: crinoid; 8: brachiopod (Leptaena); 9: trilobite (Dalmanites); 10: orthocone nautiloid; 11: stromatoporoid (Actinostroma); 12: thrombolite. Source: R. Wood (1999)
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Orthocone nautiloids, tabulate corals, trilobites, ammonites, stromatoporoids

Silurian reefal communities

Natural History Museum Chicago and various other sources

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7 8 1 15 13 16 11 3 5 10

14 2 6 12

Reconstruction of a Lower Carboniferous (Late Visan) reef, Northern England. 1: Stromatolite /microbialite; 2: tabulate coral; 3: tabulate coral (E. parasitica); 4: tabulate coral (Cladochonus); 5: rugose coral Cyathaxonia); 6: bryozoan (Fistulipora); 7: frondose bryozoan (Fenestella); 8: Iithistid sponge; 9: bivalve Pachypteria); 10: brachiopod (Reticularia); 11: rhynchonellid brachiopod (Stenoscisma); 12: fenestrate ryozoan (Thamniscus); 13: productid brachiopod (Limbifera); 14: productid brachiopod (Proboscidella); 15: myodocopid ostracod (Cypridinella, Entomonchus); 16: trilobite (Griffithides); 17: strophomenid brachiopod (Streptorhynchus); 18: strophomenid brachiopod (Leptagonia). Source: R. Wood (1999)
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Carboniferous reefal communities

Bryozoa, crinoids and brachiopods

Natural History Museum Michigan and various other sources

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Carboniferous brachiopod microbial micrite cement facies; Asturias Spain.

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2 4 5

Reconstruction of the Upper Permian Capitan Reef: bryozoan-sponge community. 1: Frondose bryozoans (Polypora sp.; Goniopora sp.)2: solitary sponges; 3: Archaeolithoporella (encrusting algae); 4: microbial micrite; 5: cement botryoids; 6: sediment (grainstone-packstone).

Source: R. Wood (1999)

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The Permian Capitan Reef, Texas, New Mexico (USA) and Mexico.

University of Texas

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Permian reefal communities

Shallow marine Permian life included extensive reefs, including sponges

Natural History Museum Michigan and University of Wisconsin

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2 5 7 3 12 6 11 8 10

1 9

Reconstruction of Jurassic (Oxfordian) coral patch-reef community, England. 1: Scleratinian coral (Thecosmillia); 2: scleratinian coral (Isastrea); 3: scleratinian coral (T. arachnoides); 4: scleratinian coral (T. concinna); 5: scleratinian coral (Rhabdophyllia); 6: bivalve (Lopha); 7: trochid gastropod; 8: pectinid bivalve (Chlamys); 9: sea urchin (Cidaris); 10: terebratulid brachiopod; 11: bryozoan; 12: sclerctianian coral (C. conybeari); 13: boring bivalve (Lithopaga). Source: R. Wood (1999)
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Jurassic coral facies, Morocco

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1 3 9 8 11 5 7 2 4

6 12 10
Source: R. Wood (1999)

Reconstruction of Jurassic (Portlandian) oyster-algal patch-reef community, England. 1: Oyster (Liostrea); 2: calcareous red algae (Solenopora); 3: thick bryozoan encruster (Hyporosopora); 4: boring bivalve (Lithophaga); 5: bivalve (Isognomon); 6: gastropod (Pleurotomaria); 7: gastropod (Aptyxiella): 8: spiny bivalve (Plicatula); 9: lithistid sponge; 10: sponge borings; 11: boring sponge (Cliona); 12: pellets and fungal hyphae.
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Jurassic coral facies, Morocco

Jurassic oyster facies, Morocco

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2 1

Reconstruction of a rudist aggregation (Late Cretaceous). 1: Rudists (Vaccinites sp.); 2: ammonite; 3: shell lags. Source: R. Wood (1999)
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Campanian rudist bioherm Oman.

