Sample records for evaporites

  1. Physical properties of evaporite minerals (United States)

    Robertson, Eugene C.


    The data in the following tables were abstracted from measurements of physical properties of evaporite minerals or of equivalent synthetic compounds. The compounds considered are the halide and sulfate salts which supposedly precipitated from evaporating ocean water and which form very extensive and thick "rock salt" beds. These beds are composed almost entirely of NaCl. In places where the beds are deeply buried and where fractures occur in the overlying rocks, the salt is plastically extruded upward as in a pipe to form the "salt domes". Most of the tables are for NaCl, both the natural (halite) and the synthetic salt, polycrystalline and single crystals. These measurements have been collected for use 1) in studies on storage of radioactive wastes in salt domes or beds, 2) in calculations concerned with nuclear tests in salt domes and beds, and 3) in studies of phenomena in salt of geologic interest. Rather than an exhaustive compilation of physical property measurements, there tables represent a summary of data from accessible sources. As limitations of time have presented making a more systematic and comprehensive selection, the data given may seem arbitrarily chosen. Some of the data listed are old, and newer, more accurate data are undoubtedly available. Halite (an synthetic NaCl) has been very thoroughly studied because of its relatively simple and highly symmetrical crystal structure, its easy availability naturally or synthetically, both in single crystals and polycrystalline, its useful and scientifically interesting properties, and its role as a compound of almost purely ionic bonding. The measurements of NaCl in the tables, however, represent only a small part of the total number of observations; discrimination was necessary to keep the size of the tabulations manageable. The physical properties of the evaporite minerals other than halite and sylvite have received only desultory attention of experiementalists, and appear in only a few tables. The

  2. Evaporitic minibasins of the Sivas Basin (Turkey) (United States)

    Pichat, Alexandre; Hoareau, Guilhem; Callot, Jean-Paul; Ringenbach, Jean-Claude; Kavak, Kaan


    The Oligo-Miocene Sivas basin (Turkey) was strongly affected by salt tectonics, best expressed in its central part. Halokinesis initiated from a main evaporite layer deposited during the Upper Eocene. Such evaporitic accumulations led to two generations of mini basins filled with continental to marine deposits, and nowadays separated by diapiric gypsum walls or welds. Some mini-basins developed above depleting diapirs, filled by more than 50 % of lacustrine to sebkhaic gypsiferous facies. These evaporitic mini-basins (EMB) developed during periods of limited fluvial input, when diapiric stems were outcropping with insignificant topographic reliefs. Chemical analyses (S, O and Sr) suggest that such evaporites were sourced from the recycling of adjacent salt structures. EMB development above diapirs can be explained by (i) high regional accommodation (Ribes et al., 2016), (ii) erosion of the diapiric crests by the fluvial system preceding evaporite deposition, (iii) deflation of some diapirs in a transtensive setting (Kergaravat, 2015), and (iv) fast sedimentation rate of the evaporites. EMB stand out from other siliciclastic mini-basins of the Sivas Basin by (i) their small dimension (< 1km), (ii) their teardrop encased shape and (iii) exacerbated internal halokinetic deformations. The latter specifically include large halokinetic wedges, mega-slumps or inverted mega-flaps. Comparison with siliciclastic mini-basins suggests that strong halokinesis of EMB was triggered by the ductile rheology of their evaporitic infilling. Additional filling and subsequent withdrawal of EMB may have been also increased by (i) the large amount of solutes provided by leaching of the outcropping diapiric structure together with the fast sedimentation rate of the evaporites and (iii) the high density of the gypsum and anhydrite compared to halite. The Great Kavir in Iran could display present day analogues relevant of early-stage EMB. Finally, although EMB have never been identified in

  3. Evaporite karst in Italy: a review

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jo De Waele; Leonardo Piccini; Andrea Columbu; Giuliana Madonia; Marco Vattano; Chiara Calligaris; Ilenia M D'Angeli; Mario Parise; Mauro Chiesi; Michele Sivelli; Bartolomeo Vigna; Luca Zini; Veronica Chiarini; Francesco Sauro; Russell Drysdale; Paolo Forti


    .... More recent and detailed studies focused on the gypsum areas of Emilia-Romagna and Sicily. Sinkholes related to Permian-Triassic gypsum have been studied in Friuli Venezia Giulia. This article reviews the state of the art regarding different aspects of evaporite karst in Italy focusing on the main new results.

  4. Laboratory simulations of Mars evaporite geochemistry (United States)

    Moore, Jeffrey M.; Bullock, Mark A.; Newsom, Horton; Nelson, Melissa


    Evaporite-rich sedimentary deposits on Mars were formed under chemical conditions quite different from those on the Earth. Their unique chemistries record the chemical and aqueous conditions under which they were formed and possibly subsequent conditions to which they were subjected. We have produced evaporite salt mineral suites in the laboratory under two simulated Martian atmospheres: (1) present-day and (2) a model of an ancient Martian atmosphere rich in volcanic gases. The composition of these synthetic Mars evaporites depends on the atmospheres under which they were desiccated as well as the chemistries of their precursor brines. In this report, we describe a Mars analog evaporite laboratory apparatus and the experimental methods we used to produce and analyze the evaporite mineral suites. The acidic, “paleo-Mars” gas mixture was CO2 with trace amounts of SO2, N2O, and HCl to simulate an atmosphere influenced by volcanic emissions. Brines formed by the interaction of water with an SNC-derived synthetic Mars mineral mix were produced under the acidic Mars atmospheric gas mixture. The brines were then desiccated under the two different simulated Mars conditions in the evaporite apparatus. Infrared reflectance spectroscopy and SEM microprobe analyses reveal that salts precipitated from the brine evaporated under simulated present Mars conditions were chemically different from those formed under the acidic Mars atmosphere conditions. The primary salt precipitated from the brine evaporated under present-day Mars conditions was a hydrated calcium sulfate, with lesser amounts of a magnesium sulfate and aluminum sulfate. Salts precipitated from the brine evaporated under an acidic atmosphere were dominated by magnesium sulfates, with lesser amounts of Na2SO4. These experiments suggest ways that relative cation abundances in Martian sulfate-bearing sediments can indicate the atmospheric and aqueous conditions under which they were formed. We conclude that the

  5. Evaporite karst in Italy: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jo De Waele


    Full Text Available Although outcropping rarely in Italy, evaporite (gypsum and anhydrite karst has been described in detail since the early 20th century. Gypsum caves are now known from almost all Italian regions, but are mainly localised along the northern border of the Apennine chain (Emilia Romagna and Marche, Calabria, and Sicily, where the major outcrops occur. Recently, important caves have also been discovered in the underground gypsum mines in Piedmont. During the late 80s and 90s several multidisciplinary studies were carried out in many gypsum areas, resulting in a comprehensive overview, promoting further research in these special karst regions. More recent and detailed studies focused on the gypsum areas of Emilia-Romagna and Sicily. Sinkholes related to Permian-Triassic gypsum have been studied in Friuli Venezia Giulia. This article reviews the state of the art regarding different aspects of evaporite karst in Italy focusing on the main new results.

  6. Origin and chemical composition of evaporite deposits (United States)

    Moore, George William


    A comparative study of marine evaporite deposits forming at the present time along the pacific coast of central Mexico and evaporite formations of Permian age in West Texas Basin was made in order to determine if the modern sediments provide a basis for understanding environmental conditions that existed during deposition of the older deposits. The field work was supplemented by investigations of artificial evaporite minerals precipitated in the laboratory and by study of the chemical composition of halite rock of different geologic ages. The environment of deposition of contemporaneous marine salt deposits in Mexico is acidic, is strongly reducing a few centimeters below the surface, and teems with microscopic life. Deposition of salt, unlike that of many other sediments, is not wholly a constructional phenomenon. Permanent deposits result only if a favorable balance exists between deposition in the dry season and dissolution in the wet season. Evaporite formations chosen for special study in the West Texas Basin are, in ascending order, the Castile, Salado, and Rustler formations, which have a combined thickness of 1200 meters. The Castile formation is largely composed of gypsum rock, the Salado, halite rock, and the Rustler, quartz and carbonate sandstone. The lower part of the Castile formation is bituminous and contains limestone laminae. The Castile and Rustler formations thicken to the south at the expense of salt of the intervening Salado formation. The clastic rocks of the Rustler formation are interpreted as the deposits of a series of barrier islands north of which halite rock of the Salado was deposited. The salt is believed to have formed in shallow water of uniform density that was mixed by the wind. Where water depth exceeded the depth of the wind mixing, density stratification developed, and gypsum was deposited. Dense water of high salinity below the density discontinuity was overlain by less dense, more normally saline water which was derived from


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brigmon, R; Penny Morris, P; Garriet Smith, G


    Evaporitic environments are found in a variety of depositional environments as early as the Archean. The depositional settings, microbial community and mineralogical composition vary significantly as no two settings are identical. The common thread linking all of the settings is that evaporation exceeds precipitation resulting in elevated concentrations of cations and anions that are higher than in oceanic systems. The Dead Sea and Storrs Lake are examples of two diverse modern evaporitic settings as the former is below sea level and the latter is a coastal lake on an island in the Caribbean. Each system varies in water chemistry as the Dead Sea dissolved ions originate from surface weathered materials, springs, and aquifers while Storrs Lake dissolved ion concentration is primarily derived from sea water. Consequently some of the ions, i.e., Sr, Ba are found at significantly lower concentrations in Storrs Lake than in the Dead Sea. The origin of the dissolved ions are ultimately responsible for the pH of each system, alkaline versus mildly acidic. Each system exhibits unique biogeochemical properties as the extreme environments select certain microorganisms. Storrs Lake possesses significant biofilms and stromatolitic deposits and the alkalinity varies depending on rainfall and storm activity. The microbial community Storrs Lake is much more diverse and active than those observed in the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea waters are mildly acidic, lack stromatolites, and possess a lower density of microbial populations. The general absence of microbial and biofilm fossilization is due to the depletion of HCO{sub 3} and slightly acidic pH.

  8. Point locations and characteristics of evaporite-related potash deposits (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This spatial database of evaporite-related potash deposits and occurrences provides location and descriptive information for 981 deposits and occurrences that are...

  9. A global survey of Precambrian evaporites: Implications for Proterozoic paleoenvironments (United States)

    Evans, D. A.


    Evaporites are sedimentary rocks comprising minerals that crystallized from supersaturation of surface waters due to solar-driven desiccation. They, or their metamorphic relics and pseudomorphs, are abundant in the geologic record and document changes in paleoclimate, sealevel, and marine chemistry. Phanerozoic evaporites have been well described and summarized, in no small part due to their role as hydrocarbon seals, as well as sources of salinity in hydrothermal fluids that concentrate metal deposits. Precambrian evaporites are abundant in discrete number of instances but are generally less voluminous; their long-term preservation is limited by subsurface mineral dissolution as well as tectonic crustal recycling. Unlike Precambrian glacial deposits, which have been globally catalogued several times during the past fifty years, Precambrian evaporites have been compiled only partially in a few rare studies. A new, global survey of Precambrian evaporites (mainly pseudomorphs after gypsum, anhydrite, and halite) documents over 100 examples, including ten of Archean age. About 20 deposits have total preserved or estimated salt volumes exceeding 1000 cubic km, and these are restricted to the Proterozoic Era. One of the most impressive episodes of evaporite deposition in the entire geologic record occurred at about 800 Ma, coincident with the onset of Rodinia supercontinental fragmentation. These evaporites are preserved primarily as calcium-sulfates, totalling about 350,000 cubic km in volume. The next major global peak in evaporite deposition occurred in late Ediacaran to Early Cambrian time, totalling more than 1.5 million cubic km of mixed sulfates and halites. These peaks rival the great salt records of the Late Devonian, Late Permian, and Late Jurassic, and the molar volumes of deposited salt are comparable to the current inventory of oceanic salinity. Questions for future consideration include: what does the removal of this much salinity from the oceans, in these

  10. Evaporite-karst problems and studies in the USA (United States)

    Johnson, K.S.


    Evaporites, including rock salt (halite) and gypsum (or anhydrite), are the most soluble among common rocks; they dissolve readily to form the same types of karst features that commonly are found in limestones and dolomites. Evaporites are present in 32 of the 48 contiguous states in USA, and they underlie about 40% of the land area. Typical evaporite-karst features observed in outcrops include sinkholes, caves, disappearing streams, and springs, whereas other evidence of active evaporite karst includes surface-collapse structures and saline springs or saline plumes that result from salt dissolution. Many evaporites also contain evidence of paleokarst, such as dissolution breccias, breccia pipes, slumped beds, and collapse structures. All these natural karst phenomena can be sources of engineering or environmental problems. Dangerous sinkholes and caves can form rapidly in evaporite rocks, or pre-existing karst features can be reactivated and open up (collapse) under certain hydrologic conditions or when the land is put to new uses. Many karst features also propagate upward through overlying surficial deposits. Human activities also have caused development of evaporite karst, primarily in salt deposits. Boreholes (petroleum tests or solution-mining operations) or underground mines may enable unsaturated water to flow through or against salt deposits, either intentionally or accidentally, thus allowing development of small to large dissolution cavities. If the dissolution cavity is large enough and shallow enough, successive roof failures can cause land subsidence and/or catastrophic collapse. Evaporite karst, natural and human-induced, is far more prevalent than is commonly believed. ?? 2007 Springer-Verlag.

  11. Evaporites as a source for oil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schreiber, B.C.; Benalihioulhaj, S. (Queens Coll., Flushing, NY (United States). Dept. of Geology); Philp, R.P. (Oklahoma Univ., Norman, OK (United States). School of Geology and Geophysics)


    Organic matter, present in some sediments, acts as the source for hydrocarbons and has been studied at great length, but organic-rich sediments from hypersaline environments are just beginning to be understood. Many types of organic matter from such restricted environments have been identified, and in this study their maturation pathways and products are being explored. By collecting biologically-identified organic matter produced within modern evaporative environments from a number of different marine and nonmarine settings and carrying out detailed geochemical examination of samples we are gradually beginning to understand these materials. The organic samples collected were from evaporative marine, sabkha, and lacustrine deposits, and have been subjected to two types of artificial maturation, hydrous and confined pyrolysis, over a fairly wide range of temperatures (1500 to 350[degrees]C). The biomarker products of these treatments are being analyzed and followed in great detail. Analyses of saturate and aromatic hydrocarbons as well as sulfur compounds in the original and the matured samples provide a comprehensive view of the biomarker assemblages associated with these different depositional environments at different stages of maturity. Infrared spectroscopy and Rock Eval pyrolysis of both the isolated kerogens from both the original and pyrolyzed samples has permitted us to clearly characterize the functional groupings on the one hand and the free hydrocarbons, the potential hydrocarbons, and the oxygenated compounds on the other hand. We have thus been able to demonstrate the potential of the organic matter associated with the different evaporitic environments to act as a good source for oil generation.

  12. Terrestrial Evaporite Analogues for Identifying Extremophiles (Past or Present) from Potential Mars Evaporites (United States)

    Morris, P.; Wentworth, S.; Byrne, M.; Nelman, M.; Longazo, T.; Allen, C.; Brigmon, R.; McKay, D.

    An understanding of terrestrial evaporite microbial biota, their markers and fossilization processes is important for identifying potential present or past life signs from extraterrestrial sources such as Mars meteorites and Mars sample return. Storrs Lake, San Salvador Island, Bahamas, Mono Lake, California and the Dead Sea, Israel represent marine and nonmarine sites for comparative investigative studies of potential Mars analogues. Variations between the sites can be attributed to salinity, pH, water chemistry, and seasonal temperature changes, all of which can affect microbial abundance, fossilization, and mineral formation. Storr's Lake, located at sea level, pH 8, salinity averaging 7 g/l. has extensive stromatolitic structures0 composed of biofilm, rods, filaments, cocci and diatoms. The fossilized organic remains are generally composed of magnesium enriched calcium carbonate. Mono Lake is 2100 meters above sea level, pH and salinity are similar to Storr's Lake, and it has various evaporite and carbonate deposits including tufa structures that vary in height from less than 1 meter to over 4 meters. Algae, cyanobacteria, diatoms, and other microbial forms are present and contribute to t e formation of evaporiteh deposits including tufas. The Dead Sea is 400 m below sea level, pH 6.3 in the upper water mass, salinity averaging 229.9 g/l, and possesses extensive salt deposits with scant evidence of microbial fossilization as large carbonate structures such as tufas and stromatolites are absent. Modern investigative tools can identify microbes from all of these environments, but confirming the presence of fossilized microbes and their biomarkers subsequent to burial and lithification is more difficult. The goal of this study is to identify these biomarkers and test their suitability for identifying extraterrestrial microbial remains.

  13. Slanic Tuff and associated Miocene evaporite deposits, Eastern Carpathians, Romania (United States)

    Bojar, Ana-Voica; Halas, Stanislaw; Barbu, Victor; Bojar, Hans-Peter; Wojtowicz, Artur; Duliu, Octavian


    Miocene tuffs of calcalkaline composition are widespread in the Carpathians, Pannonian and Eastern Alpine realm. Their occurrences are described in outcrops as well as in the subsurface. The presence of such tuffs may offer important criteria for stratigraphic correlations and help to establish the absolute age of deposits and associated climatic and environmental changes. The Green Stone Hill (Muntele Piatra Verde) is situated to the north of Slanic-Prahova salt mine, in the bend region of the Eastern Carpathians, Romania. From bottom to top the section is composed of: marls with Globigerina followed by the so called Slanic tuff, gypsum and salt breccia and, on the top, radiolarian bearing shales. The stratigraphic age of the section is Middle to Upper Badenian (nannoplankton zones NN5 to NN6). XRD investigations of the green Slanic tuff show that the main mineralogical component is clinoptilolite (zeolite) followed by quartz and plagioclase. For this type of tuff there is no crystalline phase, which may be used for radiometric dating. In the middle part of the green tuff interval, we found discrete layers of a much coarser white tuff, with mineralogy consisting of quartz, plagioclase, biotite and clinoptilolite. The white tuff forming distinct layers within the green tuff, has an andesitic composition. 40Ar/39Ar dating of biotite concentrates from the white tuff gives an age of 13.6±0.2Ma, the dated layer being situated below the gypsum and salt breccia. We consider that the age is well constraining the time when the green tuffs were formed at the border of the basin. From this level upwards discrete gypsum layers occurs within the green tuffs, the age may be considered as indicating the base of the evaporitic sequence. To the south-east, from this level upwards evaporites, mainly salt formed. The age suggests that evaporitic deposits formed after the Mid Badenian climatic optimum, evaporitic formation being related to restricted circulation due the drop of sea

  14. On the effects of subsurface parameters on evaporite dissolution (Switzerland). (United States)

    Zidane, Ali; Zechner, Eric; Huggenberger, Peter; Younes, Anis


    Uncontrolled subsurface evaporite dissolution could lead to hazards such as land subsidence. Observed subsidences in a study area of Northwestern Switzerland were mainly due to subsurface dissolution (subrosion) of evaporites such as halite and gypsum. A set of 2D density driven flow simulations were evaluated along 1000 m long and 150 m deep 2D cross sections within the study area that is characterized by tectonic horst and graben structures. The simulations were conducted to study the effect of the different subsurface parameters that could affect the dissolution process. The heterogeneity of normal faults and its impact on the dissolution of evaporites is studied by considering several permeable faults that include non-permeable areas. The mixed finite element method (MFE) is used to solve the flow equation, coupled with the multipoint flux approximation (MPFA) and the discontinuous Galerkin method (DG) to solve the diffusion and the advection parts of the transport equation. Results show that the number of faults above the lower aquifer that contains the salt layer is considered as the most important factor that affects the dissolution compared to the other investigated parameters of thickness of the zone above the halite formation, a dynamic conductivity of the lower aquifer, and varying boundary conditions in the upper aquifer. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Identification, prediction and mitigation of sinkhole hazards in evaporite karst areas


    F. Gutiérrez; Cooper, Anthony; Johnson, Kenneth


    Abstract Sinkholes usually have a higher probability of occurrence and a greater genetic diversity in evaporite terrains than in carbonate karst areas. This is because evaporites have a higher solubility, and commonly a lower mechanical strength. Subsidence damage resulting from evaporite dissolution generates substantial losses throughout the world, but the causes are only well-understood in a few areas. To deal with these hazards, a phased approach is needed for sinkhole identification, inv...

  16. Evaporite deposits of Bogota area, Cordillera Oriental, Colombia (United States)

    McLaughlin, Donald H.


    Four evaporite-bearing stratigraphic zones are known in Cretaceous strata of the Cordillera Oriental of Colombia north and east of Bogota. The easternmost and oldest zone is probably of Berriasian to Valanginian age. The next oldest is probably late Barremian to early Aptian in age. The third appears to be Aptian. The westernmost and best known sequence in the Sabana de Bogota is Turonian to early Coniacian in age. This youngest sequence contains the thickest salt deposits known in Colombia and is probably the most widespread geographically.Most of the rock salt exposed in the three accessible mines (at Zipaquira, Nemocon, and Upin) has a characteristic lamination of alternating slightly argillaceous and highly argillaceous salt layers of varied but moderate thickness. Black, calcareous claystone, commonly very pyritic, is interbedded conformably with the laminated salt in many places throughout the deposits. Fragments of black claystone derived from the thinner interbeds are ubiquitous in all deposits, both as concordant breccia zones and as isolated clasts.Anhydrite is scarce at Zipaquira and apparently even rarer at Nemocon and Upin. Gypsum is produced at three small deposits in the oldest evaporite zone where it probably was concentrated by leaching of salt initially associated with it.The two intervening evaporite zones are not exposed, but their existence and distribution are indicated by brine springs and locally by "rute," a distinctive black, calcareous mud formed by the leaching of salt beds.Fossils show that the youngest salt-claystone zone, in the Sabana de Bogota, is contemporary with associated hematitic sandstone and siltstone, and with carbonaceous and locally coaly claystone. Although evidence is poor, this same facies relation probably exists within the other three evaporite zones.All salt deposits in this study probably are associated with anticlines, a relation best exemplified by the deposits on the Sabana de Bogota. Within these anticlines the

  17. Frictional properties and slip stability of active faults within carbonate-evaporite sequences: The role of dolomite and anhydrite

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scuderi, M.M.; Niemeijer, A.R.; Collettini, C.; Marone, C.