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The diversity of life in the Cretaceous was unparallel, including a large number of large marine animals, as well as flying dinosaurs (above).
Natural History Museum Michigan and University of Wisconsin

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Aptian coral rudist platform facies; Oman

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Compilation by T. Adatte, Lausanne

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Summary
Reefal ecosystems have changed considerably through Earth history. Some of the now extinct reefal communities are so different from Recent scleractinian coral reefs that comparisons fall short. Precambrian carbonate producers are mainly microbial in nature. After the Cambrian radiation, other hard shelled organisms become increasingly important. In the Paleozoic, it is mainly crinoids, sponges, tabulate and rugose corals, thrombolites and other microbialites, brachiopods, bivalves and bryozoa that run the show. In the Mesozoic, Jurassic reefal communities include scleractinian corals, bivalves, gastropods, echinoderms, brachiopods, bryozoans, oysters and calcareous red algae. In contrast, Cretaceous marginal bioherms are dominated by rudist-coral assemblages with bivalves and gastropods as well as echinoderms. The Paleogene and Neogene carbonate producers are very close to the modern ones and are treated in subsequent chapters.

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Keywords

bioherms botryoids brachiopods bryozoa carbonate facies crinoids cyanobacterial mats gastropods nautiloids

oysters reefal ecosystems rudists rugose corals scleratinian coral stromatolites tabulate corals thrombolites

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Chapter V:

Carbonate Platforms

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Goals

Know the basic types of carbonate platforms. Know examples and physiography of modern carbonate platforms and barrier reefs.

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http://www.geocomplexity.com/Platforms_ramps.gif

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Organization of a carbonate platform

Schematic overview of nine facies belts of an attached carbonate platform After Wilson (1975) modified in Schlager (2005).

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Source:ysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/.../carbonate.html Carbonate Platforms Sediment is produced mainly by biological and chemical processes in situ; Grain size is not necessarily related to the amount and/or type of transport; Sediments are commonly both cemented and dissolved in situ; much carbonate mud is produced through bio-erosion; Precipitation and dissolution of different types of calcite has varied through geological time; and most shallow-water carbonates are deposited in warm shallow water near the equator.

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Carbonate Platform Models

An idealized 3-d block diagram of a modern coral reef


(Source: Coe et al. 2003; modified after Wright and Burchette, 1996).

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Generalized 3-D facies model of a rimmed carbonate platform


(Source: Coe et al., 2003).

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Asturias, Northern Spain: Pennsylvanian carbonate platform

Facies distribution:
Della Porta (2003)

Orthorectified high-resolution aerial photograph:

12 km
Verwer et al. (2005)

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Modern isolated carbonate platforms: The Bahamas

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The Bahamas, one of the few modern carbonate platforms

Source:trata.geol.sc.edu/.../003-Bahamas-Platform.html

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The Bahamas
Shallow water sediments of the Great Bahamas Bank. Map to the left shows distribution of different sediment types of the platform top. Map to the right shows salinity of seawater and distribution of wind and wave energy
(Source: Coe et al., 2003).

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The Great Bahamas Bank


Idealized W-E cross-section showing depositional environments and distribution of sediments

leeward

windward

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Map of South Florida and the Bahamas showing regional distribution of major carbonate facies. In particular note occurrence of reefs on most windward margins and ooid shoals on the leeward margin of Great Bahama Bank. Red line shows position of seismic section.
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Features of South Florida rimmed carbonate platform. (d) Idealized cross-section showing distribution of sediments across the shelf. (e) Generalized cross-section through a rimmed carbonate platform in the Keys showing idealized facies belts. Turquoise area shows thickness and details of Holocene carbonates
Source: Coe, A.L. et al.

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Coral reefs surround Heron Island. Most organic particles in the reef water originate from corals
(http://www.ocean.fsu.edu/newsletters/FALL03/fall_winter03.html).

Modern stromatolites, 8 m, off Lee Stocking Island, Bahamas (http://cc.usu.edu/~davel/5430.html).

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Modern ooid shoals N Joutlers Cay Bahamas

http://strata.geol.sc.edu/CarbonateParticles/pages/006-Ooid-Shoals-N-Joutlers-Cay-Bahamas.html

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Bahamian ooids

http://strata.geol.sc.edu/CarbonateParticles/CarbonatePartGallery_2.html

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Modern fringing/barrier Reef complexes: The Great Barrier Reef

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Great Barrier Reef A modern Fringing or Barrier Reef

http://eos.nasa.gov/outreach/posters.html

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Cross-section across the Great Barrier Reef. Figure a) shows present-day, Inundated setting and figure b) the situation during the last glacial (sealevel lowstand (Source: Coe et al., 2003).

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Summary
A way to distinguish different carbonate platforms is in: (1) fringing platforms, (2) barrier reefs, (3) isolated or attached platforms, (4) atolls and (5) carbonate ramps. Here the focus is on isolated and attached platforms. Carbonates are born not made! Most modern platform carbonate sediments stem from (sub)tropical scleractinian coral-algal reefs. Modern case examples are the Great Bahamas Bank and the Great Barrier Reef. Nevertheless, none of the these modern platforms match the gigantic platforms of the past. Carbonate platforms are more than just reefs. In fact, the reefal belt is often only a very thin zone. Most of the carbonates are reefal detritus. The usually are characterized by a windward and a leeward side. They usually have an elevated, outer reefal belt behind which a lagoon is situated. Modern carbonate platforms are also characterized by ooid shoals or muddy, more protected domains.

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Keywords
attached platform back reef Bahamas platform barrier reef carbonate platform carbonate ramp facies belt fringing reef isolated platform lagoon leeward ooid platform interior platform top reefal zone restricted platform interior sand shoals skeletal sands slope stromatolite toe-of-slope windward

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Chapter VI:

Carbonate Ramps

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Goals

Understand what carbonate ramps are and how the differ from carbonate platforms.

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Definition Carbonate ramp


A carbonate ramp is a very gently (< 3) inclined platform that extends basin wards without a pronounced break in slope. Carbonate facies, therefore, are not necessarily protected by a shelf-margin barrier, reefs. Facies patterns of the detrital carbonates tend to be distributed in bands which parallel the coastline and reflect the greater wave and current activity near the mainland shore.

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Carbonate ramps dominate much of today's modern carbonate shelves and were equally widespread in ancient systems. Models for carbonate ramp shelves have come from tropical settings in the Yucatan, Persian Gulf, west Florida Shelf, and subtropical to cool-water shelves surrounding the south and northwestern margins of Australia. Another recent example of the ramp model is the Campeche Bank. The detrital carbonates of the Campeche Bank are arranged in concentric bands which range from grainstones and boundstones in shallow, agitated water to mudstones and wackestones on the seaward reaches of the ramp. Coral-algal reefs are common, but they do not occupy a position at the "margin" of the ramp. Detailed analysis of ancient systems have shown that ramps are rarely homoclinal but in fact can be easily differentiated physiographically by dominant physical parameters such as position of fair-weather and storm wave-base.
Source: C. Kerans (2005)

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Modern (non-rimmed) ramp carbonate margins

Hine & Mullins (1983)

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Generalized 3-D facies model of a ramp-type carbonate platform


(Source: Coe et al., 2003).