    Seismological observations show that many destructive earthquakes nucleate within, or propagate through, thick sequences of carbonates and evaporites. For example, along the Apennines range (Italy) carbonate and evaporite sequences are present at hypocentral depths for recent major earthquakes

  18. SSeismic imaging of Messinian Evaporites in the Ionian Basin (United States)

    Camerlenghi, Angelo; Del Ben, Anna; Forlin, Edy; Geletti, Riccardo; Mocnik, Arianna; Saule, Marco


    The understanding of the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) as a Mediterranean basin-wide event requires an improved knowledge of the stratigraphy in the deep basins and continental margins. The seismic markers of the deposition of Messinian evaporites in the deep Mediterranean basins identify two end-members in the Western Mediterranean basins and in the Levant Basin. In the Western Mediterranean a consistent succession of three seismo-stratigraphic units in the deep basins, the so called seismic trilogy, can be correlated across thousands of kilometers in the Algero-Balearic and Provençal basins with a fairly constant distribution of the Lower Unit, the Mobile Unit, and the overlying Upper Unit. In the Levant Basin, one single seismostratigraphic unit defines the MSC, composed of up to 6 alternations of a transparent and layered seismic units. The causes of the these different seismic expressions of the MSC are presently under investigation. Here we report on the seismic signal analysis performed on vintage multichannel seismic reflection profiles from the Ionian Basin, that is located immediately down-flow from the sill separating the Western Mediterranean Basins and the Levant Basin during the postulated re-flooding of the Mediterranean at the end of the MSC. Given the intense post-Messinian tectonic deformation induced plate convergence below the Calabrian and Hellenic margins, the challenge in this area is the identification of an undisturbed deep sea evaporitic sequence where the data quality allows a reliable reconstruction of the seismic units. With the aid of a extensive velocity analysis and pre-stack migration in time and depth domains, we have been able to define a third type of deep basin Messinian seismic sequence characterizing the Ionian Basin. This is composed by a very thin (one or two high amplitude reflectors) and discontinuous Lower Unit, that makes up basal lens-shaped bodies overlain by a nearly 1 km-thick Mobile Unit, typically composed of a

  19. Uranium-Bearing Evaporite Mineralization Influencing Plume Persistence. Literature Review and DOE-LM Site Surveys

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None, None


    This report on evaporite mineralization was completed as an Ancillary Work Plan for the Applied Studies and Technology program under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management (LM). This study reviews all LM sites under Title I and Title II of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) and one Decontamination and Decommissioning site to provide (1) a summary of which sites have evaporite deposits, (2) any available quantitative geochemical and mineralogical analyses, and (3) references to relevant reports. In this study, “evaporite” refers to any secondary mineral precipitate that occurs due to a loss of water through evaporative processes. This includes efflorescent salt crusts, where this term refers to a migration of dissolved constituents to the surface with a resulting salt crust, where “salt” can refer to any secondary precipitate, regardless of constituents. The potential for the formation of evaporites at LM sites has been identified, and may have relevance to plume persistence issues. Evaporite deposits have the potential to concentrate and store contaminants at LM sites that could later be re-released. These deposits can also provide a temporary storage mechanism for carbonate, chloride, and sulfate salts along with uranium and other contaminants of concern (COCs). Identification of sites with evaporites will be used in a new technical task plan (TTP), Persistent Secondary Contaminant Sources (PeSCS), for any proposed additional sampling and analyses. This additional study is currently under development and will focus on determining if the dissolution of evaporites has the potential to hinder natural flushing strategies and impact plume persistence. This report provides an initial literature review on evaporites followed by details for each site with identified evaporites. The final summary includes a table listing of all relevant LM sites regardless of evaporite identification.

  20. Evaporite karst of Albania: main features and cases of environmental degradation (United States)

    Parise, Mario; Qiriazi, Perikli; Sala, Skender


    The present paper focuses on the description of the main evaporite karst areas of Albania, and on their environmental problems. Even though the majority of the karst areas in Albania is represented by carbonates, evaporites crop out significantly at several sites, and deserve a specific attention for their morphological, karstic and speleological peculiarities. Vulnerability of karst is well marked by pollution and degradation problems in regions such as Dumre (central Albania), where some tens of lakes of karst origin are present in the Permian-Triassic evaporites. Water pollution with negative effects on the local ecosystems, and anthropogenic changes of the natural karst landscape in the last century resulted in intense environmental degradation at Dumre. Messinian evaporites crop out in the Kavaja area (near the Adriatic coast), and at other sites in central-southern Albania. In these areas, surface karst morphology is characterized by a number of dolines, ponors and blind valleys, which often correspond to inlet points of subterranean drainages and caves. Notwithstanding these peculiarities, and the relevance of the area for biospeleological studies, many caves have been destroyed by quarrying activities, resulting in severe losses to the natural heritage. Following a general description of the evaporite karst areas of Albania, the paper focuses on the present situation of the evaporites in the country, which is frequently affected by degradation and environmental losses in the karst landscape, and pollution of the aquifers.

  1. Calcareous nannofossil events in the pre-evaporitic Messinian (United States)

    Negri, Alessandra; Lozar, Francesca


    During the Messinian (7.2 to 5.3 Ma) the Mediterranean area experienced fast and deep climatic and eustatic structural changes. The stratigraphic framework for this interval is relatively well constrained and the beginning of the Messinian salinity crisis dated at 5.97 Ma determine a duration of at least 1.2 Ma for the pre-evaporitic Messinian that is object of this study. Several sites (Faneromeni, Pissouri, Polemi Fanantello borehole, Lemme, Pollenzo, Govone, Moncalvo; Wade and Bown, 2006; Kouwenhoven et al 2006, Morigi et al 2007, Lozar et al 2010, Dela Pierre et al 2011) show similar calcareous nannofossil record behavior, with several Sphenolithus spp. peaks recognised at different quotes in each of the sections. Aim of the present work is to compare the calcareous nannofossil data achieved in the above mentioned sections: interestingly, the occurrence of strongly oligotypic assemblages related to high salinity and unstable environments, appear to correlate precisely among the investigated sites and occur immediately before the onset of the Messinian salinity crisis, then offering the possibility to use them as bioevents for regional correlation. References Dela Pierre, F., Bernardi, E., Cavagna, S., Clari, P., Gennari, R., Irace, A., Lozar, F., Lugli, S., Manzi, V., Natalicchio, M., Roveri, M., Violanti, D., 2011. The record of the Messinian salinity crisis in the Tertiary Piedmont Basin (NW Italy): The Alba section revisited. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 310, 238-255. Kouwenhoven, T.J., Morigi, C., Negri, A., Giunta, S., Krijgsman, W., Rouchy, J.M., 2006 Paleoenvironmental evolution of the eastern Mediterranean during the Messinian: Constraints from integrated microfossil data of the Pissouri Basin (Cyprus). Marine Micropaleontology 60, 17-44. Lozar, F., Violanti, D., Dela Pierre, F., Bernardi, E., Cavagna, S., Clari, P., Irace, A., Martinetto, E., Trenkwalder, S., 2010. Calcareous nannofossils and foraminifers herald the Messinian

  2. Geothermal evolution of the evaporite-bearing sequences of the Lesser Himalaya, India (United States)

    Singh, S. P.; Singh, B. P.


    Neoproterozoic evaporites occurring in the western part of the Lesser Himalaya in India, coeval to Pakistan, Iran and Oman evaporites, were investigated in order to understand the degree of metamorphism in them and in associated carbonates. The evaporite-bearing succession occurs in association of phyllite, quartzite and carbonate near the Main boundary Thrust. In order to learn the details about the burial history of these evaporite rocks, the Kübler illite crystallinity index (KI) was measured from the illite peaks of the clay minerals separated from the evaporite rocks and it indicated that this section has reached a maximum temperature up to ~300°C. Microthermometric measurements on fluid inclusions present in the associated dolomite show range of homogenization temperatures (Th), from 220 to 280°C, well within the temperature range of anchizone metamorphism. Additionally, dolomite shows a highly negative δ18O signature (mean, -15.5‰PDB), which is more likely related to diagenetic overprint from deep burial conditions rather than original precipitation from 18O-depleted seawater. The evaporites (sulfates and chloride) probably were transformed many times after their precipitation, but they have retained only the features developed during last one or two phases of alteration and deformation as they are continuously susceptible to minor changes in temperatures and stresses. The final temperature range of 42-78°C in sulfates and chloride gives thermal approximation estimate that is not in concordance with the thermal history of the basin and are likely related to conversion of anhydrite into gypsum and recrystallization of halite during exhumation. Highly negative oxygen isotopic composition, homogenization temperatures and KI values equivalent to a high anchizone metamorphism suggest a burial depth of ~10 km for these terminal Neoproterozoic evaporite-bearing sequences of the Lesser Himalaya.

  3. Mediterranean salt giants beyond the evaporite model: The Sicily perspective (United States)

    Carmelo Manuella, Fabio; Scribano, Vittorio; Carbone, Serafina; Hovland, Martin; Johnsen, Hans-Konrad; Rueslåtten, Håkon


    Mediterranean salt giants, occurring both in sub-seafloor and in onshore settings (the "Gessoso Solfifera Group"), are traditionally explained by repeated cycles of desiccation and replenishment of the entire basin. However, such hypotheses are strongly biased by mass balance calculations and geodynamic considerations. In addition, any hypothesis without full desiccation, still based on the evaporite model, should consider that seawater brines start to precipitate halite when 2/3 of the seawater has evaporated, and hence the level of the basin cannot be the same as the adjacent ocean. On the other hand, hydrothermal venting of hot saline brines onto the seafloor can precipitate salt in a deep marine basin if a layer of heavy brine exists along the seafloor. This process, likely related to sub-surface boiling or supercritical out-salting (Hovland et al., 2006), is consistent with geological evidence in the Red Sea "Deeps" (Hovland et al., 2015). Although supercritical out-salting and phase separation can sufficiently explain the formation of several marine salt deposits, even in deep marine settings, the Mediterranean salt giant formations can also be explained by the serpentinization model (Scribano et al., 2016). Serpentinization of abyssal peridotites does not involve seawater salts, and large quantities of saline brines accumulate in pores and fractures of the sub-seafloor serpentinites. If these rocks undergo thermal dehydration, for example, due to igneous intrusions, brines and salt slurries can migrate upwards as hydrothermal plumes, eventually venting at the seafloor, giving rise to giant salt deposits over time. These hydrothermal processes can take place in a temporal sequence, as it occurred in the "Caltanissetta Basin" (Sicily). There, salt accumulation associated with serpentinization started during Triassic times (and even earlier), and venting of heavy brines onto the seafloor eventually occurred in the Messinian via the hydrothermal plume mechanism

  4. Hydraulic testing of Salado Formation evaporites at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant site: Second interpretive report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beauheim, R.L. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Roberts, R.M.; Dale, T.F.; Fort, M.D.; Stensrud, W.A. [INTERA, Inc., Austin, TX (United States)


    Pressure-pulse, constant-pressure flow, and pressure-buildup tests have been performed in bedded evaporites of the Salado Formation at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site to evaluate the hydraulic properties controlling brine flow through the Salado. Transmissivities have been interpreted from six sequences of tests conducted on five stratigraphic intervals within 15 m of the WIPP underground excavations.

  5. Sedimentary cycles in coal and evaporite basins and the reconstruction of Paleozoic climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Belt, F.J.G.


    This thesis deals with large-scale processes controlling the formation of sedimentary cycles in coal and evaporite basins and their relation to large-scale fluctuations of Palaeozoic climate. Coal-clastic cycles dominate Pennsylvanian sequences in palaeo-equatorial basins from Euramerica. They

  6. Discovery of the Badenian evaporites inside the Carpathian Arc: implications for global climate change and Paratethys salinity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Báldi Katalin


    Full Text Available Massive evaporites were discovered in the Soltvadkert Trough (Great Plain, Hungary correlating to the Badenian Salinity Crisis (13.8 Ma, Middle Miocene on the basis of nannoplankton and foraminifera biostratigraphy. This new occurrence from Hungary previously thought to be devoid of evaporites is part of a growing body of evidence of evaporitic basins inside the Carpathian Arc. We suggest the presence of evaporites perhaps in the entire Central Paratethys during the salinity crisis. Different scenarios are suggested for what subsequently happened to these evaporites to explain their presence or absence in the geological record. Where they are present, scenario A suggests that they were preserved in subsiding, deep basins overlain by younger sediments that protected the evaporites from reworking, like in the studied area. Where they are absent, scenario B suggests recycling. Scenario B explains how the supposedly brackish Sarmatian could have been hyper/normal saline locally by providing a source of the excess salt from the reworking and dissolving of BSC halite into seawater. These scenarios suggest a much larger amount of evaporites locked up in the Central Paratethys during the salinity crisis then previously thought, probably contributing to the step-like nature of cooling of the Mid Miocene Climate Transition, the coeval Mi3b.

  7. Railway deformation detected by DInSAR over active sinkholes in the Ebro Valley evaporite karst, Spain

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    J P Galve; C Castañeda; F Gutiérrez


    ...) using Differential Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (DInSAR) techniques. This area is affected by evaporite karst and the analysed railway corridors traverse active sinkholes that produce deformations in these infrastructures...

  8. Proterozoic low orbital obliquity and axial-dipolar geomagnetic field from evaporite palaeolatitudes. (United States)

    Evans, David A D


    Palaeomagnetism of climatically sensitive sedimentary rock types, such as glacial deposits and evaporites, can test the uniformitarianism of ancient geomagnetic fields and palaeoclimate zones. Proterozoic glacial deposits laid down in near-equatorial palaeomagnetic latitudes can be explained by 'snowball Earth' episodes, high orbital obliquity or markedly non-uniformitarian geomagnetic fields. Here I present a global palaeomagnetic compilation of the Earth's entire basin-scale evaporite record. Magnetic inclinations are consistent with low orbital obliquity and a geocentric-axial-dipole magnetic field for most of the past two billion years, and the snowball Earth hypothesis accordingly remains the most viable model for low-latitude Proterozoic ice ages. Efforts to reconstruct Proterozoic supercontinents are strengthened by this demonstration of a consistently axial and dipolar geomagnetic reference frame, which itself implies stability of geodynamo processes on billion-year timescales.

  9. Earth analogs for Martian life - Microbes in evaporites, a new model system for life on Mars (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.


    It is suggested that 'oases' in which life forms may persist on Mars could occur, by analogy with terrestrial cases, in (1) rocks, as known in endolithic microorganisms, (2) polar ice caps, as seen in snow and ice algae, and (3) volcanic regions, as witnessed in the chemoautotrophs which live in ocean-floor hydrothermal vents. Microorganisms, moreover, have been known to survive in salt crystals, and it has even been shown that organisms can metabolize while encrusted in evaporites. Evaporites which may occur on Mars would be able to attenuate UV light, while remaining more transparent to the 400-700 nm radiation useful in photosynthesis. Suggestions are made for the selection of Martian exobiological investigation sites.

  10. Geochemical study of evaporite and clay mineral-oxyhydroxide samples from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brookins, D.G. [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (US). Dept. of Geology


    Samples of clay minerals, insoluble oxyhydroxides, and their host evaporites from the WIPP site have been studied for their major and minor elements abundances, x-ray diffraction characteristics, K-Ar ages, and Rb-Sr ages. This study was undertaken to determine their overall geochemical characteristics and to investigate possible interactions between evaporates and insoluble constituents. The evaporite host material is water-soluble, having Cl/Br ratios typical of marine evaporites, although the Br content is low. Insoluble material (usually a mixture of clay minerals and oxyhydroxide phases) yields very high Cl/Br ratios, possibly because of Cl from admixed halide minerals. This same material yields K/Rb and Th/U ratios in the normal range for shales; suggesting little, if any, effect of evaporite-induced remobilization of U, K, or Rb in the insoluble material. The rare-earth element (REE) data also show normal REE/chondrite (REE/CHON) distribution patterns, supporting the K/Rb and Th/U data. Clay minerals yield K-Ar dates in the range 365 to 390 Ma and a Rb-Sr isochron age of 428 {+-} 7 Ma. These ages are well in excess of the 220- to 230-Ma formational age of the evaporites, and confirm the detrital origin of the clays. The ages also show that any evaporite or clay mineral reactions that might have occurred at or near the time of sedimentation and diagenesis were not sufficient to reset the K-Ar and Rb-Sr systematics of the clay minerals. Further, x-ray data indicate a normal evaporitic assemblage of clay minerals and Fe-rich oxyhydroxide phases. The clay minerals and other insoluble material appear to be resistant to the destructive effects of their entrapment in the evaporites, which suggests that these insoluble materials would be good getters for any radionuclides (hypothetically) released from the storage of radioactive wastes in the area.

  11. The Messinian evaporites in the Levant Basin: lithology, deformation and its evolution (United States)

    Feng, Ye; Steinberg, Josh; Reshef, Moshe


    The lithological composition of the Messinian evaporite in the Levant Basin remains controversial and salt deformation mechanisms are still not fully understood, due to the lack of high resolution 3D depth seismic data and well logs that record the entire evaporite sequence. We demonstrate how 3D Pre-stack depth migration (PSDM) and intra-salt tomography can lead to improved salt imaging. Using 3D PSDM seismic data with great coverage and deepwater well log data from recently drilled boreholes, we reveal intra-salt reflective units associated with thin clastic layers and a seismic transparent background consisting of uniform pure halite. Structural maps of all internal reflectors are generated for stratigraphy and attributes analysis. High amplitude fan structures in the lowermost intra-salt reflector are observed, which may indicate the source of the clastic formation during the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC). The Messinian evaporite in the Levant Basin comprises six units; the uppermost unit thickens towards the northwest, whereas the other units are uniform in thickness. The top of salt (TS) horizon is relatively horizontal, while all other intra-salt reflectors and base of salt (BS) dip towards the northwest. Different seismic attributes are used for identification of intra-salt deformation patterns. Maximum curvature maps show NW-striking thrust faults on the TS and upper intra-salt units, and dip azimuth maps are used to show different fold orientations between the TS and intra-salt units, which indicate a two-phase deformation mechanism: basin NW tilting as syn-depositional phase and NNE spreading of Plio-Pleistocene overburden as post-depositional phase. RMS amplitude maps are used to identify a channelized system on the TS. An evaporite evolution model during the MSC of the Levant Basin is therefore established based on all the observations. Finally the mechanical properties of the salts will be utilized to explore salt deformation in the Levant Basin

  12. Characteristics and geological significance of Re-Os isotopic system of evaporites in Mboukoumassi deposit, the Republic of Congo (United States)

    Zhao, Xianfu; Wang, Zongqi; Liu, Chenglin; Li, Chao; Jiao, Pengcheng; Zhao, Yanjun; Zhang, Fan


    Evaporite dating has been an open problem. The study investigates the Re-Os isotopic system in the organic-rich sedimentary rocks to constrain the infilling of sedimentary basin and related geological events. In the Mboukoumassi potash deposit in the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville) in West Africa, several layers of organic-rich dark shale were found in the evaporite series. Through drilling core, the dark shale in the evaporite is found to satisfy the requirements of Re-Os isotope test. The result shows that the Re-Os isochron age of the dark shale in the study area ranges from 78.7 ± 1.1 to 96 ± 7 Ma, which is the first precise age of the Mboukoumassi potash deposit in the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), West Africa. Therefore, the age of deposition of this set of evaporite may be Cenomanian-Turonian, which is younger than the age previously thought (around 113-125Ma, Aptian). The Re-Os isotopic dating technique used for the pioneering study on the precise dating of the Mboukoumassi potash deposit provides a new approach to the study of the sedimentary age of ancient evaporite deposits. The initial 187Os/188Os value decreasing from 2.02 ± 0.21 to 0.982 ± 0.03 for the core sample reflects the source rock chang along the core, and this is consistent with the geological evolution of the basin.

  13. Multiple techniques for mineral identification of terrestrial evaporites relevant to Mars exploration (United States)

    Stivaletta, N.; Dellisanti, F.; D'Elia, M.; Fonti, S.; Mancarella, F.


    Sulfates, commonly found in evaporite deposits, were observed on Mars surface during orbital remote sensing and surface exploration. In terrestrial environments, evaporite precipitation creates excellent microniches for microbial colonization, especially in desert areas. Deposits comprised of gypsum, calcite, quartz and silicate deposits (phyllosilicates, feldspars) from Sahara Desert in southern Tunisia contain endolithic colonies just below the rock surface. Previous optical observations verified the presence of microbial communities and, as described in this paper, spectral visible analyses have led to identification of chlorophylls belonging to photosynthetic bacteria. Spectral analyses in the infrared region have clearly detected the presence of gypsum and phyllosilicates (mainly illite and/or smectite), as well as traces of calcite, but not quartz. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis has identified the dominant presence of gypsum as well as that of other secondary minerals such as quartz, feldspars and Mg-Al-rich phyllosilicates, such as chlorite, illite and smectite. The occurrence of a small quantity of calcite in all the samples was also highlighted by the loss of CO2 by thermal analysis (TG-DTA). A normative calculation using XRD, thermal data and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis has permitted to obtain the mineralogical concentration of the minerals occurring in the samples. The combination of multiple techniques provides information about the mineralogy of rocks and hence indication of environments suitable for supporting microbial life on Mars surface.

  14. The geochemical and isotopic record of evaporite recycling in spas and salterns of the Basque Cantabrian basin, Spain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Iribar, V., E-mail: [Departamento de Geodinamica, Universidad del Pais Vasco, PO Box 644, E-48080 Bilbao (Spain); Abalos, B. [Departamento de Geodinamica, Universidad del Pais Vasco, PO Box 644, E-48080 Bilbao (Spain)


    Graphical abstract: Stable isotopes and hydrochemistry disclose two types of saline groundwater whose source is the dissolution of Triassic (Keuper) or Cretaceous (Wealden) evaporites, that are recycled from the older ones. Display Omitted Highlights: > Saline springs compositions are used to delineate extent of subsurface evaporites. > Origin of Wealden vs. Triassic evaporites constrained using {delta}{sup 34}S{sub SO4}, {delta}{sup 18}O{sub SO4} and Cl/Br ratio. > Geological structures and saline water circulation relation. - Abstract: Evaporite outcrops are rare in the Basque Cantabrian basin due to a rainy climate, but saline springs with total dissolved solids ranging from 0.8 to 260 g/L are common and have long been used to supply spas and salterns. New and existing hydrochemistry of saline springs are used to provide additional insight on the origin and underground extent of their poorly known source evaporites. Saline water hydrochemistry is related to dissolution of halite and gypsum from two evaporitic successions (Triassic 'Keuper' and Lower Cretaceous 'Wealden'), as supported by rock samples from outcrops and oil exploration drill cuttings. The {delta}{sup 34}S value of gypsum in the Keuper evaporites and sulfate in the springs is {delta}{sup 34}S{sub SO4} = 14.06 {+-} 1.07 per mille and {delta}{sup 18}O{sub SO4} = 13.41 {+-} 1.44 per mille, and the relationship between Cl/Br ratio of halite and water shows that waters have dissolved halite with Br content between 124 and 288 ppm. The {delta}{sup 34}S value of gypsum in the Wealden evaporites and sulfate in the springs is {delta}{sup 34}S{sub SO4} = 19.66 {+-} 1.76 per mille, {delta}{sup 18}O{sub SO4} = 14.93 {+-} 2.35 per mille, and the relationship between Cl/Br ratio of halite and water shows that waters have dissolved halite with Br content between 15 and 160 ppm. Wealden evaporites formed in a continental setting after the dissolution of Keuper salt. Gypsum {delta}{sup 34}S

  15. Identification, prediction, and mitigation of sinkhole hazards in evaporite karst areas (United States)

    Gutierrez, F.; Cooper, A.H.; Johnson, K.S.


    Sinkholes usually have a higher probability of occurrence and a greater genetic diversity in evaporite terrains than in carbonate karst areas. This is because evaporites have a higher solubility and, commonly, a lower mechanical strength. Subsidence damage resulting from evaporite dissolution generates substantial losses throughout the world, but the causes are only well understood in a few areas. To deal with these hazards, a phased approach is needed for sinkhole identification, investigation, prediction, and mitigation. Identification techniques include field surveys and geomorphological mapping combined with accounts from local people and historical sources. Detailed sinkhole maps can be constructed from sequential historical maps, recent topographical maps, and digital elevation models (DEMs) complemented with building-damage surveying, remote sensing, and high-resolution geodetic surveys. On a more detailed level, information from exposed paleosubsidence features (paleokarst), speleological explorations, geophysical investigations, trenching, dating techniques, and boreholes may help in investigating dissolution and subsidence features. Information on the hydrogeological pathways including caves, springs, and swallow holes are particularly important especially when corroborated by tracer tests. These diverse data sources make a valuable database-the karst inventory. From this dataset, sinkhole susceptibility zonations (relative probability) may be produced based on the spatial distribution of the features and good knowledge of the local geology. Sinkhole distribution can be investigated by spatial distribution analysis techniques including studies of preferential elongation, alignment, and nearest neighbor analysis. More objective susceptibility models may be obtained by analyzing the statistical relationships between the known sinkholes and the conditioning factors. Chronological information on sinkhole formation is required to estimate the probability of

  16. Possible evaporite karst in an interior layered deposit in Juventae Chasma, Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide Baioni


    Full Text Available This paper describes karst landforms observed in an interior layered deposit (ILD located within Juventae Chasma a trough of the Valles Marineris, a rift system that belongs to the Tharsis region of Mars. The ILD investigated is characterized by spectral signatures of kieserite, an evaporitic mineral present on Earth. A morphologic and morphometric survey of the ILD surface performed on data of the Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE highlighted the presence of depressions of various shapes and sizes. These landforms interpreted as dolines resemble similar karst landforms on Earth and in other regions of Mars. The observed karst landforms suggest the presence of liquid water, probably due to ice melting, in the Amazonian age.

  17. A halite-siderite-anhydrite-chlorapatite assemblage in Nakhla: mineralogical evidence for evaporites on Mars (United States)

    Bridges, J. C.; Grady, M. M.


    We report the results of a study of a halite-siderite-anhydrite-chlorapatite assemblage in the SNC (martian) meteorite Nakhla. These minerals are found associated with each other in interstitial areas, halite often being adjacent to or enclosing siderite. We suggest the halite and other minerals are martian in origin because the conditions of fall preclude significant amounts of terrestrial contamination or weathering having taken place; textures indicate that the minerals within this assemblage crystallised at the same stage as some silicate and oxide minerals within the Nakhla parent ; the association with siderite which previous studies have shown has carbon and oxygen isotopic compositions incompatible with an origin on Earth. Siderite has the range of compositions CaCO3 0.1-5.7, MgCO3 2.0-40.9, FeCO3 23.2-87.0, MnCO3 1.0-39.9 mol. %. There are two compositional groupings: high-MnCO3 (( 30 mol %) and low-MnCO3/high-FeCO3, with a gap identified between the two. This may be a miscibility gap or, alternatively, the 2 compositional groupings may mark separate generations of carbonate. We have not found any textural evidence for the latter explanation but acceptance of the presence of a miscibility gap would require independent work on Fe-Mn carbonates to verify its existence. Trace element abundances have been determined by ion microprobe analysis on 3 siderite and 1 anhydrite grains. Siderite has LREE (2.2 - 7.3 x C1) > HREE (0.32 - 0.79 x C1) without Ce or Eu anomalies and the anhydrite has a similar pattern. These abundances reflect the source composition rather than partitioning or complexing controls. They are not typical of hydrothermal signatures which generally do not have such smooth REE abundance patterns. The nature of the mineral assemblage suggests that its source rocks on Mars were evaporites. These may be common in the craters and flood plains of the martian southern highlands. Two models are suggested in this paper to explain the incorporation of

  18. Integrated stratigraphy and chronology of Messinian evaporites from the Levant basin in the deep eastern Mediterranean (United States)

    Meilijson, Aaron; Steinberg, Josh; Hilgen, Frits; Bialik, Or; Ilner, Peter; Waldmann, Nicolas; Makovsky, Yizhaq


    The Messinian salinity crisis (MSC) is perceived as an environmental crisis governed by climatic and tectonic controls, affecting global oceans salinity and shaping the Mediterranean's bio-chemical composition. The elaborate and ongoing study of the Mediterranean MSC is mainly focused on marginal and intermediate sections from which material was previously available. This relatively proximal data is also coupled with offshore seismic data and several wells which have penetrated the deep-basin Messinian salt in its uppermost parts, for producing stratigraphic models and hypotheses related to the distal occurrence of the MSC. These offshore assumptions could only be tested by drilling in the deep Mediterranean Sea. In this work we investigate these fascinating deposits from previously inaccessible domains in the deepest realms of the Mediterranean, and correlate this data with the much more abundant and elaborate findings reported from the marginal and intermediate depositional environments. Here we provide for the first time high resolution sedimentological, faunal and geochemical data from the entire massive Messinian evaporite section of the deep Eastern Mediterranean basin. We have analyzed an extensive set of well cuttings while correlating results to well logs and seismic data, and constructed a chronostratigraphic model based on biostratigraphy and astrochronology. We present a detailed account of the pre- and evaporitic Messinian as it occurred in the deep Levant basin, identifying paleo life in the form of diatoms, foraminifera and ostracods within different parts of the section. Our results indicate that salt was deposited during the complete 640 kyr-long MSC, rather than limited to the 50 kyr (stage 2) MSC acme. Moreover, the deep-basin was barren of eukaryotic life throughout most of this duration, at least in the Levant. Thus brine formation, salt precipitation and faunal extinction took place in a non-desiccated basin, having a restricted but often open

  19. Recharged or modified-connate water in a carbonate bed within an evaporite aquitard, Texas panhandle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dutton, A.R.; Kreitler, C.W.


    Hydraulic-head data and numerical modeling suggest that ground water in the Palo Duro Basin area of the Texas Panhandle has leaked downward through a Permian evaporite-carbonate-shale aquitard. Chemical composition of brine in a carbonate bed of the San Andres Formation within the aquitard gives ambiguous evidence of ground-water leakage. San Andres ground water varies chemically from potable Ca-HCO/sub 3/- and Ca-SO/sub 4/-type waters in the nonhalitic sections of the San Andres Formation below the Pecos Plains of eastern New Mexico to Na-Ca-Cl brine within the Palo Duro Basin. The composition of the 336 to 384 g/L brine can be explained by solution of dolomite, anhydrite, and halite, accompanied by exchange of some sodium for calcium. The brine is near oxygen isotopic equilibrium with San Andres dolomite. Problems with this recharged-water explanation are identification of the water-rock reaction that replaces dissolved sodium with calcium and the reaction that enriches deltaD of San Andres brine by 30 per thousand to 40 per thousand relative to modern regional meteoric water. Problems with explaining San Andres brine as modified-connate water are that hydraulic-head data and numerical modeling suggest leakage occurs and that ion ratios in brine differ from ion ratios in evaporatively concentrated, diagenetically modified seawater. However, because leakage rates are slow and variable, some modified-connate brine could be mixed with leaking recharged water, making interpretation difficult. Leakage rate and extent of flushing of old brine depend on whether flow is through fractures or through intergranular pore space in the evaporite aquitard.

  20. Thickness of Jurassic evaporite facies in the Afghan-Tajik and Amu Darya basins of northern Afghanistan and adjacent areas (evapisoafg.shp) (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This shapefile contains polylines (isopachs) that describe the thickness of Jurassic age evaporite facies (Gaurdak formation) in the Afghan-Tajik and Amu Darya basins

  1. Jurassic evaporite facies of the Afghan-Tajik and Amu Darya basins in northern Afghanistan and adjacent areas (evapfacafg.shp) (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This shapefile contains polygons that describe the spatial extent of Jurassic age evaporite facies (Gaurdak formation) in the Afghan-Tajik and Amu Darya basins.

  2. Characterization of organic-rich material in an evaporitic environment: the Lower Oligocene of the Mulhouse basin (Alsace, France) (United States)

    Gely, J.-P.; Blanc-Valleron, M.-M.; Fache-Dany, F.; Schuler, M.; Ansart, M.


    Evaporitic sediments from the Max borehole (Mulhouse Potash Basin, southern Rhine Graben) were studied over an interval of about 40 m in the vicinity of sylvite beds. Total organic carbon (TOC) analyses of 450 samples showed that marly layers interbedded within the evaporites have TOC values that fluctuate in a rhythmic manner; the highest values are found near the top of the clay—anhydrite layers and the lowest values are recorded near the top of the halite-rich beds. Geochemical (elemental analysis of kerogen, gas chromatography of bitumen) and palynological studies of 26 samples showed that the organic matter is mainly of algal origin (A and B groups). A third category of organic material (C group) may have been derived from a mixture of continental supply and in situ bacterial productivity.

  3. Contribution of an ancient evaporitic-type reservoir to lake vostok chemistry (United States)

    de Angelis, M.; Thiemens, M. H.; Savarino, J.; Petit, J. R.


    Accretion ice 1 (3538 to 3608 m) contents visible sediment inclusions likely incorporated into ice in a shallow bay upstream Vostok where glacier moves against a relief rise. Ion chromatography measurements indicate that elemental concentrations are linked to inclusions abundances. More than 80% of SO_42- is present as CaSO_4 or MgSO_4. While SO_42- concentrations and the relative proportion of CaSO_4 and MgSO_4 varies in a wide range in accreted ice, concentration profiles of Na and Cl, present as NaCl, are much more regular even along individual crystals. Question rises about the presence of such salts in lake water: The 17O anomaly of sulphate in one samples taken at 3570 m suggests that less than 10% of total sulphate comes from DMS oxidation, ruling out any significant contribution of glacer melt water. Fe concentrations are low (10 ppb) excluding sulphate production from the pyrite oxidation by biogenic in-situ activity. This conclusion is supported by the isotopic signature of 34S. Taken all together, these observations strongly suggest the contribution of an evaporitic-type basin to the lake salinity. Assuming that sediments accumulated in an isolated reservoir prior the lake formation, seismotectonic activated hydrothermal circulation may pulse NaCl rich water with sulphate salts through faults up to their vents in a shallow bay upstream Vostok, where they could be incorporated in the accreted ice and also contribute to lake salinity.

  4. Origin of deformed halite hopper crystals, pseudomorphic anhydrite cubes and polyhalite in Alpine evaporites (Austria, Germany). (United States)

    Leitner, C; Neubauer, F; Marschallinger, R; Genser, J; Bernroider, M

    The Alpine Haselgebirge Formation represents an Upper Permian to Lower Triassic evaporitic rift succession of the Northern Calcareous Alps (Eastern Alps). Although the rocksalt body deposits are highly tectonised, consisting mainly of protocataclasites and mylonites of halite and mudrock, the early diagenetic history can be established from non-tectonised mudrock bodies: Cm-sized euhedral halite hopper crystals formed as displacive cubes within mud just during shallow burial. The crystals were deformed by subsequent compaction. Later, migrating fluids led to the replacement of halite by anhydrite retaining the shapes of deformed halite cubes. Polyhalite formed from subsequent enhanced fluid migration. Mudrock provided water by dewatering, while potassium and magnesium were dissolved from primary salt minerals. When these fluids interacted with sulphates, polyhalite precipitated. 40Ar/39Ar analyses date the polyhalite from within the retaining shapes of deformed halite hopper-shaped cubes from two localities to ca. 235-232 Ma (Middle Triassic). At this time, ca. 20-25 Ma after sedimentation, polyhalite crystallised at shallow levels.

  5. A co-crystal between benzene and ethane: a potential evaporite material for Saturn's moon Titan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen E. Maynard-Casely


    Full Text Available Using synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction, the structure of a co-crystal between benzene and ethane formed in situ at cryogenic conditions has been determined, and validated using dispersion-corrected density functional theory calculations. The structure comprises a lattice of benzene molecules hosting ethane molecules within channels. Similarity between the intermolecular interactions found in the co-crystal and in pure benzene indicate that the C—H...π network of benzene is maintained in the co-crystal, however, this expands to accommodate the guest ethane molecules. The co-crystal has a 3:1 benzene:ethane stoichiometry and is described in the space group R\\bar 3 with a = 15.977 (1 Å and c = 5.581 (1 Å at 90 K, with a density of 1.067 g cm−3. The conditions under which this co-crystal forms identify it is a potential that forms from evaporation of Saturn's moon Titan's lakes, an evaporite material.

  6. Volcanic sequence in Late Triassic – Jurassic siliciclastic and evaporitic rocks from Galeana, NE Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cruz-Gómez, E.M.; Velasco-Tapia, F.; Ramírez-Fernández, J.A.; Jenchen, U.; Rodríguez-Saavedra, P.; Rodríguez-Díaz, A.A.; Iriondo, A.


    In northeastern Mexico, volcanic rocks interbedded with Late Triassic–Jurassic siliciclastic and evaporitic strata have been linked to magmatic arcs developed in the Pangea western margin during its initial phase of fragmentation. This work provides new petrographic and geochemical data for volcanism included in the El Alamar and Minas Viejas formations outcropping in the Galeana region. Andesitic dykes and sills (n= 10) in the El Alamar redbeds show SiO2= 47.5–59.1% and MgO= 1.2–4.2%, as well as a geochemical affinity to island arc magmas. This work represents the first report of this tectonic setting in the region. Geological and petrographic evidence suggest that this arc system likely developed after ~220 and before ~193Ma. Trachy-andesitic and rhyodacitic domes (n= 20) associated with the Minas Viejas gypsum-carbonates sequence show SiO2= 61.8–82.7% and MgO= 0.1–4.0% with a tectonic affinity to continental arc. A rhyodacite sample from this region has been dated by U-Pb in zircon, yielding an age of 149.4 ± 1.2Ma (n= 21), being the youngest age related to this arc. Finally, we propose a threestep model to explain the tectonic evolution from Late Triassic island arc to Jurassic continental arc system in the northeastern Mexico.

  7. Geochemical impacts of groundwater heat pump systems in an urban alluvial aquifer with evaporitic bedrock. (United States)

    Garrido Schneider, Eduardo A; García-Gil, Alejandro; Vázquez-Suñè, Enric; Sánchez-Navarro, José Á


    In the last decade, there has been an extensive use of shallow geothermal exploitations in urban environments. Although the thermal interference between exploitations has been recently studied, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the geochemical impacts of those systems on the aquifers where they are installed. Groundwater flow line scale and well-doublet scale research work has been conducted at city scale to quantify the geochemical interaction of shallow geothermal exploitations with the environment. A comprehensive analysis was conducted on data obtained from a monitoring network specifically designed to control and develop aquifer policies related to thermal management of the aquifer. The geochemical impacts were evaluated from a thermodynamic point of view by means of saturation index (SI) calculations with respect to the different mineral species considered in the system. The results obtained indicate limited geochemical interaction with the urban environment in most of the situations. However, there are some cases where the interaction of the groundwater heat pump installations with the evaporitic bedrock resulted in the total disablement of the exploitation system operation wells. The application of the tool proposed proved to be pragmatic in the evaluation of geochemical impacts. Injection of water into the aquifer can trigger an important bedrock gypsum and halite dissolution process that is partly responsible for scaling in well casing pipes and collapse of the terrain in the vicinity of injection wells. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Estimating Rheological Parameters of Anhydrite from Folded Evaporite sequences: Implications for Internal Dynamics of Salt Structure (United States)

    Adamuszek, Marta; Dabrowski, Marcin; Schmalholz, Stefan M.; Urai, Janos L.; Raith, Alexander


    Salt structures have been identified as a potential target for hydrocarbon, CO2, or radioactive waste storage. The most suitable locations for magazines are considered in the thick and relatively homogeneous rock salt layers. However, salt structures often consist of the evaporite sequence including rock salt intercalated with other rock types e.g.: anhydrite, gypsum, potassium and magnesium salt, calcite, dolomite, or shale. The presence of such heterogeneities causes a serious disturbance in the structure management. Detailed analysis of the internal architecture and internal dynamics of the salt structure are crucial for evaluating them as suitable repositories and also their long-term stability. The goal of this study is to analyse the influence of the presence of anhydrite layers on the internal dynamics of salt structures. Anhydrite is a common rock in evaporite sequences. Its physical and mechanical properties strongly differ from the properties of rock salt. The density of anhydrite is much higher than the density of salt, thus anhydrite is likely to sink in salt causing the disturbance of the surrounding structures. This suggestion was the starting point to the discussion about the long-term stability of the magazines in salt structures [1]. However, the other important parameter that has to be taken into account is the viscosity of anhydrite. The high viscosity ratio between salt and anhydrite can restrain the layer from sinking. The rheological behaviour of anhydrite has been studied in laboratory experiments [2], but the results only provide information about the short-term behaviour. The long-term behaviour can be best predicted using indirect methods e.g. based on the analysis of natural structures that developed over geological time scale. One of the most promising are fold structures, the shape of which is very sensitive to the rheological parameters of the deforming materials. Folds can develop in mechanically stratified materials during layer

  9. Geochemical impacts of groundwater heat pump systems in an urban alluvial aquifer with evaporitic bedrock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garrido Schneider, Eduardo A. [Geological Survey of Spain (IGME), C/ Manuel Lasala no. 44, 9B, 50006 Zaragoza (Spain); García-Gil, Alejandro, E-mail: [Department of Earth Sciences, University of Zaragoza, C/ Pedro Cerbuna 12, 50009 Zaragoza (Spain); GHS, Institute of Environmental Assessment & Water Research (IDAEA), CSIC, Jordi Girona 18–26, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Vázquez-Suñè, Enric [GHS, Institute of Environmental Assessment & Water Research (IDAEA), CSIC, Jordi Girona 18–26, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Sánchez-Navarro, José Á. [Department of Earth Sciences, University of Zaragoza, C/ Pedro Cerbuna 12, 50009 Zaragoza (Spain)


    In the last decade, there has been an extensive use of shallow geothermal exploitations in urban environments. Although the thermal interference between exploitations has been recently studied, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the geochemical impacts of those systems on the aquifers where they are installed. Groundwater flow line scale and well-doublet scale research work has been conducted at city scale to quantify the geochemical interaction of shallow geothermal exploitations with the environment. A comprehensive analysis was conducted on data obtained from a monitoring network specifically designed to control and develop aquifer policies related to thermal management of the aquifer. The geochemical impacts were evaluated from a thermodynamic point of view by means of saturation index (SI) calculations with respect to the different mineral species considered in the system. The results obtained indicate limited geochemical interaction with the urban environment in most of the situations. However, there are some cases where the interaction of the groundwater heat pump installations with the evaporitic bedrock resulted in the total disablement of the exploitation system operation wells. The application of the tool proposed proved to be pragmatic in the evaluation of geochemical impacts. Injection of water into the aquifer can trigger an important bedrock gypsum and halite dissolution process that is partly responsible for scaling in well casing pipes and collapse of the terrain in the vicinity of injection wells. - Highlights: • We studied geochemical impacts of groundwater heat pump systems. • We have sampled a monitoring network in an energetically exploited urban aquifer. • A limited geochemical interaction has been found in most of the exploitations. • Reinjection into the aquifer produces an important bedrock gypsum dissolution. • Scaling in well casing pipes and collapse of the terrain have been observed.

  10. Evaporites as a source for oil. Progress report, November 15, 1988--November 15, 1992

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schreiber, B.C.; Benalihioulhaj, S. [Queens Coll., Flushing, NY (United States). Dept. of Geology; Philp, R.P. [Oklahoma Univ., Norman, OK (United States). School of Geology and Geophysics


    Organic matter, present in some sediments, acts as the source for hydrocarbons and has been studied at great length, but organic-rich sediments from hypersaline environments are just beginning to be understood. Many types of organic matter from such restricted environments have been identified, and in this study their maturation pathways and products are being explored. By collecting biologically-identified organic matter produced within modern evaporative environments from a number of different marine and nonmarine settings and carrying out detailed geochemical examination of samples we are gradually beginning to understand these materials. The organic samples collected were from evaporative marine, sabkha, and lacustrine deposits, and have been subjected to two types of artificial maturation, hydrous and confined pyrolysis, over a fairly wide range of temperatures (1500 to 350{degrees}C). The biomarker products of these treatments are being analyzed and followed in great detail. Analyses of saturate and aromatic hydrocarbons as well as sulfur compounds in the original and the matured samples provide a comprehensive view of the biomarker assemblages associated with these different depositional environments at different stages of maturity. Infrared spectroscopy and Rock Eval pyrolysis of both the isolated kerogens from both the original and pyrolyzed samples has permitted us to clearly characterize the functional groupings on the one hand and the free hydrocarbons, the potential hydrocarbons, and the oxygenated compounds on the other hand. We have thus been able to demonstrate the potential of the organic matter associated with the different evaporitic environments to act as a good source for oil generation.

  11. An evaporite-based high-resolution sulfur isotope record of Late Permian and Triassic seawater sulfate (United States)

    Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Meier, Irene; Wohlwend, Stephan; Brack, Peter; Hochuli, Peter A.; Bläsi, Hansruedi; Wortmann, Ulrich G.; Ramseyer, Karl


    Variations in the sulfur isotope composition of dissolved marine sulfate through time reflect changes in the global sulfur cycle and are intimately related to changes in the carbon and oxygen cycles. A large shift in the sulfur isotope composition of sulfate at the Permian/Triassic boundary has been recognized for long time and a number of studies were carried out to understand the causes and significance of this shift. However, data for the Middle and Late Triassic are very sparse and the stratigraphic evolution of the sulfur isotope composition of seawater is poorly constrained due to the small number of samples analyzed and/or due to the limited stratigraphic intervals studied. Moreover, in the last few years the Triassic timescale has significantly changed due to a wealth of new radiometric and stratigraphic data. In this study we show that for the Late Permian and the Triassic it is possible to obtain a precise reconstruction of the evolution of the sulfur cycle, for parts of it at sub-million year resolution, by analyzing exclusively gypsum and anhydrite deposits. We base our reconstruction on new data from the Middle and Late Triassic evaporites of Northern Switzerland and literature data from evaporites from Germany, Austria, Italy and the Middle East. We propose a revised correlation between the well-dated marine Tethyan sections in northern Italy and the evaporites from Northern Switzerland and from the Germanic Basin calibrated to the newest radiometric absolute age scale. This new correlation allows for a precise dating of the evaporites and constructing a composite sulfur isotope evolution of seawater sulfate from the latest Permian (Lopingian Epoch) to the Norian. We show that a rapid positive shift of approximately 24‰ at the Permian-Triassic boundary can be used to constrain seawater sulfate concentrations in the range of 2-6 mM, thus higher than previous estimates but with less rapid changes. Finally, we discuss two possible evolution scenarios

  12. Bacterial and Archaeal Lipids Recovered from Subsurface Evaporites of Dalangtan Playa on the Tibetan Plateau and Their Astrobiological Implications (United States)

    Cheng, Ziye; Xiao, Long; Wang, Hongmei; Yang, Huan; Li, Jingjing; Huang, Ting; Xu, Yi; Ma, Nina


    Qaidam Basin (Tibetan Plateau) is considered an applicable analogue to Mars with regard to sustained extreme aridity and abundant evaporites. To investigate the possibility of the preservation of microbial lipids under these Mars analog conditions, we conducted a mineralogical and organic geochemistry study on samples collected from two Quaternary sections in Dalangtan Playa, northwestern Qaidam Basin, which will enhance our understanding of the potential preservation of molecular biomarkers on Mars. Two sedimentary units were identified along two profiles: one salt unit characterized by a predominance of gypsum and halite, and one detrital unit with a decrease of gypsum and halite and enrichment in siliciclastic minerals. Bacterial fatty acids and archaeal acyclic diether and tetraether membrane lipids were detected, and they varied throughout the sections in concentration and abundance. Bacterial and archaeal biomolecules indicate a dominance of Gram-positive bacteria and halophilic archaea in this hypersaline ecosystem that is similar to those in other hypersaline environments. Furthermore, the abundance of bacterial lipids decreases with the increase of salinity, whereas archaeal lipids showed a reverse trend. The detection of microbial lipids in hypersaline environments would indicate, for example on Mars, a high potential for the detection of microbial biomarkers in evaporites over geological timescales.

  13. Evaporite caprock integrity: an experimental study of reactive mineralogy and pore-scale heterogeneity during brine-CO2 exposure. (United States)

    Smith, Megan M; Sholokhova, Yelena; Hao, Yue; Carroll, Susan A


    We present characterization and geochemical data from a core-flooding experiment on a sample from the Three Fingers evaporite unit forming the lower extent of caprock at the Weyburn-Midale reservoir, Canada. This low-permeability sample was characterized in detail using X-ray computed microtomography before and after exposure to CO(2)-acidified brine, allowing mineral phase and voidspace distributions to be quantified in three dimensions. Solution chemistry indicated that CO(2)-acidified brine preferentially dissolved dolomite until saturation was attained, while anhydrite remained unreactive. Dolomite dissolution contributed to increases in bulk permeability through the formation of a localized channel, guided by microfractures as well as porosity and reactive phase distributions aligned with depositional bedding. An indirect effect of carbonate mineral reactivity with CO(2)-acidified solution is voidspace generation through physical transport of anhydrite freed from the rock matrix following dissolution of dolomite. The development of high permeability fast pathways in this experiment highlights the role of carbonate content and potential fracture orientations in evaporite caprock formations considered for both geologic carbon sequestration and CO(2)-enhanced oil recovery operations.