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Carbonate ramp of the Upper Muschelkalk, Wutach Gorge, SW-Germany

http://geopal.uni-hd.de/sediment/zuehlke/virttrip/wutach/stop/03.html

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Neogene carbonate ramp -Mallorca

http://www.pbase.com/sschulz/mallorca/

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Modern coolwater carbonate ramp - Australia

Location map, showing bathymetry of the present day coolwater carbonate shelf of southern Australia (Lacepede Shelf). This setting is an actualistic example of a coolwater carbonate ramp Source: . Bone & James, 1993
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Modern coolwater carbonate ramp - Australia

Lacepede Shelf cross section, showing facies and wave abrasion and swell-wave base depths, with Quaternary sea level superimposed. Source: Bone & James, 1993
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Case example of a Jurassic ramp setting from Morocco, High Atlas

Source: Christ et al. (in press)

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Subdivision in a more muddy and a more grainy ramp

Source: Christ et al. (in press)

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The two ramp modes

Source: Christ et al. (in press)

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Grainy (oolithic) facies

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Muddy facies

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Outer ramp setting limestone intervals in basinal facies

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Middle ramp setting limestone intervals are dominant

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Oysters

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Corals

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Hardgrounds

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Summary

Carbonate ramps differ from rimmed carbonate platforms by the absence of a elevated reefal belt at the seaward limit of the platform. In contrast, ramps are gently to very gently inclined features that are basically shaped by the wave activity. In this sense, ramps have similarities to siliciclastic shelves. Many of the modern carbonate margins (both T and C factories) are of the ramp type.

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Chapter VII:

Atolls and Guyots

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Definition of Atoll

A coral reef appearing in plan view as roughly circular, and surmounted by a ring of closely-spaced coral islets. That enclose a shallow lagoon and perhaps a subsiding volcano. The reef is surrounded by deep water of the open sea, either oceanic or continental shelf. Atolls range in diameter from 1 km to more than 130 km, and especially common today in the western and central Pacific Ocean. Atolls also did exist in the geologic past and were not necessarily rimmed by coral reefs. Examples include the Triassic atolls of the Dolomite Mountains, Northern Italy.
Modified after dictionary of Geological Terms

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Kayangel Atoll, Belau, Palau Islands

http://Kayangel_Atoll%2C_Belau%2C_Palau_Islands.jpg

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National Marshall Islands Maps

http://www3.uakron.edu/majuro/Maps/

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Volcanoes atop of hot spots build seamounts

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Different stages in the evolution of an atoll. In the first stage, a fringing reef forms, subsequently evolving in a barrier reef and finally into an atoll. Truijllo & Thurman (2005, p. 66).
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Tahiti fringing coral reef

Source: National Geographic

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Bora-Bora, barrier reef

Source:/parpaillons/tahiti-pacifiq

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Mankini Atoll

http://www.cifr.it/Manihiki%20atoll%20Cook%20islands%20image.jpg

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Definition of Guyot

A guyot is a sunken flat-topped seamount (a dead atoll so to say). Guyots show evidence of having once been above the surface with gradual subsidence through stages from fringed reefed mountain, coral atoll, and finally a flat topped submerged mountain. Guyots are very commonly found in the Pacific Ocean, and are considered to be extinct volcanoes. The Emperor Seamounts are an excellent example of an entire volcanic chain undergoing this process and contain many guyots among their older examples

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Global distribution of seamounts

http://www.seaaroundus.org/ecosystemsmaps/?p=1

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http://www.mar-eco.no/mareco_news/2004/seamounts_of_the_northeast_atlantic

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The Taney Seamounts are located on the Pacific Plate, west of San Francisco

http://www.mbari.org/data/mapping/seamounts/taney.htm

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Fieberling Guyot off California

Source: http://hrp.whoi.edu/hrpgrp/nh001.html

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Ancient guyots

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Drowned platforms in modern oceans commonly show thin, lens-shaped pelagic caps and significant hiatuses between platform sediments and pelagic cover. Some platforms remain virtually bare for 100 My (after Schlager, 2005).