  14. Assessment of an enhanced geothermal system targeting the Prairie Evaporite Formation of the Williston Basin in SW Manitoba (United States)

    Holländer, Hartmut; Niloofar, Firoozy


    Canada has a large potential for geothermal energy production. High thermal resources are recognized at the volcanic belt within the Canadian Cordillera due to the difference between the oceanic and the continental heat flux which creates a border with high heat flow (as high as 150°C/km) along the volcanic belt. However, also regions with lower heat flow such as the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) is of interest for geothermal usage. The Williston Basin as part of the WCSB shows low thermal gradients of 25-40°C/km. The geology and lithology of Williston Basin show the presence of halite, potassium salts and carbonate wedges within the Prairie Evaporite formation. Halite is the mineral form (salt) of sodium chloride (NaCl) which decreases thermal resistance providing paths of heat transfer to the surface and has 2-3 times higher thermal conductivity comparing to other types of minerals. The potential of a proposed enhanced geothermal system (EGS) to provide adequate energy to a 10-megawatt electricity production plant was investigated. Borehole data from the Manitoban part of the Williston Basin were collected, and two numerical models were built. One model was created for Tilston, SW Manitoba and the second at a generic site in southern Saskatchewan. Geology differs between the sites in terms of layer thicknesses and their depths. The geological sequence is identical. Both sites contain the Prairie Evaporite which consists mainly of halite. The low thermal resistance of the Prairie Evaporite is assumed to be the driving force behind a relatively high temperature at a low depth, which translates into a lower drilling cost to reach the desired layer. The Prairie Evaporite Formation is located at the Tilston site at a depth of 1.5 km with a reservoir thickness of 118 m, while the similar generic's reservoir is present at a depth of 3 km. The design suggested a two well system having one injection and one pumping well. Saline formations are impermeable and

  15. Inverse modeling of groundwater flow in the semiarid evaporitic closed basin of Los Monegros, Spain (United States)

    Samper-Calvete, F. J.; García-Vera, M. A.

    Only minor attention has been given in the past to the study of closed-basin hydrogeology in evaporitic environments, because these basins usually contain poor-quality groundwater. The motivation for hydrogeological research in the Los Monegros area in northeastern Spain was the approval in 1986 of a large irrigation project in the Ebre River basin. The irrigation of 60,000 ha is planned, partly in an evaporitic closed basin containing playa lakes. The project has given rise to environmental concerns. The evaluation of the hydrologic impacts of irrigation requires quantifying properly the hydrogeology of the area. With the available information, a conceptual hydrogeological model was formulated that identifies two main aquifers connected through a leaky aquitard. On the basis of the conceptual model, a numerical model was calibrated under steady-state conditions using the method of maximum-likelihood automatic parameter estimation (Carrera and Neuman, 1986a). The calibrated model reproduces the measured hydraulic heads fairly well and is consistent with independent information on groundwater discharge. By the solution of the inverse problem, reliable parameter estimates were obtained. It is concluded that anisotropy plays a major role in some parts of the lower aquifer. The geometric average of model conductivity is almost two orders of magnitude larger than the average conductivity derived from small-scale field tests. This scale effect in hydraulic conductivity is consistent with the findings of Neuman (1994) and Sánchez-Vila et al. (1996). Résumé Dans le passé, on s'est peu intéresséà l'hydrogéologie des bassins fermés en milieu évaporitique, parce que ces bassins possèdent en général de l'eau souterraine de qualité médiocre. L'intérêt porté aux recherches hydrogéologiques dans la région de Los Monegros, dans le nord-est de l'Espagne est dûà l'approbation en 1986 d'un vaste projet d'irrigation dans le bassin de l'Ebre. L'irrigation de 60000

  16. Palaeoredox indicators from the organic-rich Messinian early post-evaporitic deposits of the Apennines (Central Italy) (United States)

    Sampalmieri, G.; Iadanza, A.; Cipollari, P.; Cosentino, D.; Lo Mastro, S.


    Bottom redox conditions in marine and lacustrine ancient basins are often inferred by the occurrence of peculiar sedimentological structures and microfaunal assemblages. The co-occurrence, in such environments, of authigenic uranium, framboidal pyrite, barite and Fe-Mn nodules and encrustations, provides a good constraint for palaeo reconstructions. Authigenic uranium is a common constituent of hydrocarbon source rocks: it forms at the sediment-water interface under oxygen-deficient conditions and accumulates together with organic matter (OM). Its precipitation is triggered by the reduction of the soluble U6+ion in seawater to insoluble U4+. With respect to black shales, uranium content has even been used to estimate the TOC. Also authigenic pyrite forms under anoxic conditions and replaces organic matter: 1) the increase in pyrite content and in organic matter are directly correlated; 2) the size distribution of framboidal pyrite (consistent with sulphate-reducing bacterial activity) is considered a measure of redox conditions within the sediment. Barite is an authigenic mineral related to Corg content, since its organic precipitation is triggered by sulphate-reduction processes occurring in decaying OM-bearing microenvironments. Finally, also Fe-Mn oxyhydroxide are typical indicators of redox conditions. About 6 My ago the Mediterranean Sea underwent a giant event of concentration referred to as Messinian Salinity Crisis, which can be roughly subdivided into an evaporitic and a post evaporitic phase. The post evaporitic phase (p-ev; 5.61-5.33 Ma) developed in a context of humid conditions and can be further distinguished into two steps: p-ev1 (early post evaporitic phase) and p-ev2 (late post evaporitic phase). Previous works focused on pev2, which is interpreted to represent the establishment of brackish water conditions (Lago-Mare biofacies). In other respects, the palaeoenvironment of p-ev1 deposits, mostly represented by resedimented evaporitic deposits or

  17. McCauley Sinks: A compound breccia pipe in evaporite karst, Holbrook Basin, Arizona, U.S.A (United States)

    Neal, J.T.; Johnson, K.S.


    The McCauley Sinks, in the Holbrook basin of northeastern Arizona, are comprised of some 50 individual sinkholes within a 3-km-wide depression. The sinks are grouped in a semi-concentric pattern of three nested rings. The outer ring is an apparent tension zone containing ring fractures. The two inner rings are semi-circular chains of large sinkholes, ranging up to 100 m across and 50 m deep. Several sub-basins within the larger depression show local downwarping and possible incipient sinkholes. Permian Kaibab Formation limestone is the principal surface lithology; the limestone here is less than 15 m thick and is near its easternmost limit. Although surface rillenkarren are present, and the sinks are seen in the Kaibab limestone outcrops, the Kaibab is mainly a passive rock unit that has collapsed into solution cavities developed in underlying salt beds. Beneath the Kaibab is Coconino Sandstone, which overlies the Permian Schnebly Hill Formation, the unit containing the evaporite rocks-principally halite in the Corduroy Member. Evaporite karst in this part of the Holbrook basin is quite different from the eastern part, probably because of the westward disappearance of the Holbrook anticline, a structure that has major joint systems that help channel water down to the salt beds farther to the east. Also, the McCauley Sinks are near the western limits of the evaporites. The structure at McCauley Sinks suggests a compound breccia pipe, with multiple sinks contributing to the inward-dipping major depression. The Richards Lake depression, 5 km southeast of McCauley Sinks, is similar in form and size but contains only a single, central sinkhole. An apparent difference in hydrogeology at McCauley Sinks is their proximity to the adjacent, deeply incised, Chevelon Canyon drainage, but the hydrologic connections are unknown. The 3-km-wide McCauley Sinks karst depression, along with five other nearby depressions, provide substantial hydrologic catchment. Because of widespread

  18. The Alpine Haselgebirge Formation, Northern Calcareous Alps (Austria): Permo-Scythian evaporites in an alpine thrust system (United States)

    Spötl, Christoph


    Multiphase-deformed and weakly metamorphosed Permo-Scythian evaporites of the Northern Calcareous Alps (Eastern Alps) of Austria were deposited in an aborted rift arm of the northwest Tethys. They represent marine precipitates laid down in a basin surrounded by alluvial fans and mudflats. Mean bromide values of halite (13 ± 53 ppm) as well as S-isotope ratios of sulphate minerals ( +14 ± 0.9ℵ CDT) indicate that the contribution of non-marine waters to the marine brine composition was insignificant. The most striking feature is the Haselgebirge structure, a chaotic mélange of shales, silt and sandstones, anhydrites, carbonates and scarce magmatites (Kirchner, 1980) embedded in a clayey halite matrix. This mélange resulted from severe tectonization caused by a variety of deformational processes (halokinesis, diapirism, gravitational sliding and alpine thrust tectonics).

  19. Control of Cambrian evaporites on fracturing in fault-related anticlines in the Zagros fold-and-thrust belt (United States)

    Carminati, Eugenio; Aldega, Luca; Bigi, Sabina; Corrado, Sveva; D'Ambrogi, Chiara; Mohammadi, Peyman; Shaban, Ali; Sherkati, Shahram


    Orientation and distribution of fractures in the Oligocene-Early Miocene Asmari Formation (a major reservoir rock of the Zagros petroleum system) were investigated in two anticlines of the Zagros fold-and-thrust belt. The Sim and Kuh-e-Asmari anticlines developed in the areas of the Zagros characterized by the occurrence and absence of Cambrian evaporites at the bottom of the stratigraphic pile, respectively. The aim was to outline major differences in terms of fracture spacing and saturation. Organic matter maturity and clay minerals-based geothermometers suggest that the depth of deformation for the top of the Asmari Formation in the Kuh-e-Asmari anticline was in the range of 1.5-2.7 km assuming a geothermal gradient of 22.5 °C/km. The Asmari Formation in the Sim anticline probably experienced a slightly deeper sedimentary burial (maximum 3 km) with a geothermal gradient of 20 °C/km. The spacing of fractures is generally 2-3 times larger (i.e., strain accommodated by fracturing is smaller) in the Sim anticline than in the Kuh-e-Asmari anticline. This is consistent with regional geological studies, analogue, and numerical models that suggest that thrust faults geometry and related folds are markedly different in the absence or presence of a weak decòllement (evaporites). The larger spacing in the Sim anticline is also consistent with higher temperature predicted for the Asmari Formation in this area. By contrast, the orientation of fractures with respect to the fold axes is the same in both anticlines. The fracture systems are rather immature in both anticlines. The amount and density of fractures in the twofolds are controlled by regional (occurrence/absence of salt and probably different burial), rather than local features (fold geometry).

  20. The persistence of a chlorophyll spectral biosignature from Martian evaporite and spring analogues under Mars-like conditions (United States)

    Stromberg, J. M.; Applin, D. M.; Cloutis, E. A.; Rice, M.; Berard, G.; Mann, P.


    Spring and evaporite deposits are considered two of the most promising environments for past habitability on Mars and preservation of biosignatures. Manitoba, Canada hosts the East German Creek (EGC) hypersaline spring complex, and the post impact evaporite gypsum beds of the Lake St. Martin (LSM) impact. The EGC complex has microbial mats, sediments, algae and biofabrics, while endolithic communities are ubiquitous in the LSM gypsum beds. These communities are spectrally detectable based largely on the presence of a chlorophyll absorption band at 670 nm however, the robustness of this feature under Martian surface conditions was unclear. Biological and biology-bearing samples from EGC and LSM were exposed to conditions similar to the surface of present day Mars (high UV flux, 100 mbar, anoxic, CO2 rich) for up to 44 days, and preservation of the 670 nm chlorophyll feature and chlorophyll red-edge was observed. A decrease in band depth of the 670 nm band ranging from ~16 to 80% resulted, with correlations seen in the degree of preservation and the spatial proximity of samples to the spring mound and mineral shielding effects. The spectra were deconvolved to Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Pancam and Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mastcam science filter bandpasses to investigate the detectability of the 670 nm feature and to compare with common mineral features. The red-edge and 670 nm feature associated with chlorophyll can be distinguished from the spectra of minerals with features below ~1000 nm, such as hematite and jarosite. However, distinguishing goethite from samples with the chlorophyll feature is more problematic, and quantitative interpretation using band depth data makes little distinction between iron oxyhydroxides and the 670 nm chlorophyll feature. The chlorophyll spectral feature is observable in both Pancam and Mastcam, and we propose that of the proposed EXOMARS Pancam filters, the PHYLL filter is best suited for its detection.

  1. Microbial characterization of microbial ecosystems associated to evaporites domes of gypsum in Salar de Llamara in Atacama desert. (United States)

    Rasuk, Maria Cecilia; Kurth, Daniel; Flores, Maria Regina; Contreras, Manuel; Novoa, Fernando; Poire, Daniel; Farias, Maria Eugenia


    The Central Andes in northern Chile contains a large number of closed basins whose central depression is occupied by saline lakes and salt crusts (salars). One of these basins is Salar de Llamara (850 m a.s.l.), where large domed structures of seemingly evaporitic origin forming domes can be found. In this work, we performed a detailed microbial characterization of these domes. Mineralogical studies revealed gypsum (CaSO(4)) as a major component. Microbial communities associated to these structures were analysed by 454 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing and compared between winter and summer seasons. Bacteroidetes Proteobacteria and Planctomycetes remained as the main phylogenetic groups, an increased diversity was found in winter. Comparison of the upper air-exposed part and the lower water-submerged part of the domes in both seasons showed little variation in the upper zone, showing a predominance of Chromatiales (Gammaproteobacteria), Rhodospirillales (Alphaproteobacteria), and Sphingobacteriales (Bacteroidetes). However, the submerged part showed marked differences between seasons, being dominated by Proteobacteria (Alpha and Gamma) and Verrucomicrobia in summer, but with more diverse phyla found in winter. Even though not abundant by sequence, Cyanobacteria were visually identified by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), which also revealed the presence of diatoms. Photosynthetic pigments were detected by high-performance liquid chromatography, being more diverse on the upper photosynthetic layer. Finally, the system was compared with other endoevaporite, mats microbialite and Stromatolites microbial ecosystems, showing higher similitude with evaporitic ecosystems from Atacama and Guerrero Negro. This environment is of special interest for extremophile studies because microbial life develops associated to minerals in the driest desert all over the world. Nevertheless, it is endangered by mining activity associated to copper and lithium extraction; thus, its

  2. Microbial Diversity in Sediment Ecosystems (Evaporites Domes, Microbial Mats, and Crusts) of Hypersaline Laguna Tebenquiche, Salar de Atacama, Chile. (United States)

    Fernandez, Ana B; Rasuk, Maria C; Visscher, Pieter T; Contreras, Manuel; Novoa, Fernando; Poire, Daniel G; Patterson, Molly M; Ventosa, Antonio; Farias, Maria E


    We combined nucleic acid-based molecular methods, biogeochemical measurements, and physicochemical characteristics to investigate microbial sedimentary ecosystems of Laguna Tebenquiche, Atacama Desert, Chile. Molecular diversity, and biogeochemistry of hypersaline microbial mats, rhizome-associated concretions, and an endoevaporite were compared with: The V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified by pyrosequencing to analyze the total microbial diversity (i.e., bacteria and archaea) in bulk samples, and in addition, in detail on a millimeter scale in one microbial mat and in one evaporite. Archaea were more abundant than bacteria. Euryarchaeota was one of the most abundant phyla in all samples, and particularly dominant (97% of total diversity) in the most lithified ecosystem, the evaporite. Most of the euryarchaeal OTUs could be assigned to the class Halobacteria or anaerobic and methanogenic archaea. Planctomycetes potentially also play a key role in mats and rhizome-associated concretions, notably the aerobic organoheterotroph members of the class Phycisphaerae. In addition to cyanobacteria, members of Chromatiales and possibly the candidate family Chlorotrichaceae contributed to photosynthetic carbon fixation. Other abundant uncultured taxa such as the candidate division MSBL1, the uncultured MBGB, and the phylum Acetothermia potentially play an important metabolic role in these ecosystems. Lithifying microbial mats contained calcium carbonate precipitates, whereas endoevoporites consisted of gypsum, and halite. Biogeochemical measurements revealed that based on depth profiles of O2 and sulfide, metabolic activities were much higher in the non-lithifying mat (peaking in the least lithified systems) than in lithifying mats with the lowest activity in endoevaporites. This trend in decreasing microbial activity reflects the increase in salinity, which may play an important role in the biodiversity.

  3. Microbial diversity in sediment ecosystems (evaporites domes, microbial mats and crusts of hypersaline Laguna Tebenquiche, Salar de Atacama, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Beatriz Fernandez


    Full Text Available We combined nucleic acid-based molecular methods, biogeochemical measurements and physicochemical characteristics to investigate microbial sedimentary ecosystems of Laguna Tebenquiche, Atacama Desert, Chile. Molecular diversity and biogeochemistry of hypersaline microbial mats, rhizome-associated concretions and an endoevaporite were compared with: The V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified by pyrosequencing to analyze the total microbial diversity (i.e., bacteria and archaea in bulk samples and, in addition, in detail on a millimeter scale in one microbial mat and in one evaporite. Archaea were more abundant than bacteria. Euryarchaeota was one of the most abundant phyla in all samples, and particularly dominant (97% of total diversity in the most lithified ecosystem, the evaporite. Most of the euryarchaeal OTUs could be assigned to the class Halobacteria or anaerobic and methanogenic archaea. Planctomycetes potentially also play a key role in mats and rhizome-associated concretions, notably the aerobic organoheterotroph members of the class Phycisphaerae. In addition to cyanobacteria, members of Chromatiales and possibly the candidate family Chlorotrichaceae contributed to photosynthetic carbon fixation. Other abundant uncultured taxa such as the candidate division MSBL1, the uncultured MBGB and the phylum Acetothermia potentially play an important metabolic role in these ecosystems. Lithifying microbial mats contained calcium carbonate precipitates, whereas endoevoporites consisted of gypsum and halite. Biogeochemical measurements revealed that based on depth profiles of O2 and sulfide, metabolic activities were much higher in the non-lithifying mat (peaking in the least lithified systems than in lithifying mats with the lowest activity in endoevaporites. This trend in decreasing microbial activity reflects the increase in salinity, which may play an important role in the biodiversity.

  4. Microbial Diversity in Sediment Ecosystems (Evaporites Domes, Microbial Mats, and Crusts) of Hypersaline Laguna Tebenquiche, Salar de Atacama, Chile (United States)

    Fernandez, Ana B.; Rasuk, Maria C.; Visscher, Pieter T.; Contreras, Manuel; Novoa, Fernando; Poire, Daniel G.; Patterson, Molly M.; Ventosa, Antonio; Farias, Maria E.


    We combined nucleic acid-based molecular methods, biogeochemical measurements, and physicochemical characteristics to investigate microbial sedimentary ecosystems of Laguna Tebenquiche, Atacama Desert, Chile. Molecular diversity, and biogeochemistry of hypersaline microbial mats, rhizome-associated concretions, and an endoevaporite were compared with: The V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified by pyrosequencing to analyze the total microbial diversity (i.e., bacteria and archaea) in bulk samples, and in addition, in detail on a millimeter scale in one microbial mat and in one evaporite. Archaea were more abundant than bacteria. Euryarchaeota was one of the most abundant phyla in all samples, and particularly dominant (97% of total diversity) in the most lithified ecosystem, the evaporite. Most of the euryarchaeal OTUs could be assigned to the class Halobacteria or anaerobic and methanogenic archaea. Planctomycetes potentially also play a key role in mats and rhizome-associated concretions, notably the aerobic organoheterotroph members of the class Phycisphaerae. In addition to cyanobacteria, members of Chromatiales and possibly the candidate family Chlorotrichaceae contributed to photosynthetic carbon fixation. Other abundant uncultured taxa such as the candidate division MSBL1, the uncultured MBGB, and the phylum Acetothermia potentially play an important metabolic role in these ecosystems. Lithifying microbial mats contained calcium carbonate precipitates, whereas endoevoporites consisted of gypsum, and halite. Biogeochemical measurements revealed that based on depth profiles of O2 and sulfide, metabolic activities were much higher in the non-lithifying mat (peaking in the least lithified systems) than in lithifying mats with the lowest activity in endoevaporites. This trend in decreasing microbial activity reflects the increase in salinity, which may play an important role in the biodiversity. PMID:27597845

  5. Sulfur and strontium isotopic compositions of carbonate and evaporite rocks from the late Neoproterozoic–early Cambrian Bilara Group (Nagaur-Ganganagar Basin, India): Constraints on intrabasinal correlation and global sulfur cycle

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Mazumdar, A.; Strauss, H.

    deposits of terminal Neoproterozoic to early Cambrian age. Lithological and geochemical results suggest the coeval nature of the Bilara Group and Hanseran Evaporite Group. Fluctuations in the sulfur isotopic composition may at least partially be attributed...

  6. Transition from marine deep slope deposits to evaporitic facies of an isolated foreland basin: case study of the Sivas Basin (Turkey) (United States)

    Pichat, Alexandre; Hoareau, Guilhem; Legeay, Etienne; Lopez, Michel; Bonnel, Cédric; Callot, Jean-Paul; Ringenbach, Jean-Claude


    The Sivas Basin, located in the central part of the Anatolian Plateau in Turkey, formed after the closure of the northern Neotethys from Paleocene to Pliocene times. It developed over an ophiolitic basement obducted from the north during the Late Cretaceous. During Paleocene to Eocene times, the onset of the Tauride compression led to the development of a foreland basin affected by north-directed thrusts. The associate general deepening of the basin favored the accumulation of a thick marine turbiditic succession in the foredeep area, followed by a fast shallowing of the basin and thick evaporitic sequence deposition during the late Eocene. We present here the detailed sedimentological architecture of this flysch to evaporite transition. In the northern part of the basin, volcanoclastic turbidites gradually evolved into basinal to prodelta deposits regularly fed by siliciclastic material during flood events. Locally (to the NE), thick-channelized sandstones are attributed to the progradation of delta front distributary channels. The basin became increasingly sediment-starved and evolved toward azoic carbonates and shaly facies, interlayered with organic-rich shales before the first evaporitic deposits. In the southern part of the basin, in the central foredeep, the basinal turbidites become increasingly gypsum-rich and record a massive mega-slump enclosing olistoliths of gypsum and of ophiolitic rocks. Such reworked evaporites were fed by the gravitational collapsing of shallow water evaporites that had previously precipitated in silled piggy-back basins along the southern fold-and-thrust-belt of the Sivas Basin. Tectonic activity that led to the dismantlement of such evaporites probably also contributed to the closure of the basin from the marine domain. From the north to the south, subsequent deposits consist in about 70 meters of secondary massive to fine-grained gypsiferous beds interpreted as recording high to low density gypsum turbidites. Such facies were

  7. Low temperature geothermal systems in carbonate-evaporitic rocks: Mineral equilibria assumptions and geothermometrical calculations. Insights from the Arnedillo thermal waters (Spain). (United States)

    Blasco, Mónica; Gimeno, María J; Auqué, Luis F


    Geothermometrical calculations in low-medium temperature geothermal systems hosted in carbonate-evaporitic rocks are complicated because 1) some of the classical chemical geothermometers are, usually, inadequate (since they were developed for higher temperature systems with different mineral-water equilibria at depth) and 2) the chemical geothermometers calibrated for these systems (based on the Ca and Mg or SO4 and F contents) are not free of problems either. The case study of the Arnedillo thermal system, a carbonate-evaporitic system of low temperature, will be used to deal with these problems through the combination of several geothermometrical techniques (chemical and isotopic geothermometers and geochemical modelling). The reservoir temperature of the Arnedillo geothermal system has been established to be in the range of 87±13°C being the waters in equilibrium with respect to calcite, dolomite, anhydrite, quartz, albite, K-feldspar and other aluminosilicates. Anhydrite and quartz equilibria are highly reliable to stablish the reservoir temperature. Additionally, the anhydrite equilibrium explains the coherent results obtained with the δ18O anhydrite - water geothermometer. The equilibrium with respect to feldspars and other aluminosilicates is unusual in carbonate-evaporitic systems and it is probably related to the presence of detrital material in the aquifer. The identification of the expected equilibria with calcite and dolomite presents an interesting problem associated to dolomite. Variable order degrees of dolomite can be found in natural systems and this fact affects the associated equilibrium temperature in the geothermometrical modelling and also the results from the Ca-Mg geothermometer. To avoid this uncertainty, the order degree of the dolomite present in the Arnedillo reservoir has been determined and the results indicate 18.4% of ordered dolomite and 81.6% of disordered dolomite. Overall, the results suggest that this multi-technique approach

  8. Thrust and fold tectonics and the role of evaporites in deformation in the Western Kuqa Foreland of Tarim Basin, Northwest China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shuping Chen; Liangjie Tang; Zhijun Jin [University of Petroleum, Beijing (China). Basin and Reservoir Research Center; Key Lab. for Hydrocarbon Accumulation of Education Ministry in Petroleum Univ., Beijing (China); Chengzao Jin [PetroChina Co. Ltd., Beijing (China); Xuejun Pi [Tarim Oilfield Co., PetroChina Co. Ltd., Korla, Xinjiang (China)


    The Kuqa foreland between the Tarim basin and the Tianshan Mountains is rich in oil and gas. Based on field work and seismic profiles, the structural styles and their formation mechanisms were determined, and the role of evaporites in the deformation was demonstrated. The main structural styles in the overburden are detachment folds, large scale nappes, triangle zones, gentle and wide synclines, fault-propagation folds and pop-ups. The main structures in the substrate are small-scale thrust faults, duplexes, pop-ups and fault-bend and fault-propagation folds, and formed mainly at the end of the Pliocene under north-south compression. The evaporite layer in the lower section of the Paleogene is the decollement zone for the disharmonic deformations in the overburden and in the substrate. The detachment along the evaporite layer made it possible for compressive stresses to be transmitted farther in the overburden than in the substrate. Deformation in the overburden is more extensive than in the substrate at the leading edge of deformation. At the trailing edge of deformation, the structural highs in the overburden closely correspond to those in the substrate, which is of significance for petroleum exploration in the western Kuqa foreland. (author)

  9. Evaporites and the Salinity of the Ocean During the Phanerozoic: Implications for Climate, Ocean Circulation and Life (United States)

    Floegel, S.; Hay, W. W.; Migdisov, A.; Balukhovsky, A. N.; Wold, C. N.; Soeding, E.


    A compilation of data on volumes and masses of evaporite deposits is used as the basis for reconstruction of the salinity of the ocean in the past. Chloride is tracked as the only ion essentially restricted to the ocean, and past salinities are calculated from reconstructed chlorine content of the ocean. Models for ocean salinity through the Phanerozoic are developed using maximal and minimal estimates of the volumes of existing evaporite deposits, and constant and declining volumes of ocean water through the Phanerozoic. We conclude that there have been significant changes in the mean salinity of the ocean accompanying a general decline throughout the Phanerozoic. The greatest changes are related to major extractions of salt into the ocean basins which developed during the Mesozoic as Pangaea broke apart. Unfortunately, the sizes of these salt deposits are also the least well known. The last major extractions of salt from the ocean occurred during the Miocene, shortly after the large scale extraction of water from the ocean to form the ice cap of Antarctica. However, these two modifications of the masses of H2O and salt in the ocean followed in sequence and did not cancel each other out. Accordingly, salinities during the Early Miocene were reconstructed to be between 37‰ and 39‰. The Mesozoic was a time of generally declining salinity associated with the deep sea salt extractions of the North Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico (Middle to Late Jurassic) and South Atlantic (Early Cretaceous). The earliest of the major extractions of the Phanerozoic occurred during the Permian. There were few large extractions of salt during the earlier Paleozoic. The models suggest that this was a time of relatively stable but slowly increasing salinities ranging through the upper 40‰'s into the lower 50‰'s. Higher salinities for the world ocean had profound consequences for the thermohaline circulation of the ocean in the past. In the modern ocean, with an average salinity of

  10. Evaporite karst geohazards in the Delaware Basin, Texas: review of traditional karst studies coupled with geophysical and remote sensing characterization

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    Kevin W. Stafford


    Full Text Available Evaporite karst throughout the Gypsum Plain of west Texas is complex and extensive, including manifestations ranging from intrastratal brecciation and hypogene caves to epigene features and suffosion caves. Recent advances in hydrocarbon exploration and extraction has resulted in increased infrastructure development and utilization in the area; as a result, delineation and characterization of potential karst geohazards throughout the region have become a greater concern. While traditional karst surveys are essential for delineating the subsurface extent and morphology of individual caves for speleogenetic interpretation, these methods tend to underestimate the total extent of karst development and require surficial manifestation of karst phenomena. Therefore, this study utilizes a composite suite of remote sensing and traditional field studies for improved karst delineation and detection of potential karst geohazards within gypsum karst. Color InfraRed (CIR imagery were utilized for delineation of lineaments associated with fractures, while Normalized Density Vegetation Index (NDVI analyses were used to delineate regions of increased moisture flux and probable zones of shallow karst development. Digital Elevation Models (DEM constructed from high-resolution LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging data were used to spatially interpret sinkholes, while analyses of LiDAR intensity data were used in a novel way to categorize local variations in surface geology. Resistivity data, including both direct current (DC and capacitively coupled (CC resistivity analyses, were acquired and interpreted throughout the study area to delineate potential shallow karst geohazards specifically associated with roadways of geohazard concern; however, detailed knowledge of the surrounding geology and local karst development proved essential for proper interpretation of resistivity inversions. The composite suite of traditional field investigations and remotely sensed karst

  11. Gypsum scarps and asymmetric fluvial valleys in evaporitic terrains. The role of river migration, landslides, karstification and lithology (Ebro River, NE Spain) (United States)

    Guerrero, J.; Gutiérrez, F.


    Most of the Spanish fluvial systems excavated in Tertiary evaporitic gypsum formations show asymmetric valleys characterized by a stepped sequence of fluvial terraces on one valley flank and kilometric-long and > 100-m high prominent river scarp on the opposite side of the valley. Scarp undermining by the continuous preferential lateral migration of the river channel toward the valley margin leads to vertical to overhanging unstable slopes affected by a large number of slope failures that become the main geological hazard for villages located at the toe of the scarps. Detailed mapping of the gypsum scarps along the Ebro and Huerva Rivers gypsum scarps demonstrates that landslides and lateral spreading processes are predominant when claystones crop out at the base of the scarp, while rockfalls and topples become the dominant movement in those reaches where the rock mass is mainly constituted by evaporites. The dissolution of gypsum nodules, seasonal swelling and shrinking, and dispersion processes contribute to a decrease in the mechanical strength of claystones. The existence of dissolution-enlarged joints, sinkholes, and severely damaged buildings at the toe of the scarp from karstic subsidence demonstrates that the interstratal karstification of evaporites becomes a triggering factor in the instability of the rock mass. The genesis of asymmetric valleys and river gypsum scarps in the study area seem to be caused by the random migration of the river channel in the absence of lateral tilting related to tectonics or dissolution-induced subsidence. Once the scarp is developed, its preservation depends on the physicochemical properties of the substratum, the ratio between bedrock erosion and river incision rates, and climatic conditions that favour runoff erosion versus dissolution.

  12. Sinkholes and caves related to evaporite dissolution in a stratigraphically and structurally complex setting, Fluvia Valley, eastern Spanish Pyrenees. Geological, geomorphological and environmental implications (United States)

    Gutiérrez, Francisco; Fabregat, Ivan; Roqué, Carles; Carbonel, Domingo; Guerrero, Jesús; García-Hermoso, Fernando; Zarroca, Mario; Linares, Rogelio


    Evaporite karst and sinkhole development is analysed in a geologically complex area of NE Spain, including four evaporite units with different characteristics and affected by compressional and extensional tectonic structures. The exposed paleosinkholes, including remarkable Early Pleistocene paleontological sites, provide valuable information on the subsidence mechanisms and reveal the significant role played by interstratal karstification in the area. These gravitational deformation structures, including hectometre-scale bending folds and oversteepened normal faults, strongly suggest that the present-day compressional regime inferred in previous studies may be largely based on the analysis of non-tectonic structures. Two gypsum caves ca. 1 km long show that passages with restricted cross-sectional area may produce large breccia pipes and sinkholes thanks to the removal of breakdown boulders by high-competence episodic floods. Moreover, the upward progression of cave ceilings by paragenesis and condensation dissolution contributes to increase the probability of sinkhole occurrence. An inventory of 135 sinkholes together with their geological and geomorphological context has been developed. This data base has been used to infer several properties of the sinkholes with practical implications: a magnitude and frequency scaling relationship, spatial distribution patterns, dominant controlling factors and risk implications.

  13. The impact of droughts and climate change on sinkhole occurrence. A case study from the evaporite karst of the Fluvia Valley, NE Spain. (United States)

    Linares, Rogelio; Roqué, Carles; Gutiérrez, Francisco; Zarroca, Mario; Carbonel, Domingo; Bach, Joan; Fabregat, Ivan


    This work introduces the concept that sinkhole frequency in some karst settings increases during drought periods. This conception is tested in a sector of the Fluvia River valley in NE Spain, where subsidence phenomena is related to the karstification of folded Eocene evaporite formations. In the discharge areas, the evaporites behave as confined aquifers affected by hypogene karstification caused by aggressive artesian flows coming form an underlying carbonate aquifer. A sinkhole inventory with chronological data has been constructed, revealing temporal clusters. Those clusters show a good correlation with drought periods, as revealed by precipitation, river discharge and piezometric data. This temporal association is particularly obvious for the last and current drought starting in 1998, which is the most intense of the record period (1940-present). Climatic projections based on recent studies foresee an intensification of the droughts in this sector of NE Spain, which could be accompanied by the enhancement of the sinkhole hazard and the associated risks. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Role of evaporitic sulfates in iron skarn mineralization: a fluid inclusion and sulfur isotope study from the Xishimen deposit, Handan-Xingtai district, North China Craton (United States)

    Wen, Guang; Bi, Shi-Jian; Li, Jian-Wei


    The Xishimen iron skarn deposit in the Handan-Xingtai district, North China Craton, contains 256 Mt @ 43 % Fe (up to 65 %). The mineralization is dominated by massive magnetite ore along the contact zone between the early Cretaceous Xishimen diorite stock and middle Ordovician dolomite and dolomitic limestones with numerous intercalations of evaporitic beds. Minor lenticular magnetite-dominated bodies also occur in the carbonate rocks proximal to the diorite stock. Hydrothermal alteration is characterized by extensive albitization within the diorite stock and extreme development of magnesian skarn along the contact zone consisting of diopside, forsterite, serpentine, tremolite, phlogopite, and talc. Magmatic quartz and amphibole from the diorite and hydrothermal diopside from the skarns contain abundant primary or pseudosecondary fluid inclusions, most of which have multiple daughter minerals dominated by halite, sylvite, and opaque phases. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and laser Raman spectrometry confirm that pyrrhotite is the predominant opaque phase in most fluid inclusions, in both the magmatic and skarn minerals. These fluid inclusions have total homogenization temperatures of 416-620 °C and calculated salinities of 42.4-74.5 wt% NaCl equiv. The fluid inclusion data thus document a high-temperature, high-salinity, ferrous iron-rich, reducing fluid exsolved from a cooling magma likely represented by the Xishimen diorite stock. Pyrite from the iron ore has δ34S values ranging from 14.0 to 18.6 ‰, which are significantly higher than typical magmatic values (δ34S = 0 ± 5 ‰). The sulfur isotope data thus indicate an external source for the sulfur, most likely from the evaporitic beds in the Ordovician carbonate sequences that have δ34S values of 24 to 29 ‰. We suggest that sulfates from the evaporitic beds have played a critically important role by oxidizing ferrous iron in the magmatic-hydrothermal fluid, leading to precipitation of massive

  15. Molecular indicators for palaeoenvironmental change in a Messinian evaporitic sequence (Vena del Gesso, Italy) II. Stratigraphic changes in abundances and (13)C contents of free and sulphur-bound skeletons in a single marl bed

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Kenig, F.; Frewin, N.L.; Hayes, J.M.


    The extractable organic matter of 10 immature samples from a marl bed of one evaporitic cycle of the Vena del Gesso sediments (Gessoso-solfifera Fm., Messinian, Italy) was analyzed quantitatively for free hydrocarbons and organic sulphur compounds. Nickel boride was used as a desulphurizing agent to

  16. Messinian post-evaporitic paleogeography of the Po Plain-Adriatic region by 3D numerical modeling: implications for the Central Mediterranean desiccation during the MSC (United States)

    Amadori, Chiara; Garcia-Castellanos, Daniel; Di Giulio, Andrea; Fantoni, Roberto; Ghielmi, Manlio; Sternai, Pietro; Toscani, Giovanni


    In the last decades the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) has been the topic of a number of studies, in particular in onshore areas, as they offer a unique opportunity to analyze the controlling factors and the geological consequences of the estimated 1.5 km sea-level drop. During the MSC, the geometry of western and eastern sides of the Mediterranean basin was similar to the present day basin while, important changes took place in the central portion as a consequence of the (still ongoing) tectonic activity of the Apennine domain. Recent high-resolution 2D seismo-stratigraphic and 1D backstripping analysis by Eni E&P group described a step-wise sea-level lowering during evaporitic and post-evaporitic MSC phases in the Po Plain-Northern Adriatic foreland (PPAF), with a sea-level drop not exceeding 900 m. Thanks to a dense grid of 2D seismic profiles, integrated with ca. 200 well logs (confidential data, courtesy of ENI E&P), a 3D reconstruction of the entire northern PPAF basin geometry and the facies distribution during the Latest Messinian time has been carried out. In this study, we performed a 3D backstripping and lithospheric scale uplift calculations of the northern PPAF basin testing the 800-900m of sea-level draw down. The resulted restored Latest Messinian paleotopography (corresponding to the bottom Pliocene in the most of the study area) and related shoreline position, strongly fit with the recentmost continental/marine facies distribution maps. The latest Messinian morphology shows deep marine basins persisting during the entire MSC period, filled by clastic turbiditic sediments and a wide emerged area along the Southern Alps margin and Friulian-Venetian basin. A 3D reconstruction of the Latest Messinian surface shows peculiar river incisions along the Southern Alps margin; these V-shape canyons perfectly fit with the present day fluvial network, dating back the drainage origin at least at the Messinian acme. Moreover, if in a well-constrained marginal

  17. Conditions for the formation and atmospheric dispersion of a toxic, heavy gas layer during thermal metamorphism of coal and evaporite deposits by sill intrusion (United States)

    Storey, Michael; Hankin, Robin K. S.


    There is compelling evidence for massive discharge of volatiles, including toxic species, into the atmosphere at the end of the Permian. It has been argued that most of the gases were produced during thermal metamorphism of coal and evaporite deposits in the East Siberia Tunguska basin following sill intrusion (Retallack and Jahren, 2008; Svensen et al., 2009). The release of the volatiles has been proposed as a major cause of environmental and extinction events at the end of the Permian, with venting of carbon gases and halocarbons to the atmosphere leading to global warming and atmospheric ozone depletion (Svensen et al., 2009) Here we consider the conditions required for the formation and dispersion of toxic, heavier than air, gas plumes, made up of a mixture of CO2, CH4, H2S and SO2 and formed during the thermal metamorphism of C- and S- rich sediments. Dispersion models and density considerations within a range of CO2/CH4 ratios and volatile fluxes and temperatures, for gas discharge by both seepage and from vents, allow the possibility that following sill emplacement much of the vast East Siberia Tunguska basin was - at least intermittently - covered by a heavy, toxic gas layer that was unfavorable for life. Dispersion scenarios for a heavy gas layer beyond the Siberian region during end-Permian times will be presented. REFERENCES G. J. Retallack and A. H. Jahren, Methane release from igneous intrusion of coal during Late Permian extinction events, Journal of Geology, volume 116, 1-20, 2008 H. Svensen et al., Siberian gas venting and the end-Permian environmental crisis, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, volume 277, 490-500, 2009

  18. Molecular indicators for palaeoenvironmental change in a Messinian evaporitic sequence (Vena del Gesso, Italy). II: High-resolution variations in abundances and 13C contents of free and sulphur-bound carbon skeletons in a single marl bed (United States)

    Kenig, F.; Damste, J. S.; Frewin, N. L.; Hayes, J. M.; De Leeuw, J. W.


    The extractable organic matter of 10 immature samples from a marl bed of one evaporitic cycle of the Vena del Gesso sediments (Gessoso-solfifera Fm., Messinian, Italy) was analyzed quantitatively for free hydrocarbons and organic sulphur compounds. Nickel boride was used as a desulphurizing agent to recover sulphur-bound lipids from the polar and asphaltene fractions. Carbon isotopic compositions (delta vs PDB) of free hydrocarbons and of S-bound hydrocarbons were also measured. Relationships between these carbon skeletons, precursor biolipids, and the organisms producing them could then be examined. Concentrations of S-bound lipids and free hydrocarbons and their delta values were plotted vs depth in the marl bed and the profiles were interpreted in terms of variations in source organisms, 13 C contents of the carbon source, and environmentally induced changes in isotopic fractionation. The overall range of delta values measured was 24.7%, from -11.6% for a component derived from green sulphur bacteria (Chlorobiaceae) to -36.3% for a lipid derived from purple sulphur bacteria (Chromatiaceae). Deconvolution of mixtures of components deriving from multiple sources (green and purple sulphur bacteria, coccolithophorids, microalgae and higher plants) was sometimes possible because both quantitative and isotopic data were available and because either the free or S-bound pool sometimes appeared to contain material from a single source. Several free n-alkanes and S-bound lipids appeared to be specific products of upper-water-column primary producers (i.e. algae and cyanobacteria). Others derived from anaerobic photoautotrophs and from heterotrophic protozoa (ciliates), which apparently fed partly on Chlorobiaceae. Four groups of n-alkanes produced by algae or cyanobacteria were also recognized based on systematic variations of abundance and isotopic composition with depth. For hydrocarbons probably derived from microalgae, isotopic variations are well correlated with

  19. Relations entre les types de dépôts évaporitiques et la présence de couches riches en matière organique (roches-mères potentielles Relationship Between Different Types of Evaporitic Deposits and the Occurrence of Organic-Rich Layers (Potential Source Rocks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Busson G.


    évaporites de marge de bassin avec couches à matière organique au centre correspondent à une période prolongée. C'est l'essentiel de la vie du bassin. Le remplissage de la cuvette centrale par des évaporites de centre de bassin peut être un épisode bref et qui peut entraîner la disparition même du bassin. Les évaporites de plate-forme s'étalant indifféremment sur l'ancien domaine du bassin comme sur celui des anciennes plates-formes marginales peuvent être l'aube d'un nouveau cycle sédimentaire, indifférent au passé. The extraordinary fertility of saline waters has been confirmed by recent studies of salterns in the western Mediterranean. The benthos contains mollusks, foraminifers, ostracodes and especially Cyanophyceae and bacterial populations. Plankton includes microphytoplankton (Dunaliella, diatoms, etc. , zooplankton (flagellates, Artemia salina and numerous heterotrophic bacteria. Where diversity is low when salinity is high, the proliferation of well adapted forms can be greater than the productivity levels observed in most other environments. The effectiveness of stratified water bodies for the preservation of organic matter originally produced in photic and oxygenated water is brought out. Such stratified systems may be accompanied by the proliferation of photosynthetic bacteria that are exposed to sporadic mass mortality, resulting in the formation of organic laminae at the bottom. In shelf (or epeiric evaporites, where the segregation of salinities and deposits has been synchronous and lateral, the water depth must have been shallow and hence unsuitable for the formation of stratified water bodies and especially for their geological duration. Such accumulations thus generally have a low organic content, and they also do not have abundant reef systems. In basin-center evaporites, the deposits are attributed to a succession of phases of increasing salinity in time, i. e. limestone in high areas, contemporaneous with thin organic

  20. Sedimentary cyclicity in early Pleistocene, evaporitic, playa-lake lacustrine deposits in the Guadix-Baza basin (Betic Cordillera, Spain); Ciclicidad sedimentaria en depositos lacustres evaporiticos tipo playa-lake del Pleistoceno inferior en la cuenca de Guadix-Baza (Cordillera Betica, Espana)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia Aguilar, J. M.; Guera-Menchan, A.; Serrano, F.; Palmqvist, P.


    The Guadix-Baza basin (Betic Cordillera, southern Spain) contains in its eastern sector an early Pleistocene (Gelasian and lowermost Calabrian) sedimentary unit that was deposited in a shallow lacustrine environment. Given that the chronological limits of this unit lie between 2.5 and 1.6 Ma BP, the thickness of its preserved sediments (400 m) and high sedimentation rate (44.4 cm/ka) are remarkable. Numerous sedimentary cycles marked by an alternation of marls and sands are commonly found in the marginal sectors and marls and gypsum in the central sector, which would owe their origins to permanent flooding and evaporation/ re-flooding phases due to global climatic changes. Spectral analyses carried out using Fourier transform have revealed the existence of temporary frequencies associated with sedimentary cycles of between 0.2 and 5.2 ka. The origin of these cycles may be associated with variations in solar radiation and oscillations in the Moons orbital position, which would induce global climatic changes resulting in the rise and fall of the water table of the lake. Autocorrelation analyses conducted separately on the marly and evaporitic levels support this conclusion, as they indicate the existence of significant direct correlations between about 4 to 12 sedimentary cycles, which would correspond to repetitions of the stratigraphic series over a time span of 1.3 to 4 ka. (Author)

  1. Simulation de la sédimentation dans un bassin évaporitique à niveau d'eau sous influence eustatique. Application au bassin paléogène de Mulhouse (Alsace, France Simulation of Sedimentation in an Evaporitic Basin At Water Level under Eustatic Influence. Application to the Paleogene Mulhouse Basin (Alsace, France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carpentier B.