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The Blake Plateau off Florida, a drowned Aptian-Albian platform that is now characterized by hemi-pelagic sedimentation and manganese nodules.

http://faculty.uaeu.ac.ae/fhowari/images/fares/presentations-classes/8.25.gif

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The Jurassic ammonitico rosso facies sedimentary rocks deposited atop of a Drowned carbonate atoll

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The Latemar, another Triassic atoll in the Dolomites

Egenhoff et al. (1999)

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The Latemar atoll, schematic facies belts and morphology

Reefal facies

Tepee belt

Egenhoff et al. (1999)

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Evolution of the Latemar Atoll

Preto et al. 2010

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Physiographie of the Latemar Atoll

Preto et al. 2010

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Latemar reefal facies microbial cement boundstone


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Latemar reefal facies tepee belt


Egenhoff et al. (1999)

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Summary

Today, an atoll is a type of low, coral island found in tropical oceans and consisting of a coral-algal reef usually surrounding an interior body of water called a lagoon. In the geological past, atolls had similar overall morphologies but different facies types.

In contrast, a guyot is a sunken former seamount or atoll that has subsided below the sea surface due to an ongoing basement subsidence (cooling) and a deterioration of the carbonate producing organisms (cooler water etc.).

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Keywords
ammonitico rosso atoll Blake Plateau biocementstone coral island fringing reef guyot hot spot Lagoon Latemar Atoll Sella slope tepee belt volcanic island

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Chapter VIII:

Carbonate Mounds

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Goals
Understand what a mound is? Understand why and how mounds differ from other carbonate factories. Know a series of case examples throughout the geological record.

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Definition Mud mound (extracts from Bosence and Bridges, 1995)

The term mud-mound was first extensively used by Wilson (1975) to describe mud dominated carbonate buildups. In particular Wilson implied that lime mud-mounds are perceived to accumulate both through hydrodynamic processes and in situ organic production. Subsequent reviews by James (1980, 1993) introduced the term reef mound as lenticular carbonate bodies consisting of poorly sorted bioclastic lime mud with minor amounts of organic bindstone occurring in deep basins, lower slopes, shelf areas and lagoons. Many workers now recognize two major types:

1. Microbial mud mounds. Mud mounds in which the dominant texture, microfabric and composition is considered to have a more or less in situ microbial (i.e., cyanobacterial) origin. 2. Biodetrital mud mounds. Mud mounds in which the dominant composition is broken and transported skeletal material. The mud may be locally generated on the mound from the breakdown of lightly calcified skeletons.

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Source: Monty et al. (1995)

Triangular diagram illustrating variation between the three endmembers of carbonate buildups: microbial mounds, biodetrital mounds and framework reefs.
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The M (mud mound) factory typically produces upward-convex accumulations, the mounds, that interfinger laterally with the surrounding facies. Flank facies are present when the factory sheds much debris. However, the km-wide debris aprons of tropical platforms are rare (after Schlager, 2005).

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Variation in microbial mud-mounds (extracts from Bosence and Bridges, 1995)

Four main types of microbial mounds were suggested by Monty (1995): 1. Stromatolithic mud-mounds in which rhythmic microbial growth and sedimentation lead to build-up of a laminated surface. 2. Non-laminar microbial (thrombolithic) mud mounds with mottled or bioturbated fabrics. 3. Incorporation of metazoans into microbial fabrics leading to metazoan boundstones and framework reefs. 4. Stromatactoid mud-mounds with mudstones and wackestones with microbioclastic spiculites.

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Environmental setting of the marine M factory. The factory is best developed in the nutrient-rich waters of the thermocline but may extend into the zone of wave action if the T factory is weak. Below the zone of wave action, accumulations usually are mounds, in the zone of wave action they become flat-topped (after Schlager 2005).
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Example I: Devonian Kess-Kess Mounds, Morocco

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Devonian Mounds in Morocco


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Draping of sediments across mounds


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Devonian Mounds in Morocco


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Devonian Mounds in Morocco


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Example II:

Frasnian (Upper Devonian) mounds from Belgium

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Sedimentological model of Late Frasnian (Upper Devonian, ~375 Ma) carbonate mounds (Petit-Mont Member)