    Full Text Available Le programme SIMSALT permet, à partir de fonctions sinusoïdales simulant des variations climatiques et eustatiques, de modéliser la sédimentation dans une maille élémentaire d'un bassin évaporitique en communication restreinte permanente avec l'océan, les arrivées d'eau marine se faisant par l'intermédiaire d'un seuil topographique. En fonction des salinités calculées, le programme détermine s'il y a précipitation de sels ainsi que les épaisseurs sédimentées. Les principaux résultats fournis sont représentés par des colonnes lithologiques en fonction des épaisseurs cumulées et en fonction du temps. Ce programme renferme également un module permettant de tester des fonctions simulant la production-dégradation de la matière organique. Ce modèle a été appliqué à une partie de la série évaporitique d'âge Eocène supérieur - Oligocène inférieur du bassin de Mulhouse. L'application du modèle aux cyclothèmes carottés du sondage Max montre que la sédimentation évaporitique et organique peut être contrôlée principalement par des variations climatiques résultant de la somme de trois sinusoïdes, respectivement de période de l'ordre de 13000, 500 et 100 ans, associées à des variations eustatiques de période 13000 ans déphasées par rapport aux variations climatiques de même période. Avec le modèle SIMSALT, il est donc possible de reconnaitre les influences respectives de l'eustatisme et du climat sur la sédimenation évaporitique et organique dans un bassin en communication restreinte avec le domaine marin. The SIMSALT program takes sinusoidal functions simulating climatic and eustatic variations and uses them to model sedimentation in an elementary mesh of an evaporitic basin in permanent restricted communication with the ocean, with arrivals of seawater being determined via a topographic threshold (Fig. 1. For this, the mesh is assumed to be made up of several superposed elements (Fig. 2, i. e. a

  2. Polyhalite microfabrics in an Alpine evaporite mélange: Hallstatt, Eastern Alps (United States)

    Schorn, Anja; Neubauer, Franz; Bernroider, Manfred


    In the Hallstatt salt mine (Austria), polyhalite rocks occur in 0.5–1 m thick and several metre long tectonic lenses within the protocataclasite to protomylonite matrix of the Alpine Haselgebirge Fm.. Thin section analysis of Hallstatt polyhalites reveals various fabric types similar to metamorphic rocks of crust-forming minerals, e.g. quartz and feldspar. Polyhalite microfabrics from Hallstatt include: (1) polyhalite mylonites, (2) metamorphic reaction fabrics, (3) vein-filling, fibrous polyhalite and (4) cavity-filling polyhalite. The polyhalite mylonites contain a wide range of shear fabrics commonly known in mylonitic quartzo–feldspathic shear zones within the ductile crust and developed from a more coarse-grained precursor rock. The mylonites are partly overprinted by recrystallised, statically grown polyhalite grains. Metamorphic reaction fabrics of polyhalite fibres between blödite (or astrakhanite) [Na2Mg(SO4)2.4H2O] and anhydrite have also been found. According to previous reports, blödite may occur primarily as nodules or intergrown with löweite. Reaction fabrics may have formed by exsolution, (re-)crystallisation, parallel growth or replacement. This fabric type was only found in one sample in relation with the decomposition of blödite at ca. 61 °C in the presence of halite or slightly above, testifying, therefore, a late stage prograde fabric significantly younger than the main polyhalite formation. PMID:26806997

  3. Mechanical Controls on Halokinesis in Layered Evaporite Sequences: Insights from 2D Geomechanical Forward Models (United States)

    Goteti, Rajesh; Agar, Susan M.; Brown, John P.; Ball, Philip; Zuhlke, Rainer


    Mechanical stratification in LES (Layered Evaporate Sequences) can have a distinct impact on structural and depositional styles in rifted margin salt tectonics. The bulk mechanical response of an LES under geological loading is dependent, among other factors, on the relative proportions of salt and sediment, salt mobility and sedimentation rate. To assess the interactions among the aforementioned factors in a physically consistent manner, we present 2D, large-strain finite element models of an LES salt minibasin and diapirs. Loading from the deposition of alternating salt and sediment layers (i.e., LES), gravity and a prescribed geothermal gradient provide the driving force for halokinesis in the models. To accurately capture the mechanical impact of stratification within the modeled LES, salt is assigned a temperature-dependent visco-plastic rheology, whereas the sediments are assigned a non-associative cap-plasticity model that supports both compaction and shear localization. Perturbations in the initial salt-sediment interface are used to initiate the salt diapirs. Model results suggest that active diapirism in the basal halite layer initiates when the pressure at the base of the incipient salt diapir exceeds that beneath the minibasin. Vertical growth of the diapir is also accompanied by its lateral expansion at higher structural levels where it preferentially intrudes the adjacent pre- and syn-kinematic salt layers. This pressure pumping of deeper salt into shallow salt layers, can result in rapid thickness changes between successive sediment layers within the LES. Caution needs to be exercised as such thickness changes observed in seismic images may not be entirely due to the shifting of depocenters but also due to the lateral pumping of salt within the LES. The presence of salt layers at multiple structural levels decouples the deformation between successive clastic layers resulting in disharmomic folding with contrasting strain histories in the sedimentary stringers. A significant proportion of the bulk deviatoric strain is preferentially partitioned into the salt layers. Effective plastic shear strains within the sediment stringers generally remain low in the minibasin but can be significantly higher with attendant intense folding near the diapirs. In non-LES systems, the shape of a salt diapir is often used as indicator of relative rates of salt supply and sedimentation over geological time. However our models suggest that this rule-of-thumb may not apply in LES where the shape of the salt diapir is a function of the mechanical properties of the salt layers at various structural levels in addition to the relative rates of salt supply and sedimentation. Imaging challenges in LES may preclude placing strong constraints on structural timing based on interpretation of interfaces between the stringers and the salt diapir. In such situations, geomechanical forward modeling can be a useful tool in placing physics-based quantitative constraints on the timing of LES structures.

  4. Nutrient Stoichiometry Shapes Microbial Community Structure in an Evaporitic Shallow Pond

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zarraz M.-P. Lee


    Full Text Available Nutrient availability and ratios can play an important role in shaping microbial communities of freshwater ecosystems. The Cuatro Ciénegas Basin (CCB in Mexico is a desert oasis where, perhaps paradoxically, high microbial diversity coincides with extreme oligotrophy. To better understand the effects of nutrients on microbial communities in CCB, a mesocosm experiment was implemented in a stoichiometrically imbalanced pond, Lagunita, which has an average TN:TP ratio of 122 (atomic. The experiment had four treatments, each with five spatial replicates – unamended controls and three fertilization treatments with different nitrogen:phosphorus (N:P regimes (P only, N:P = 16 and N:P = 75 by atoms. In the water column, quantitative PCR of the 16S rRNA gene indicated that P enrichment alone favored proliferation of bacterial taxa with high rRNA gene copy number, consistent with a previously hypothesized but untested connection between rRNA gene copy number and P requirement. Bacterial and microbial eukaryotic community structure was investigated by pyrosequencing of 16S and 18S rRNA genes from the planktonic and surficial sediment samples. Nutrient enrichment shifted the composition of the planktonic community in a treatment-specific manner and promoted the growth of previously rare bacterial taxa at the expense of the more abundant, potentially endemic, taxa. The eukaryotic community was highly enriched with phototrophic populations in the fertilized treatment. The sediment microbial community exhibited high beta diversity among replicates within treatments, which obscured any changes due to fertilization. Overall, these results showed that nutrient stoichiometry can be an important factor in shaping microbial community structure.

  5. Nutrient Stoichiometry Shapes Microbial Community Structure in an Evaporitic Shallow Pond. (United States)

    Lee, Zarraz M-P; Poret-Peterson, Amisha T; Siefert, Janet L; Kaul, Drishti; Moustafa, Ahmed; Allen, Andrew E; Dupont, Chris L; Eguiarte, Luis E; Souza, Valeria; Elser, James J


    Nutrient availability and ratios can play an important role in shaping microbial communities of freshwater ecosystems. The Cuatro Ciénegas Basin (CCB) in Mexico is a desert oasis where, perhaps paradoxically, high microbial diversity coincides with extreme oligotrophy. To better understand the effects of nutrients on microbial communities in CCB, a mesocosm experiment was implemented in a stoichiometrically imbalanced pond, Lagunita, which has an average TN:TP ratio of 122 (atomic). The experiment had four treatments, each with five spatial replicates - unamended controls and three fertilization treatments with different nitrogen:phosphorus (N:P) regimes (P only, N:P = 16 and N:P = 75 by atoms). In the water column, quantitative PCR of the 16S rRNA gene indicated that P enrichment alone favored proliferation of bacterial taxa with high rRNA gene copy number, consistent with a previously hypothesized but untested connection between rRNA gene copy number and P requirement. Bacterial and microbial eukaryotic community structure was investigated by pyrosequencing of 16S and 18S rRNA genes from the planktonic and surficial sediment samples. Nutrient enrichment shifted the composition of the planktonic community in a treatment-specific manner and promoted the growth of previously rare bacterial taxa at the expense of the more abundant, potentially endemic, taxa. The eukaryotic community was highly enriched with phototrophic populations in the fertilized treatment. The sediment microbial community exhibited high beta diversity among replicates within treatments, which obscured any changes due to fertilization. Overall, these results showed that nutrient stoichiometry can be an important factor in shaping microbial community structure.

  6. The mafic, ultramafic and metamorphic xenoliths in triassic evaporite complexes, North West Algeria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Midoun, M.; Seddiki, A.


    In northwestern Algeria, triassic evaporate bodies contain varied xenoliths extracted from the lower crust and upper mantle and are interpreted as evidence of crustal thinning at the beginning of the Triassic period. Similar materials are known to occur in the internal areas of the western Mediterranean chains, which allow us to propose the existence of a wide area of crustal thinning during the Triassic along the future Tethyan axis. (Author)

  7. Cyclostratigraphy and astrochronology of the Tripolo diatomite formation pre-evaporite Messinian, Sicily, italy)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hilgen, F.J.; Krijgsman, W.


    The ongoing debate about the Messinian salinity crisis in the Mediterranean is fuelled in part by the lach of an adequate time control. The most accurate and, at the same time, detailed constrains are nowadays provided by the astronomical dating technique. Here we present an astronomical age model

  8. Experimental approach to domino-style basement fault systems with evaporites during extension and subsequent inversion (United States)

    Ferrer, Oriol; McClay, Ken


    Salt is mechanically weaker than other sedimentary rocks in rift basins. During extension it commonly acts as a strain localizer, decoupling supra- and sub-salt deformation. In this scenario the movement of the subsalt faults combined with the salt migration commonly constraint the development of syncline basins. The shape of these synclines is basically controlled by the thickness and strength of the overlying salt section, as well as by the shapes of the extensional faults, and the magnitudes and slip rates along the faults. The inherited extensional structure, and particularly the continuity of the salt section, plays a key role if the rift basin is subsequently inverted. This research utilizes scaled physical models to analyse the interplay between subsalt structures and suprasalt units during both extension and inversion in domino-style basement fault systems. The experimental program includes twelve analogue models to analyze how the thickness and stratigraphy of the salt unit as well as the thickness of the pre-extensional cover constraint the structural style during extension and subsequent inversion. Different models with the same setup have been used to examine the kinematic evolution. Model kinematics was documented and analyzed combining high-resolution photographs and sub-millimeter resolution scanners. The vertical sections carried out at the end of the experiments have been used to characterize the variations of the structures along strike using new methodologies (3D voxel models in image processing software and 3D seismic). The experimental results show that after extension, rift systems with salt affected by domino-style basement faults don't show the classical growth stratal wedges. In this case synclinal basins develop above the salt on the hangingwall of the basement faults. The evolution of supra- and subsalt deformation is initially decoupled by the salt layer. Salt migrates from the main depocenters towards the edges of the basin constraining the sinking of this basin. As extension progressed, salt was locally depleted above the basement faults. From this point the structural style changed dramatically evolving to a coupled deformation. Welding produces a variation in the position of the basin depocenter that jumps towards a new formed antithetic fault above the depleted area. During inversion this basins were progressively folded and uplifted. Shortcuts formed on subsalt fault whereas the salt section acts as a contractional detachment transferring part of the deformation out of the basin. Changes in thickness of the salt section during the inversion produced primary welds and these permitted the sub-polymer deformation to propagate upwards into the supra-salt layers. These experimental results are compared with seismic examples from different areas of the Southern North Sea.

  9. Hydraulic Testing of Salado Formation Evaporites at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Site: Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beauheim, Richard L.; Domski, Paul S.; Roberts, Randall M.


    This report presents interpretations of hydraulic tests conducted in bedded evaporates of the Salado Formation from May 1992 through May 1995 at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site in southeastern New Mexico. The WIPP is a US Department of Energy research and development facility designed to demonstrate safe disposal of transuranic wastes from the nation's defense programs. The WIPP disposal horizon is located in the lower portion of the Permian Salado Formation. The hydraulic tests discussed in this report were performed in the WIPP underground facility by INTERA inc. (now Duke Engineering and Services, Inc.), Austin, Texas, following the Field Operations Plan and Addendum prepared by Saulnier (1988, 1991 ) under the technical direction of Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

  10. Identification and applicability of analogues for a safety case for a HLW repository in evaporites: results from a NEA workshop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Noseck, U.; Wolf, J. [Gesellschaft für Anlagen und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS) mbH, Brunswick (Germany); Steininger, W. [Project Management Agency Karslruhe Water Technology and Waste Management, PTKA-WTE, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, KIT, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen (Germany); Miller, B. [AMEC, The Renaissance Center, Warrington (United Kingdom)


    A workshop was held in September 2012 in Braunschweig, Germany, to discuss the potential for natural and anthropogenic analogue studies to contribute to safety cases for radioactive waste repositories constructed in salt formations. Presentations were given on many analogue sites and systems from different countries. Discussions at the workshop then addressed the following aspects that are particularly relevant to the safety concept for radioactive waste disposal in salt: (1) the long-term integrity of rock salt formations, (2) the integrity of technical barriers, and (3) microbial, chemical and transport processes. A diverse range of natural systems were discussed as potential analogues for the integrity of rock salt. These included the deformation of anhydrite layers in rock salt; the response of rock salt to mechanical and thermal loads; and the isotopic signatures of syngenetic waters contained in fluid inclusions. Some anthropogenic examples drawn from the oil and gas industries, and from hazardous waste disposal, were proposed as analogues for the integrity of (geo)technical barriers. A broad range of studies on natural and anthropogenic salt-brine systems were identified as potential analogues for the radionuclide sorption and (co)precipitation process that may take place in the repository near and far fields, as well as for understanding the significance of hydrocarbons and microbial processes. It was evident from discussions at the workshop that there are some specific technical issues that may benefit from further analogue study, particularly the compaction of crushed salt backfill, the viability of microbes in the near-field, the stability of plugs and seals, the deformation of anhydrite, and isotope signatures in fluid inclusions. (authors)

  11. Overview of the geophysical studies in the Dead Sea coastal area related to evaporite karst and recent sinkhole development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikhail G. Ezersky


    Full Text Available Since the early 80s, a progressively increasing number of sinkholes appeared along the Dead Sea coastal line. It has been found that their appearance is strongly correlating with the lowering of the Dead Sea level taking place with the rate of approximately 1 m/yr. Location of areas affected by sinkhole development corresponds to location of the salt formation deposited during the latest Pleistocene, when the Lake Lisan receded to later become the Dead Sea. Water flowing to the Dead Sea from adjacent and underlying aquifers dissolves salt and creates caverns that cause ground subsidence and consequent formation of sinkholes. Before subsidence, these caverns are not visible on the surface but can be investigated with surface geophysical methods. For that, we applied Surface Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (SNMR, Transient Electromagnetic (TEM Seismic refraction and reflection, Multichannel Analysis of Surface waves (MASW, microgravity and magnetic surveys and their combinations. Our geophysical results allowed us to locate the salt formation and to detect caverns in salt thus contributing to better understanding sinkhole development mechanisms. Comparison of sinkhole appearance along the western DS shore derived from the recent database (2017 shows that predictions made on the base of geophysical data (2005-2008 are now confirmed thus demonstrating efficiency of our study. In this paper, we briefly present a summary of up to date knowledge of the geology and hydrogeology of Dead Sea basin, of the physical properties of the salt rock and the most popular models explaining mechanisms of sinkhole development. We also share our experience gained during geophysical studies carried out in the framework of national and international research projects in this area for the last 20 years.

  12. Pseudomorphs of Neotethyan Evaporites in Anatolia's HP/LT belts - Aptian basin-wide pelagic gypsum deposits (United States)

    Scheffler, Franziska; Oberhänsli, Roland; Pourteau, Amaury; Immenhauser, Adrian; Candan, Osman


    Rosetta Marble was defined in SW Anatolia as 3D-radiating textures of dm-to-m-long calcite rods in the HP/LT metamorphosed Mid-Cretaceous pelagic carbonate sequence of the Ören Unit. Rosetta Marble in the type locality are interbedded with meta-chert beds, and may constitute entire carbonate beds. Rare aragonite relicts and Sr-rich, fibrous calcite pseudomorphs after aragonite witness the HP metamorphic imprint of this sequence during the closure of a Neotethyan oceanic domain during latest Cretaceous-Palaeocene times. We investigated the Rosetta Marble of the Ören Unit, as well as other known and newly found localities in the Tavşanlı and Afyon zones, and the Alanya Massif and Malatya area, to decipher the metamorphic, diagenetic and sedimentologic significance of these uncommon textures. Based on field, petrographic and geochemical investigations, we document a wide variety of Rosetta-type textures. A striking resemblance with well-known gypsum morphologies (e.g. shallow-tail, palm-tree textures) leads us to argue that Rosetta Marble was initially composed of giant gypsum crystals (selenite). The absence of anhydrite relicts of pseudomorphs indicate that gypsum transformed into calcite soon after the deposition by the mean of a sulphate reduction reaction. The gypsum-to-calcite transformation requires that organic matter intervened as a reactant phase. Mid Cretaceous oceanic domains in the Tethyan realm are characterised by overall anoxic conditions that allowed the preservation of organic material. Rosetta Marble exposures are widely distributed over 600 km along the Neotethyan suture zone. During deepening of the Neotethyan ocean in Mid Cretaceous times, basin-wide and cyclic sedimentation of gypsum and radiolarite occurred. The origin of high-salinity waters needed for gypsum precipitation was located at shelf levels. Density and gravity effects forced the brines to cascade downwards into the deep ocean. Favorable climatic conditions trigger the formation of massive evaporates: hot temperatures during Aptian times, low oceanic circulation and a semi-closed character of the basin. The findings of massive selenite pseudomorphs located in a pelagic sequence have major impact on paleogeographic reconstruction of Neotethyan basins in the Eastern Mediterranean during Cretaceous times.

  13. Organic geochemical studies of a Messinian evaporitic basin, Northern Apennines (Italy) II. Isoprenoid and n-alkyl thiophenes and thiolanes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Haven, H.L. ten; Leeuw, J.W. de; Schenck, P.A.


    Series of n-alkyl and isoprenoid thiophenes and thiolanes, most of which have not been previously reported, have been identified in an extract from a Messinian (Upper Miocene)layer deposited under hypersaline, euxinic conditions. The identifications were based on mass spectra and chromatographic

  14. Impact of rock salt creep law choice on subsidence calculations for hydrocarbon reservoirs overlain by evaporite caprocks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marketos, G.; Spiers, C.J.; Govers, R.


    Accurate forward modeling of surface subsidence above producing hydrocarbons reservoirs requires an understanding of the mechanisms determining how ground deformation and subsidence evolve. Here we focus entirely on rock salt, which overlies a large number of reservoirs worldwide, and specifically

  15. Microbial diversity in sediment ecosystems (evaporites domes, microbial mats and crusts) of hypersaline Laguna Tebenquiche, Salar de Atacama, Chile


    Ana Beatriz Fernandez; Maria Cecilia Rasuk; Visscher, Pieter T.; Manuel Contreras; Fernando Novoa; Daniel Poire; Patterson, Molly M.; Antonio Ventosa; Maria Eugenia Farias


    We combined nucleic acid-based molecular methods, biogeochemical measurements and physicochemical characteristics to investigate microbial sedimentary ecosystems of Laguna Tebenquiche, Atacama Desert, Chile. Molecular diversity and biogeochemistry of hypersaline microbial mats, rhizome-associated concretions and an endoevaporite were compared with: The V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified by pyrosequencing to analyze the total microbial diversity (i.e., bacteria and arch...

  16. Impact of rock salt creep law choice on subsidence calculations for hydrocarbon reservoirs overlain by evaporite caprocks

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Marketos, G; Spiers, C.J; Govers, R


    .... Here we focus entirely on rock salt, which overlies a large number of reservoirs worldwide, and specifically on the role of creep of rock salt caprocks in response to production-induced differential stresses...

  17. Site Assessment for Astroparticle Detector Location in Evaporites of the Polkowice-Sieroszowice Copper Ore Mine, Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaroslaw Slizowski


    Full Text Available The aim of the work was to evaluate the possibilities of excavating a chamber for the Glacier detector, a cylinder with a 74 m diameter and 38 m height filled with 100 kT of liquid argon, in the Polkowice-Sieroszowice copper ore mine in the Legnica-Glogow Copper Area (LGOM. Two potential locations were analyzed in a rock salt layer more than 100 m thick at the depth of 1000 m and in the anhydrite layer of about 100 m thick at the depth of 650 m, both lying above the copper ore deposit. The numerical analyses, based on geological, geophysical, and geomechanical research, were carried out to determine the behavior of the system of the chamber and surrounding rock mass. Two creep laws have been adopted for rock salt in the numerical models, Norton and Lubby2. Their coefficients have been adjusted for in situ measurements of the mine galleries convergence starting from the results of laboratory tests. Displacement and stresses of the rock salt in the chamber vicinity are much greater for the Lubby2 law. The displacements indicated at the chamber contour are the reason that the alternative location in the anhydrite layer was more advantageous.

  18. Syn-depositional deformation of the late Zechstein evaporites on the Friesland Platform capturing the early life of a salt giant (United States)

    Raith, Alexander; Urai, Janos L.


    It is often thought that the deposition of the Zechstein of NE Netherlands took place in a tectonically quiet environment and experienced complex deformation later. While early deformation structures were mostly overprinted by later salt flow, we focused on the Friesland platform, which was only weakly affected by later salt tectonics. In this study, we analyzed the present structures and deformation history with the help of 3D seismic and well data. Results show that the ZIII AC stringer contains (i) a regional network of thicker zones (TZ), and (ii) a network of zones where the stringers are absent, interpreted as ruptures formed by salt flow. These ruptures in many cases mark a clear vertical shift of the sub-horizontal stringer. Mapping of the base salt and top salt reflectors shows that the ruptures often coincide with faults at base Zechstein level, and that the thickness of the post-stringer rock salt layers is thicker where the stringers are lower, while the total salt thickness is relatively constant. We interpret these structures as evidence for movement on the faults at base salt, during Zechstein times, suggesting that late Zechstein deposition was syn-tectonic. Spatial correlation of TZ and these syn-depositional depressions also indicate syn-depositional or very early development of thickening in the ZIII-AC stringer. They are interpreted to reflect the interaction of anhydrite dewatering pathways and dissolution of salt below fracture systems in the stringer localized by the active shear zones in the salt.

  19. Evolution and estimated age of the C5 Lukala carbonate-evaporite ramp complex in the Lower Congo region (Democratic Republic of Congo): New perspectives in Central Africa (United States)

    Delpomdor, F.; Van Vliet, N.; Devleeschouwer, X.; Tack, L.; Préat, A.


    New detailed lithological, sedimentological, chemostratigraphic data were obtained from exploration drilling samples on the C5 carbonate-dominated formation of the Neoproterozoic Lukala Subgroup (former Schisto-Calcaire Subgroup) from the West Congo Belt (WCB) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This formation records the last post-Marinoan sea-level events that occurred in the whole basin, followed by the development of the Araçuaï-West Congo Orogen between 630 and 560 Ma. The C5 Formation consists of back-reef lagoonal and peritidal/sabkha cycles of ∼2.0 m in thickness, that record a short-time marine regression, rapidly flooded by a marine transgression with deposition of organic-rich argillaceous carbonates or shales under dysoxia and anoxia conditions. These dysoxic/anoxic waters were rapidly followed by a regional-scale marine transgression, favouring mixing with well-oxygenated waters, and the development of benthic Tonian to Cambro-Ordovician Obruchevella parva-type 'seagrasses' in the nearshore zones of the lagoons. New δ13C and 87Sr/86Sr isotopic data in the C5 Formation of the Lukala Subgroup are used in the frame of a correlation with the Sete Lagoas Formation in Brazil. Relatively comparable negative to positive δ13C excursions point to marine flooding of the whole basin and allow extension of the debatable Late Ediacaran age of the uppermost Sete Lagoas and C5 formations. Sr isotope ;blind dating; failed due to low Sr concentration related to a dolomitization event close 540 Ma. Several tentative datings of the C5 Formation converge to a Late Ediacaran age ranging between 575 and 540 Ma. As the overlying Mpioka folded Subgroup, the C5 series suffered the Pan African deformation, dated at 566 ± 42 Ma. Unlike the previously generally accepted interpretation, our data suggests that the Mpioka Subgroup was deposited in the Early Cambrian.