Source: Frdric Boulvain & Anne-Christine da Silva; http://www.ulg.ac.be/geolsed/excuFr/excu_Fr.htm

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The Tailfer outcrop, Frasnian (Upper Devonian, ~375 Ma) mounds from Belgium

Source: Frdric Boulvain & Anne-Christine da Silva; http://www.ulg.ac.be/geolsed/excuFr/excu_Fr.htm

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Examples of facies from Petit-Mont Member mounds. A: red limestone with stromatactis (Pm1); B: pink limestone with corals, brachiopods, stromatoporoids, stromatactis (Pm3); C: grey microbial limestone with corals, stromatoporoids (Pm5) Hematite-rich microaerophilic iron bacteria, responsible for the red color.

Source: Frdric Boulvain & Anne-Christine da Silva; http://www.ulg.ac.be/geolsed/excuFr/excu_Fr.htm

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Beauchateau Mound

Basal mound facies with stromatactis


Source: Images courtesy of Frederic Boulvain

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Beauchateau Mound

Facies forming the major part of the mound, with corals, bryozoans, and cyanobacteria

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Beauchateau Mound

Gray algal-microbial facies forming the top-central part of the mounds


Source: Images courtesy of Frederic Boulvain

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Beauchateau Mound

Stromatactis facies thin section view.

Source: Images courtesy of Frederic Boulvain

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Example III:

Upper Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian) mounds from Northern Spain

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Upper Carboniferous mounds from Northern Spain

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Stromatactis fabric of mounds

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The mound facies consists of microbial carbonates, crinoids, brachiopods etc.

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Mound facies

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Upper Carboniferous mounds from Northern Spain

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Example IV

Modern Hydrate Ridge Mound, Pacific

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A. Tectonic setting of Hydrate Ridge in the accretionary complex of the Cascadia subduction zone. The box shows region of (B). B. Bathymetric map of the Hydrate Ridge vicinity.
http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/204_IR/chap_01/c1_f4.htm

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C. Detailed bathymetric map of the region south of Hydrate Ridge. Leg 204 sites are shown along with their site numbers (e.g., Site 1244) and precruise designation (e.g., proposed Site HR1a). Bathymetry from Clague et al. (2001). http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/204_IR/chap_01/c1_f4.htm

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Modern Mound Buildups - Hydrate Ridge

A. Carbonate sample from the top of the Pinnacle showing the porous nature of carbonates from this environment. B. Sample of sediment from near the seafloor at southern Hydrate Ridge showing hydrate lenses parallel to bedding connected to hydrate veins perpendicular to bedding (Suess et al., 2002).
http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/204_IR/chap_01/c1_f4.htm

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C. Landscape at southern Hydrate Ridge showing mounds covered by bacterial mats. A chemosynthetic clam colony is seen in the right edge of this picture taken during an Alvin dive (Torres et al., 1999). http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/204_IR/chap_01/c1_f4.htm

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D. Illustration of the complex biogeochemical relationships expected near the southern summit of Hydrate Ridge (Bohrmann et al., 2002). BSR = bottomsimulating reflector.
http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/204_IR/chap_01/c1_f4.htm

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Summary
Mounds are complex carbonate systems that differ in a number of important aspects from carbonate platforms. These include the fact that mounds a usually formed by heterotrophic organisms that thrive below the photic level. The mound factory often derives its energy from different chemotropic factors including cold seeps, methane sources etc. This implies that mounds can form in different settings including deep slopes or the pelagic domain. Microbes, although important in reefs too, form a considerable proportion of the mud mound limestone. Some of the structures of mounds such as stromatactis have no counterparts in the modern world and are insufficiently understood. Several authors have published several classification schemes of mounds. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

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Keywords
bindstone biodetritus carbonate buildups carbonate mound cyanobacteria Devonian mounds of Belgium Hydrate ridge mounds metazoan M-factory mound draping mud mound reef mound stromatactis thermocline thrombolithic

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