  20. High-resolution InSAR constraints on flood-related subsidence and evaporite dissolution along the Dead Sea shores: Interplay between hydrology and rheology (United States)

    Shviro, Maayan; Haviv, Itai; Baer, Gidon


    Sinkhole generation and land subsidence are commonly attributed to dissolution of subsurface layers by under-saturated groundwater and formation of cavities. Along the Dead Sea (DS) shorelines, this process also involves seasonal flash floods that are drained into the subsurface by existing and newly formed sinkholes. We quantify the contribution of flash-floods to salt dissolution and land subsidence using high-resolution interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR). Subsidence rates during a 3-year period (2012-2015) were calculated from 57 COSMO SkyMed X-band interferograms bracketing major flood events and intra-flood periods in 21 sinkhole sites. The sites are located within channels and alluvial fans along the western shores of the Dead Sea, Israel. The observed subsidence reaches maximum rates of 2.5 mm/day, accumulating in specific sites to 500 mm/year. In most of the sinkhole sites a gradual increase in the annual subsidence rate is observed during the 3-year study period. Three different modes of response to floods were observed: (1) sites where floodwater is not directly channeled into sinkholes do not respond to floods; (2) sites adjacent to active channels with sinkholes are unaffected by specific floods but their subsidence rates increase gradually from early winter to mid-summer, and decay gradually until the following winter; and (3) sites in active channels with sinkholes are characterized by an abrupt increase in subsidence rates immediately after each flood (by a factor of up to 20) and by a subsequent quasi-exponential subsidence decay over periods of several months. In these latter sites, subsidence rates after each flood are temporally correlated with alternating groundwater levels in adjacent boreholes. The rapid rise in groundwater head following floods increases the hydraulic gradient of the under-saturated groundwater and hence also the groundwater discharge and the dissolution rate of the subsurface salt layer. A subsequent quasi-exponential water level drop results in similar deceleration in dissolution and subsidence rates, with a similar characteristic decay time of about 150 days. The observed subsidence decay pattern may also be explained by viscoelastic relaxation of the overburden in response to instantaneously-formed dissolution cavities. Utilizing a Kelvin viscoelastic model, we show that the contribution of this process is most probably < 30% of the total observed subsidence and is sensitive to the sediment mechanical properties. On a broader scale, this study demonstrates how high-resolution InSAR measurements can improve our understanding of subsurface dissolution and subsidence processes and provide independent constraints on the mechanical properties of heterogeneous alluvial sediments.

  1. Preuves de la non-stratification du Trias dans le Turonien de la Koudiat Sidii (Nord-Ouest de la Tunisie)Evidence of the non-interbedding of the Triassic evaporites within the Turonian sediments in the Koudiat Sidii area (north-western Tunisia) (United States)

    Chikhaoui, Mongi; Braham, Ahmed; Turki, Mohamed Moncef


    The cartographic and biostratigraphic datings carried out at Koudiat Sidii do not confirm the interbedding of the Triassic rocks within the Turonian sediments. Interrelationships between cartographic, drill holes and gravimetric dating show that the Triassic rocks form the core of a large anticline, flanked by Cretaceous and Neogene outcrops. Of this structure, in large parts collapsed and buried under a thick Quaternary deposit, we only see the western flank, formed by dolomitic breccia of Triassic rocks supporting a set that spreads from Upper Cenomanian to Upper Senonian. The occurrence of Triassic debris flow reworked in the Turonian allows us to interpret the Triassic material as a diapiric extrusion, which reached the surface during the Turonian times, in the tectonic corner of ancient faults trending north-south and NE-SW. During the Tertiary tightening phases, oriented NW-SE, the induced folded structures are strongly controlled by these tectonic directions. Particularly, the meridian fold corresponds to the torsion of J. Hout NE-SW fold in the neighbourhood of the north-south palaeofaults.

  2. RETRACTED: Facies analysis and depositional environments of the Oligocene–Miocene Asmari Formation, Zagros Basin, Iran

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sahraeyan, Mohammad; Bahrami, Mohammad; Arzaghi, Solmaz


    ..., A., Vaziri-Moghaddam, H., 2010. The Asmari Formation, north of the Gascharan (Dill anticline), southwest Iran: facies analysis, depositional environments and sequence stratigraphy, Carbonates Evaporites, 25, 145-160, http...

  3. Palaeoenvironmental history of Bap-Malar and Kanod playas of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    R. Narasimhan (Krishtel eMaging) 1461 1996 Oct 15 13:05:22

    Malar and Kanod, have been investigated using palynology, geomorphology, archaeology, AMS-radiocarbon dating, stable isotopes, evaporite mineralogy and geoarchaeology. The principal objective was to obtain a reliable lithostratigraphy of ...

  4. Hydrogeological flow in gypsum karst areas: some examples from northern Italy and main circulation models

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bartolomeo Vigna; Ilenia M D’Angeli; Adriano Fiorucci; Jo De Waele


    ... age and show only sparse and small outcrops. The underground quarrying of these evaporite bodies in Piedmont has allowed studying in detail their hydrogeology, and the ways in which water flows through these karst...

  5. geochemical characterization the waters of foggaras the continental

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    B. Benaricha, A. Khaldi, A. Elouissi, S. Mouassa, M. Zaagane


    sodic facies. These are the chlorides predominate in these waters, as well as sodium and potassium cations, resulting in the dissolution of evaporite salt formations. a. Right dissolution of halite b. Right dissolution of gypsum ...

  6. Deposition of a saline giant in the Mississippian Windsor Group, Nova Scotia, and the nascent Late Paleozoic Ice Age (United States)

    MacNeil, Laura A.; Pufahl, Peir K.; James, Noel P.


    Saline giants are vast marine evaporite deposits that currently have no modern analogues and remain one of the most enigmatic of chemical sedimentary rocks. The Mississippian Windsor Group (ca. 345 Ma), Maritimes Basin, Atlantic Canada is a saline giant that consists of two evaporite-rich sedimentary sequences that are subdivided into five subzones. Sequence 1 is composed almost entirely of thick halite belonging to Subzone A (Osagean). Sequence 2 is in unconformable contact and comprised of stacked carbonate-evaporite peritidal cycles of Subzones B through E (Meramecian). Subzone B, the focus of research herein, documents the transition from wholly evaporitic to open marine conditions and thus, preserves an exceptional window into the processes forming saline giants. Lithofacies stacking patterns in Subzone B reveal that higher-order fluctuations in relative sea level produced nine stacked parasequences interpreted to reflect high frequency glacioeustatic oscillations during the onset of the Late Paleozoic Ice Age. Each parasequence reflects progradation of intertidal and sabkha sediments over subtidal carbonate and evaporite deposits. Dissimilarities in cycle composition between sub-basins imply the development of contrasting brine chemistries from differing recharge rates with the open ocean. What the Windsor Group shows is that evaporite type is ostensibly linked to the amplitude and frequency of sea level rise and fall during deposition. True saline giants, like the basinwide evaporites of Sequence 1, apparently require low amplitude, long frequency changes in sea level to promote the development of stable brine pools that are only periodically recharged with seawater. By contrast, the high amplitude, short frequency glacioeustatic variability in sea level that controlled the accumulation of peritidal evaporites in Subzone B produce smaller, subeconomic deposits with more complex facies relationships.

  7. Sabkha Trafficability, (United States)


    algal mat. Some small gypsum crystals with minor, if any, cementing by aragonite, magnesite and protodolomite. Inner Flood Recharge zone: Subject to...evaporitic minerals may include calcite, dolomite, magnesite and celestite (Bush, 1970). Two of the most abundant of the evaporitic minerals found in...greater than 8,000 based on radiocarbon dates. Lithification can apparently proceed rather rapidly since contemporary artifacts ( glass , iron bolts, e:3

  8. Sulfate burial constraints on the Phanerozoic sulfur cycle. (United States)

    Halevy, Itay; Peters, Shanan E; Fischer, Woodward W


    The sulfur cycle influences the respiration of sedimentary organic matter, the oxidation state of the atmosphere and oceans, and the composition of seawater. However, the factors governing the major sulfur fluxes between seawater and sedimentary reservoirs remain incompletely understood. Using macrostratigraphic data, we quantified sulfate evaporite burial fluxes through Phanerozoic time. Approximately half of the modern riverine sulfate flux comes from weathering of recently deposited evaporites. Rates of sulfate burial are unsteady and linked to changes in the area of marine environments suitable for evaporite formation and preservation. By contrast, rates of pyrite burial and weathering are higher, less variable, and largely balanced, highlighting a greater role of the sulfur cycle in regulating atmospheric oxygen.

  9. Potash: a global overview of evaporate-related potash resources, including spatial databases of deposits, occurrences, and permissive tracts: Chapter S in Global mineral resource assessment (United States)

    Orris, Greta J.; Cocker, Mark D.; Dunlap, Pamela; Wynn, Jeff C.; Spanski, Gregory T.; Briggs, Deborah A.; Gass, Leila; Bliss, James D.; Bolm, Karen S.; Yang, Chao; Lipin, Bruce R.; Ludington, Stephen; Miller, Robert J.; Słowakiewicz, Mirosław


    Potash is mined worldwide to provide potassium, an essential nutrient for food crops. Evaporite-hosted potash deposits are the largest source of salts that contain potassium in water-soluble form, including potassium chloride, potassium-magnesium chloride, potassium sulfate, and potassium nitrate. Thick sections of evaporitic salt that form laterally continuous strata in sedimentary evaporite basins are the most common host for stratabound and halokinetic potash-bearing salt deposits. Potash-bearing basins may host tens of millions to more than 100 billion metric tons of potassium oxide (K2O). Examples of these deposits include those in the Elk Point Basin in Canada, the Pripyat Basin in Belarus, the Solikamsk Basin in Russia, and the Zechstein Basin in Germany.

  10. Mechanical stratification of autochthonous salt: Implications from basin-scale numerical models of rifted margin salt tectonics (United States)

    Ings, Steven; Albertz, Markus


    Deformation of salt and sediments owing to the flow of weak evaporites is a common phenomenon in sedimentary basins worldwide, and the resulting structures and thermal regimes have a significant impact on hydrocarbon exploration. Evaporite sequences ('salt') of significant thickness (e.g., >1km) are typically deposited in many cycles of seawater inundation and evaporation in restricted basins resulting in layered autochthonous evaporite packages. However, analogue and numerical models of salt tectonics typically treat salt as a homogeneous viscous material, often with properties of halite, the weakest evaporite. In this study, we present results of two-dimensional plane-strain numerical experiments designed to illustrate the effects of variable evaporite viscosity and embedded frictional-plastic ('brittle') sediment layers on the style of salt flow and associated deformation of the sedimentary overburden. Evaporite viscosity is a first-order control on salt flow rate and the style of overburden deformation. Near-complete evacuation of low-viscosity salt occurs beneath expulsion basins, whereas significant salt is trapped when viscosity is high. Embedded frictional-plastic sediment layers (with finite yield strength) partition salt flow and develop transient contractional structures (folds, thrust faults, and folded faults) in a seaward salt-squeeze flow regime. Multiple internal sediment layers reduce the overall seaward salt flow during sediment aggradation, leaving more salt behind to be re-mobilized during subsequent progradation. This produces more seaward extensive allochthonous salt sheets. If there is a density difference between the embedded layers and the surrounding salt, then the embedded layers 'fractionate' during deformation and either float to the surface or sink to the bottom (depending on density), creating a thick zone of pure halite. Such a process of 'buoyancy fractionation' may partially explain the apparent paradox of layered salt in

  11. Economic geology of the Zipaquira quadrangle and adjoining area, Department of Cundinamarca, Colombia (United States)

    McLaughlin, Donald H.; Arce Herrera, Marino


    At least four evaporite sequences are interbedded with Cretaceous strata in the Bogotga area of the Cordillera Oriental of Colombia. The easternmost and oldest evaporite interval is of probable Berriasian-Valanglnian age; the next oldest is of probable late Barremian-early Aptian age, and is followed by a possible late Aptian sequence. The westernmost and best known sequence is Turonian-early Coniacian in age, in the Sabana de Bogota. This youngest sequence contains the thickest known salt deposits and is probably the most widespread geographically. Three gypsum deposits of probable Barremian-Valanginian age are in the eastern part of the area under investigation. These deposits may have been leached from former salt accumulations. No other evaporites are exposed, but numerous brine springs are known, That the sources of these brines are neither deep not distant is suggested by the generally high concentrations, of the brines, the local presence of rute (leached salt residue), and the commonly significant amounts of H2S gas emitted at these springs. The rock salt exposed in three accessible mines commonly has a characteristic lamination caused by alternating layers of relatively pure halite and very argillaceous halite. Ubiquitously scattered throughout all salt deposits are small clasts of black, commonly pyritic, marly claystone. This lithology is also present as large claystone bodies conformably interbedded in the salt strata. Anhydrite is rare and is apparently more abundant at the Zipaquira mine that at the Nemocon and Upin mine. Paleontologic evidence in the Sabana de Bogota demonstrates that the salt-claystone series, hematite impregnated strata, and carbonaceous to locally coaly claystone are coeval. The salt-claystone facies may have been deposited in shallow evaporite pans that were separated within the overall evaporite interval by barriers on which the locally hematitic strata were deposited. The carbonaceous facies may also have formed in barrier

  12. Deformation and transport processes in salt rocks : An experimental study exploring effects of pressure and stress relaxation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Muhammad, Nawaz|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/357286537


    The presence of evaporitic formations in sedimentary basins, often dominated by the salt mineral halite, is of great influence on the structural style developed during tectonic events. On a somewhat smaller scale, salt rocks often host a variety of deep solution mined caverns, which are increasingly

  13. Department of Defense Enhanced Particulate Matter Surveillance Program (EPMSP) (United States)


    kaolinite, illite, motmorillonite, and palygorskite Dolomite Calcium magnesium carbonate mineral Evaporites Water-soluble mineral sediments (salts...contained in carbonate minerals such as calcite and dolomite . ........................................ 42 Figure 4-25. Trace element compositions...MgO. The last two components are contained in the carbonate minerals calcite and dolomite and were found in higher concentrations at the UAE and Al

  14. The Upper Permian in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, W.A.


    The Upper Permian in the Netherlands, as known from borehole data, is deposited in a mainly evaporitic facies north of the Brabant and Rhenish Massifs. In the extreme south (Belgian Campine, de Peel) a near-shore facies of reef dolomites and elastics occurs. In the western and central Netherlands

  15. Organic Matter of the Mulhouse Basin, France: A synthesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Hofmann, P.; Huc, A.Y.; Carpentier, B.; Schaeffer, P.; Albrecht, P.; Keely, B.J.; Maxwell, J.R.; Leeuw, J.W. de; Leythaeuser, D.


    The lower Oligocene evaporite sequence of the Mulhouse Basin (France) contains organic matter-rich marl deposits. These marls display an overall cyclic variation of sedimentation rate, organic carbon content, hydrogen index and selected molecular parameters over a 30 m thick stratigraphic interval.

  16. Sulfuric Acid on Europa's Surface and the Radiolytic Sulfur Cycle (United States)

    Carlson, R.; Johnson, R.; Anderson, M.


    Galileo infrared spectra of Europa's surface show distorted water bands that have been attributed to hydrated evaporite salts (McCord et al., J. Geophys. Res. 104, 11827, 1999) or to the scattering properties of ice (Dalton and Clark, Bull. Am. Astron. Soc. 30, 1081, 1998).

  17. Lithofacies and the depositional history of the Tessey Formation, Frenchman Hills, West Texas (United States)

    Haneef, Mohammad; Wardlaw, B.R.


    The Tessey Formation in the Frenchman Hills, northwest Glass Mountains, represent deposition in a basinal setting. The formation consists of at least two shallowing-upward sequences of carbonate and evaporite deposition marked by two episodes of subaerial exposure, meteoric water dissolution, and collapse brecciation.

  18. A molecular stratigraphic approach to palaeoenvironmental assessment and the recognition of organic matter source inputs in marls of the Mulhouse Basin (Alsace, France)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Keely, B.J.; Betts, S.; Ling, Y.; Maxwell, J.R.


    Principal components analysis (PCA) has been used to investigate changes in concentrations of the components of the hydrocarbon fractions extracted from 71 marl samples, selected to cover two total organic carbon (TOC) maxima in the lower part of the Salt IV formation, a Lower Oligocene evaporitic

  19. The 'Tortonian salinity crisis' of the eastern Betics (Spain)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krijgsman, W.; Garcés, Miguel; Agustí, Jorge; Raffi, I.; Taberner, C.; Zachariasse, W.J.


    The late Miocene depositional history of the Lorca and Fortuna basins, both occupying an internal position in the eastern Betics of Spain, is marked by a regressive sequence from open marine marls, via diatomites and evaporites, to continental sediments. Based on facies similarities, these

  20. Age of the Badenian salinity crisis; Impact of Miocene climate variability on the circum-mediterranean region

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Leeuw, A.; Bukowski, Krzysztof; Krijgsman, W.; Kuiper, K. F.

    Massive evaporites were deposited in the Central European Paratethys Sea during the Badenian salinity crisis (BSC). The scarcity of absolute age data has hampered a thorough understanding of these salt deposits. Here we present a robust chronology for this catastrophic event by 40Ar/39Ar dating of

  1. Healing and sliding stability of simulated anhydrite fault gouge : Effects of water, temperature and CO2

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pluymakers, Anne M H; Niemeijer, André R.


    Anhydrite-bearing faults are currently of interest to 1) CO2-storage sites capped by anhydrite caprocks (such as those found in the North Sea) and 2) seismically active faults in evaporite formations (such as the Italian Apennines). In order to assess the likelihood of fault reactivation, the mode

  2. Effects of temperature and CO2 on the frictional behavior of simulated anhydrite fault rock

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pluymakers, Anne M.H.; Samuelson, Jon E.; Niemeijer, André; Spiers, Christopher


    The frictional behavior of anhydrite‐bearing faults is of interest to a) the safety and effectiveness of CO2 storage in anhydrite‐capped reservoirs, b) seismicity induced by hydrocarbon production, and c) natural seismicity nucleated in evaporite formations. We performed direct shear experiments on

  3. Preliminary study on geology, mineral potential and characteristics ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dallol area is located in Afar region of northeastern Ethiopia. From west to east, the geology of the area is characterized by: i) Neoproterozoic metavolcanics and metasediments, ii) Quaternary alluvial fan deposits and red beds, iii) a transitional zone of mud and salt mixture, and iv) evaporites, which consist of rock salt ...

  4. Gravity tectonics and sedimentation of the Montefeltro, Italy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Feyter, A.J. de


    The tectono-stratigraphic framework of the southern Montefeltro is illustrative of the interaction between thin-skinned shearing and sedimentation in the outer segment of the Apenninic orogenic system during the Neogene. Mesozoic through Paleogene evaporitic-carbonatic-marly terrains

  5. Gravity tectonics and sedimentation of the Montefeltro, Italy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Feyter, A.J. de


    The tectono-stratigraphic framework of the southern Montefeltro is illustrative of the interaction between thin-skinned shearing and sedimentation in the outer segment of the Apenninic orogenic system during the Neogene. Mesozoic through Paleogene evaporitic-carbonatic-marly terrains constitute the

  6. Impact of the Messinian Salinity Crisis on Black Sea hydrology: Insights from hydrogen isotopes analysis on biomarkers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vasiliev, I.; Reichart, G.-J.; Krijgsman, W.


    The Messinian Salinity Crisis (5.96–5.33 Ma ago) was a dramatic oceanographic event, when evaporites kilometers thick precipitated in a desiccating Mediterranean basin, trapping more than 5% of the world's oceanic salt. Hydrological changes in the adjacent Black Sea and water exchange with the

  7. Important Conclusions on the Messinian Salinity Crisis Depositional History of the Eastern Mediterranean Basin (United States)

    Gunes, Pinar; Aksu, Ali; Hall, Jeremy


    The interpretation of a comprehensive set of high-resolution multi-channel seismic reflection profiles, multibeam bathymetry data and the litho- and bio-stratigraphic information from exploration wells across the Antalya Basin and Florence Rise revealed important conclusions on the Miocene to Recent tectonic evolution and the Messinian Salinity Crisis depositional history of the eastern Mediterranean Basin. This study clearly demonstrated the presence of a 4-division Messinian evaporite stratigraphy in the eastern Mediterranean, similar to that observed in the western Mediterranean, suggesting the existence of a similar set of depositional processes across the Mediterranean during the Messinian Salinity Crisis. However, the stratigraphic and depositional similarities of the evaporites between the eastern and western basins do not necessitate synchroneity in their depositional histories. The fact that the only saline water source for the eastern Mediterranean is the Atlantic Ocean and that the Sicily sill creates a physical barrier between the eastern and western Mediterranean impose several critical conditions. A simple 2-D model is developed which satisfies these conditions. The synchroneity of evaporite deposition across the eastern and western basins broke down as the Sicily Gateway became largely subaerial during a period when the Calabrian Arc area experienced uplift associated with slab break-off: the Sicily sill must have remained within a "goldilocks" zone to allow the right amount of saline water inflow into the eastern Mediterranean so that evaporites (massive halite) could be deposited. During this time, the sea level in western Mediterranean was at the breach-level of the Sicily sill, thus no evaporite deposition took place there. The model suggests that the eastern and western basin margins experienced a nearly synchronized gypsum deposition associated with the initial drawdown of the Mediterranean level, followed by the resedimentation in the deep

  8. Interaction between continental sedimentation and salt tectonic in Emirhan and Karayün minibasins, (the Sivas Basin, Turkey). (United States)

    Ribes, Charlotte; Kergaravat, Charlie; Bonnel, Cédric; Datillo, Paolo; Callot, Jean-Paul; Ringenbach, Jean-Claude


    Interactions between salt tectonic and sedimentation are of primary interest to understand the formation and evolution of mini-basins, as well as the complex sedimentary architecture related to interplay between evaporite flow and sediment transport and deposition. The Sivas basin, located on the Central Anatolian plateau (Turkey), is an elongated Oligo-Miocene sag basin that developed in an orogenic context above the complex Taurus-Pontides suture. The core of the basin presents evaporite-related structures which developed following the deposition of the thick evaporitic Hafik Formation (Early Oligocene). This part of the basin shows numerous mini-basins separated by evaporites structures such as welds, glaciers and diapirs of various shapes. The filling of these mini-basins began during the late Oligocene with continental red clastics (Karayün Fm.), capped by shallow marine deposits (Karacaören Fm.) during the Middle Miocene. Our work is focused on the Emirhan and Karayün minibasins, which show a 4km sedimentary pile surrounded by evaporites structures. Based on sedimentary sections and geological field mapping, we defined three major sedimentological sequences characterized by first general sediment progradation, from distal facies as alluvial plain to proximal facies such as fluvial and alluvial system. Then the minibasins record a retrogradation with a progressive disconnection from the fluvial system, locally associated to lacustrine deposits. The last stage of evolution is a regional transgression, characterized by shallow marine deposit such as lagoonal facies. Despite this same trend, several differences have been identified between the two minibasins. Six units corresponding to six facies associations are defined in both minibasins. Limits of these units coincide with an imbalance of sedimentation, evidenced by strong connection from sediment source or disconnection. The geometry of sedimentary units present an important variability, either sub

  9. Expelled subsalt fluids form a pockmark field in the eastern Red Sea (United States)

    Feldens, P.; Schmidt, M.; Mücke, I.; Augustin, N.; Al-Farawati, R.; Orif, M.; Faber, E.


    This study aimed to constrain the source area of fluids responsible for the formation of a pockmark field in the eastern Red Sea. The newly discovered field extends over an area of at least 1,000 km2 at a water depth of ~400 m. The pockmarks have modal diameters of 140-150 m and are either randomly distributed on the seafloor or aligned within valleys approximately 25 m deep and several kilometres in length. Seismic data show that chimneys and/or regions of acoustic turbidity prevail beneath the pockmark field down to the top of Miocene evaporites, which are widespread in the Red Sea. Four gravity cores were taken from the pockmark field. For most of the cores, geochemical analyses show that porewater has a higher Cl concentration than the local seawater and increased Cl/Br ratios, which indicate an origin from evaporites. The adsorbed hydrocarbons are of thermal origin, with C1/(C2+C3) ratios between 4 and 23 and stable carbon isotope data for methane varying from δ13C of -34 to -36.4‰ with respect to Vienna Pee Dee Belemnite. On the basis of the calculated maturity of the source rock of 1.2-1.4 Ro, local thermal gradients and sedimentation rates, its deeper depth boundary is approximated at 2,000 to 2,200 m. The results indicate that the adsorbed hydrocarbons sampled at the seafloor had to pass through an evaporite sequence of potentially several hundred metres to a few km in thickness. The most likely explanation for the increased permeability of the evaporite sequence is brittle deformation triggered by extensive local tectonic movements and supported by high fluid overpressure within the evaporite sequence.

  10. Subsurface Fluid Escape at the Palmachim Disturbance in the Levant Basin, SE Mediterranean Sea (United States)

    Eruteya, Ovie; Waldmann, Nicolas; Reshef, Moshe; Ben-Avraham, Zvi


    Submarine fluid escape is a pervasive phenomenon occurring along continental margins and is usually deciphered by the presence of geomorphic structures such as pockmarks, mud volcanoes and mounds. In the present study we have analyzed a new high-resolution three-dimensional seismic reflection dataset covering the compressive domain of the Palmachim disturbance. The Palmachim disturbance is a 20 x 10 km salient slump body offshore southern Israel, which detach above the Messinian evaporites and extend upwards to the present day seafloor. In this contribution we present a new set of pockmarks having diameters and depths of up to 400 and 35 m, respectively. Interestingly, the majority of these pockmarks are localized on the crest and flanks of seafloor ridges associated with the evolution of the Palmachim disturbance. We show that significant populations of these pockmarks are coupled with subsurface fluid flow conduits above fault system detaching onto the Messinian evaporites, within a complex region of their withdrawal. Other pockmarks are related to regions characterized by channel-levee complex in the supra-evaporites stratigraphy. We propose a dual fluid source driving subsurface fluid plumbing within the vicinity of the Palmachim disturbance: (1) shallow fluid source derived from the channel-levee complex and likewise the possibility of sapropels within the supra-evaporites stratigraphy; and (2) a deeper-source of fluids emanating from Pre-Messinian reservoirs and possible intra-Messinian clastic sequence. Structural deformations associated with the Palmachim disturbance may as well act as seal-by-pass systems whereby fluids from the Messinian realm can be channeled to shallower levels through trust faults. The presence of mass transport deposits and channel-levee complexes in Pliocene overburden may serve as transient reservoirs for redistributing and focusing fluids toward the seafloor for expulsion. The findings from this study are relevant for better

  11. Messinian Salinity Crisis and basin fluid flow (United States)

    Bertoni, Claudia; Cartwight, Joe


    Syn- and post-depositional movement of fluids through sediments is one of the least understood aspects in the evolution of a basin. The conventional hydrostratigraphic view on marine sedimentary basins assumes that compactional and meteoric groundwater fluid circulation drives fluid movement and defines its timing. However, in the past few years, several examples of instantaneous and catastrophic release of fluids have been observed even through low-permeability sediments. A particularly complex case-study involves the presence of giant salt bodies in the depocentres of marine basins. Evaporites dramatically change the hydrostratigraphy and fluid-dynamics of the basin, and influence the P/T regimes, e.g. through changes in the geothermal gradient and in the compaction of underlying sediments. Our paper reviews the impact of the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) and evaporites on fluid flow in the Mediterranean sub-basins. The analysis of geological and geophysical sub-surface data provides examples from this basin, and the comparison with analogues in other well-known evaporitic provinces. During the MSC, massive sea-level changes occurred in a relatively limited time interval, and affected the balance of fluid dynamics, e.g. with sudden release or unusual trapping of fluids. Fluid expulsion events are here analysed and classified in relation to the long and short-term effects of the MSC. Our main aim is to build a framework for the correct identification of the fluid flow-related events, and their genetic mechanisms. On basin margins, where evaporites are thin or absent, the sea-level changes associated with the MSC force a rapid basinward shift of the mixing zone of meteoric/gravity flow and saline/compactional flow, 100s-km away from its pre-MSC position. This phenomenon changes the geometry of converging flows, creates hydraulic traps for fluids, and triggers specific diagenetic reactions in pre-MSC deep marine sediments. In basin-centre settings, unloading and

  12. Dating of polyhalite and langbeinite: preliminary results from German Zechstein (United States)

    Neubauer, Franz; Schorn, Anja; Leitner, Christoph; Genser, Johann


    Evaporite mélanges often form decollément surfaces of major extensional and contractional allochthons because of the very low shear resistance of halite. Due to the deposition of evaporites during an early stage of passive continental margin formation, evaporites are commonly overlain by thick successions of carbonates and/or siliciclastic rocks deposited during the main thermal subsidence stage of the passive margin formation. The most common cases of evaporite mélanges are such (1) at passive continental margins, where they are deformed during gravity-driven extension, commonly raft tectonics, in an extensional geodynamic setting, (2) in external foreland fold-thrust belts within a convergent geodynamic setting, and (3) in salt diapirs. In all these cases, halite is strongly deformed by late-stage deformation and only sulphate lenses composed of anhydrite and gypsum preserve early deformational stages. Dating of K-sulphates may allow the recognition of early stages of deformation although this method is poorly applied (Renne et al., 2001). Knowledge of the limitations of K-sulphate chronometers of langbeinite and polyhalite may allow, therefore, dating of full history of evaporite mélanges (for polyhalite, see Leitner et al., 2012). Polyhalite has the chemical formula [K2Ca2Mg(SO4)4?2 H2O] and commonly occurs in sedimentary evaporite successions. The mineral can be synthesised under laboratory conditions by a reaction of gypsum with appropriate solutions in the ternary system K2SO4-MgSO4-H2O at temperatures above 70 ° C (Freyer and Voigt, 2003). At lower temperatures, polyhalite crystallisation slows down (Wollmann, 2010). In nature, polyhalite, which is stable between ~ room temperature (0-25 ° C) and 255-343 ° C (Wollmann et al., 2008) or 285 ° C (Fischer et al., 1996), most commonly forms early-diagenetically or secondarily (Warren, 2006 and Leitner et al., 2012 and references therein). The secondary mineral langbeinite [K2Mg2(SO4)3],whose lower

  13. Albian salt-tectonics in Central Tunisia: Evidences for an Atlantic-type passive margin (United States)

    Jaillard, Etienne; Bouillin, Jean-Pierre; Ouali, Jamel; Dumont, Thierry; Latil, Jean-Louis; Chihaoui, Abir


    Tunisia is part of the south-Tethyan margin, which comprises Triassic evaporites and a thick series of Jurassic and Cretaceous, mainly marine deposits, related to the Tethyan rifting evolution. A survey of various Cretaceous outcrops of central Tunisia (Kasserine-El Kef area), combined with literature descriptions, shows that the style of Albian deformation changes from the proximal (South) to the distal part (North) of the margin. The southern part is dominated by tilted blocks and growth faults, which evolve to the north to turtle-back and roll-over structures. Farther North, deformation is dominated by the extrusion of diapirs and salt walls. Such a distribution of deformation strongly suggests that the whole sedimentary cover glided northward on the Triassic evaporites during Albian times, as described for the Atlantic passive margin or for the Gulf of Mexico. Subsequently, these halokinetic structures have been folded during Alpine compressional tectonics.

  14. Numerical modeling of regional ground-water flow in the deep-basin brine aquifer of the Palo Duro Basin, Texas Panhandle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wirojanagud, P.; Kreitler, C.W.; Smith, D.A.


    Bedded Permian-age evaporite sequences in the Palo Duro Basin are being considered for a permanent nuclear waste repository by the U.S. Department of Energy. The purpose of this modeling study is to provide an understanding of regional ground-water flow in the formations beneath the Permian evaporite section. From this understanding, more detailed, smaller scale studies can be designed. This study is also intended to provide a better understanding of the boundary conditions and permeabilities of the aquifer and aquitard system as well as provide estimates of ground-water travel times across the basin. Numerical simulations were made of the Wolfcamp aquifer modeled as a single layer and of the entire Deep-Basin Brine aquifer system, including the Wolfcamp aquifer, modeled as a single layer.

  15. Regional stratigraphy and distribution of epigenetic stratabound celestine, fluorite, barite and Pb-Zn deposits in the MVT province of northeastern Mexico (United States)

    González-Sánchez, Francisco; Camprubí, Antoni; González-Partida, Eduardo; Puente-Solís, Rafael; Canet, Carles; Centeno-García, Elena; Atudorei, Viorel


    Northeastern Mexico hosts numerous epigenetic stratabound carbonate-hosted low-temperature hydrothermal deposits of celestine, fluorite, barite and zinc-lead, which formed by replacement of Mesozoic evaporites or carbonate rocks. Such deposits can be permissively catalogued as Mississippi Valley-type (MVT) deposits. The deposits studied in the state of Coahuila are associated with granitic and metasedimentary basement highs (horsts) marginal or central to the Mesozoic Sabinas Basin. These horsts controlled the stratigraphy of the Mesozoic basins and subsequently influenced the Laramide structural pattern. The Sabinas Basin consists of ~6,000-m-thick Jurassic to Cretaceous siliciclastic, carbonate and evaporitic series. The MVT deposits are mostly in Barremian and in Aptian-Albian to Cenomanian formations and likely formed from basinal brines that were mobilized during the Laramide orogeny, although earlier diagenetic replacement of evaporite layers (barite and celestine deposits) and lining of paleokarstic cavities in reef carbonates (Zn-Pb deposits) is observed. Fluid inclusion microthermometry and isotopic studies suggest ore formation due to mixing of basinal brines and meteoric water. Homogenization temperatures of fluid inclusions range from 45°C to 210°C; salinities range from 0 to 26 wt.% NaCl equiv., and some inclusions contain hydrocarbons or bitumen. Sulfur isotope data suggest that most of the sulfur in barite and celestine is derived from Barremian to Cenomanian evaporites. Regional geology and a compilation of metallogenic features define the new MVT province of northeastern Mexico, which comprises most of the state of Coahuila and portions of the neighboring states of Nuevo León, Durango and, perhaps extends into Zacatecas and southern Texas. This province exhibits a regional metal zonation, with celestine deposits to the south, fluorite deposits to the north and barite and Zn-Pb deposits mostly in the central part.

  16. The antiquity of oxygenic photosynthesis: evidence from stromatolites in sulphate-deficient Archaean lakes. (United States)

    Buick, R


    The Tumbiana Formation, about 2700 million years old, was largely deposited in ephemeral saline lakes, as judged by the unusual evaporite paragenesis of carbonate and halite with no sulfate. Stromatolites of diverse morphology occur in the lacustrine sediments, some with palimpsest fabrics after erect filaments. These stromatolites were probably accreted by phototropic microbes that, from their habitat in shallow isolated basins with negligible sulfate concentrations, almost certainly metabolized by ozygenic photosynthesis.

  17. Planetary science and exploration in the deep subsurface: results from the MINAR Program, Boulby Mine, UK (United States)

    Payler, Samuel J.; Biddle, Jennifer F.; Coates, Andrew J.; Cousins, Claire R.; Cross, Rachel E.; Cullen, David C.; Downs, Michael T.; Direito, Susana O. L.; Edwards, Thomas; Gray, Amber L.; Genis, Jac; Gunn, Matthew; Hansford, Graeme M.; Harkness, Patrick; Holt, John; Josset, Jean-Luc; Li, Xuan; Lees, David S.; Lim, Darlene S. S.; McHugh, Melissa; McLuckie, David; Meehan, Emma; Paling, Sean M.; Souchon, Audrey; Yeoman, Louise; Cockell, Charles S.


    The subsurface exploration of other planetary bodies can be used to unravel their geological history and assess their habitability. On Mars in particular, present-day habitable conditions may be restricted to the subsurface. Using a deep subsurface mine, we carried out a program of extraterrestrial analog research - MINe Analog Research (MINAR). MINAR aims to carry out the scientific study of the deep subsurface and test instrumentation designed for planetary surface exploration by investigating deep subsurface geology, whilst establishing the potential this technology has to be transferred into the mining industry. An integrated multi-instrument suite was used to investigate samples of representative evaporite minerals from a subsurface Permian evaporite sequence, in particular to assess mineral and elemental variations which provide small-scale regions of enhanced habitability. The instruments used were the Panoramic Camera emulator, Close-Up Imager, Raman spectrometer, Small Planetary Linear Impulse Tool, Ultrasonic drill and handheld X-ray diffraction (XRD). We present science results from the analog research and show that these instruments can be used to investigate in situ the geological context and mineralogical variations of a deep subsurface environment, and thus habitability, from millimetre to metre scales. We also show that these instruments are complementary. For example, the identification of primary evaporite minerals such as NaCl and KCl, which are difficult to detect by portable Raman spectrometers, can be accomplished with XRD. By contrast, Raman is highly effective at locating and detecting mineral inclusions in primary evaporite minerals. MINAR demonstrates the effective use of a deep subsurface environment for planetary instrument development, understanding the habitability of extreme deep subsurface environments on Earth and other planetary bodies, and advancing the use of space technology in economic mining.

  18. Re-evaluation of salt deposits. BGR investigates subhorizontally-bedded salt layers; Salzvorkommen neu bewertet. BGR untersucht flach lagernde salinare Schichten

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hammer, Joerg [Bundesanstalt fuer Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, Hannover (Germany). Fachbereich ' ' Geologisch-geotechnische Erkundung' ' ; Fahland, Sandra [Bundesanstalt fuer Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, Hannover (Germany). Fachberech ' ' Geotechnische Sicherheitsnachweise' '


    The search for a site for a repository for high-level radioactive waste was restarted in 2013. All of the potential host rocks existing in Germany must be re-evaluated and compared as a result. The list now also includes so-called ''subhorizontally-bedded evaporite formations''. BGR is analysing today's knowledge base on these salt deposits as part of the BASAL project.

  19. Active mud volcanoes on the continental slope of the Canadian Beaufort Sea


    Paull, C.K.; S. R. Dallimore; Caress, D. W.; Gwiazda, R.; Melling, H; Riedel, Michael; Jin, Y. K.; Hong, J.K.; Kim, Y.-G.; Graves, D.; Sherman, A.; Lundsten, E.; K. Anderson; Lundsten, L.; Villinger, H.


    The major geochemical characteristics of Red Sea brine are summarized for 11 brine-filled deeps located along the central graben axis between 19°N and 27°N. The major element composition of the different brine pools is mainly controlled by variable mixing situations of halite-saturated solution (evaporite dissolution) with Red Sea deep water. The brine chemistry is also influenced by hydrothermal water/rock interaction, whereas magmatic and sedimentary rock reactions can be distinguished by b...

  20. Geoacoustic Environments: (1) Northern Little Bahama Bank, (2) Transect Between the Bahamas and King’s Bay, Georgia (United States)


    controlled temperature and pressure conditions. Shear wave velocity was calcu- lated from shear modulus and measured density from those same samples. Figure...Creic*9us-- *= Restricted Lower Jurassic -- carbonate KM 4 volcanic rocks Triassic (dolomites & 5 unconformity L -- evaporites) Continental Triassic ...from Site 628 and numerous other USNS Lynch piston core data (Fig. 4). 29 Data are both temperature and pressure corrected. 4. Vp (ODP 628

  1. The formation of giant clastic extrusions at the end of the Messinian Salinity Crisis (United States)

    Kirkham, Christopher; Cartwright, Joe; Hermanrud, Christian; Jebsen, Christopher


    This paper documents the discovery of five multi-km scale lensoid bodies that directly overlie the upper surface of the thick (>1 km) Messinian Evaporite sequence. They were identified through the analysis of 3D seismic data from the western Nile Cone. The convergence of the upper and lower bounding reflections of these lensoid bodies, their external and internal reflection configuration, the positive 'depositional' relief at their upper surface, and the stratal relationship with underlying and overlying deposits supports the interpretation that these are giant clastic extrusions. The interpretations combined with the stratal position of these clastic extrusions demonstrate a prior unsuspected link between periods of major environment change and basin hydrodynamics on a plate scale. All five lensoid bodies were extruded onto a single, seismically resolvable marker horizon correlatable with the end of the Messinian Salinity Crisis (Horizon M). It is argued that the source of these clastic extrusions is pre-Messinian in origin, which implies massive sediment remobilisation at depth in the pre-evaporitic succession and intrusion through the thick evaporite layer. We propose that the scale and timing of this dramatic event was primed and triggered by near-lithostatic overpressure in the pre-evaporitic sediments generated through (1) their rapid burial and loading during the Messinian Salinity Crisis and (2) catastrophic re-flooding during its immediate aftermath. The largest of these clastic extrusions has a volume of over c. 116 km3, making it amongst the largest extruded sedimentary bodies described on Earth. The findings extend the understanding of the upper scale of other analogous clastic extrusions such as mud volcanoes and sediment-hosted hydrothermal systems. Following the 2006 eruption of the Lusi sediment-hosted hydrothermal system in Indonesia, an understanding of the upper scale limit of clastic extrusions has even greater societal relevance, in order to

  2. A Summary of Selected Data: DSDP Legs 1-19, (United States)


    fall such rocks as: for the same textural groups are clay- Intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks ; stone, mudstone (or shale, if fissile), Evaporites...Program" be initiated separately from specific purpose to be assimilated . A the Mohole Project. To pursue this further consideration was that a...composition as calcareous, siliceous, detrital,11 I. Explanatory Notes and igneous . Column ( indicates the mode of deposition and includes A. Key to

  3. On the spectra of long-period oscillations of geophysical parameters


    Monin, A. S.; Vulis, I. L.


    Computations were made of 21 time series spectra of long-period oscillations of meteorological elements and some geophysical parameters (annual thicknesses of glacial and clastic lake varves, evaporite varves, tree-ring indices). Jackson-Poussin-Vallée kernel was used as a filter. In all the computed spectra, 11-and 22-year energetic components are absent, hence there is no relation with solar activity parameters. The time spectra in the long-period region are approximately similar. An attemp...

  4. Fluvial and deltaic facies and environments of the late permian back-reef shelves of the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mazzullo, J. (Texas A M Univ., College Station (United States))


    The Artesia Group is a sequence of carbonates, evaporites, and clastics that was deposited across the back-reef shelves of the Permian Basin during late Permian time. There has been some controversy over the depositional environments of the clastic members of the Artesia Group and the role of sea level fluctuations in their accumulation. However, the results of a regional core study of the Queen Formation of the Artesia Group indicate that they were largely deposited in desert fluvial and deltaic environments during low-stands of sea level. Three fluvial-deltaic facies are recognized within the clastic members of the Queen. The first consists of medium to very find sandstones and silty sandstones with cross-beds, ripple cross-laminae, and planar and wavy laminae. This facies forms wavy sheets that thicken and thin along linear trends, and was deposited in sandy braided streams. The second facies consists of very find to fine sandstones, silty sandstones, and siltstones with ripple cross-laminae, planar and wavy laminae, cross-beds, clay drapes and pedogenetic cutans, as well as siltstones and silty mudstones with haloturbation structures and evaporite nodules. This facies forms thick planar sheets, and was deposited in fluvial sandflats and adjacent fluvial-dominated continental sabkhas. The third facies consists of cyclic deposits of haloturbated silty mudstones that grade into siltstones and very fine sandstones with crossbeds, planar and wavy laminae, haloturbation structures and evaporite nodules. Each cycle forms a lobate body that is bounded by carbonates or evaporites and which was deposited in sheet deltas that formed along the landward margins of a back-reef lagoon.

  5. Long-term evolution of Wink sinkholes in West Texas observed by high-resolution satellite imagery (United States)

    Kim, J. W.; Lu, Z.


    Sinkhole is ground depression and/or collapse over the subsurface cavity in the karst terrain underlain by the carbonates, evaporites, and other soluble soils and rocks. The geohazards have been considered as a "hidden threat" to human life, infrastructures, and properties. The Delaware Basin of West Texas in the southwest part of the Permian Basin contains one of the greatest accumulations of evaporites in the United States. Sinkholes in West Texas have been developed by the dissolution of the subsurface evaporite deposits that come in contact with groundwater. Two Wink sinkholes in Wink, Texas, were developed in 1980 and 2002, respectively. However, monitoring the sinkholes in no man's lands has been challenging due to the lack of availability of high-resolution and temporally dense acquisitions. We employ aerial photography and radar satellite imagery to measure the long-term deformation from early 2000 and characterize the inherent hydrogeology that is closely related to sinkhole collapse and subsidence. Furthermore, data on oil/gas production and water injection into the subsurface as well as ground water level are analyzed to study their effects on the concurrent unstable ground surface in Wink sinkholes. Our study will provide invaluable information to understand the mechanism of sinkhole development and mitigate the catastrophic outcomes of the geohazards.

  6. Subsurface geology of a potential waste emplacement site, Salt Valley Anticline, Grand County, Utah (United States)

    Hite, R.J.


    The Salt Valley anticline, which is located about 32 km northeast of Moab, Utah, is perhaps one of the most favorable waste emplacement sites in the Paradox basin. The site, which includes about 7.8 km 2, is highly accessible and is adjacent to a railroad. The anticline is one of a series of northwest-trending salt anticlines lying along the northeast edge of the Paradox basin. These anticlines are cored by evaporites of the Paradox Member of the Hermosa Formation of Middle Pennsylvanian age. The central core of the Salt Valley anticline forms a ridgelike mass of evaporites that has an estimated amplitude of 3,600 m. The evaporite core consists of about 87 percent halite rock, which includes some potash deposits; the remainder is black shale, silty dolomite, and anhydrite. The latter three lithologies are referred to as 'marker beds.' Using geophysical logs from drill holes on the anticline, it is possible to demonstrate that the marker beds are complexly folded and faulted. Available data concerning the geothermal gradient and heatflow at the site indicate that heat from emplaced wastes should be rapidly dissipated. Potentially exploitable resources of potash and petroleum are present at Salt Valley. Development of these resources may conflict with use of the site for waste emplacement.

  7. Late Cenozoic deformation of the Gavrovo and Ionian zones in NW Peloponnesos (Western Greece

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Tsaila-Monopoli


    Full Text Available The structural deformation of Mesozoic-Tertiary sediments of the Ionian and Gavrovo zones in NW Peloponnesos is related to the propagation of a fold-thrust system during the Cenozoic. The sediments of the Gavrovo zone have been deformed by high angle reverse faulting generating an imbricate fan. Skolis mountain represents the Gavrovo thrust front. The detachment occurred in the underlying flysch of the Ionian zone. The Ionian zone has also been affected by shortening above a detachment horizon situated in the lower horizons of Triassic evaporites. The main compressional structure of the Ionian zone is a broad anticline revealed by a seismic survey west of Skolis mountain. The Gavrovo-sheet emplacement caused the downthrow and bending of the eastern part of the Ionian zone followed by halokinesis of Triassic evaporites to the west. Post-compressional normal faulting has predominated since the Pliocene, resulting in the formation of the Kato Achaia and Simopoulo basins in the peripheral area of Skolis mountain. Diapirs of Triassic evaporites occur in the mentioned basins that complicate the tectonic pattern in front of the Skolis thrust.

  8. Did the Siberian Traps eruptions emit enough halogens to have an impact on ozone geochemistry? (United States)

    Sibik, Svetlana; Edmonds, Marie; Villemant, Benoit; Thierry, Pauline; Polozov, Alexander


    The Siberian Traps Large Igneous Province is thought to have formed over 1 Ma at the end of the Permian, synchronous with the largest mass extinction in Earth's history. There remains much controversy as to the exact mechanism of the mass extinction, but all hypotheses revolve around the emission of volatiles in various forms. The research to date has tended to focus on sulfur and carbon rather than halogen degassing, despite this being probably critical in terms of environmental impact as they might have been played a crucial role in ozone layer depletion and therefore promote mass extinction. Current study aims to look at the behaviour of chlorine, bromine, iodine and fluorine to evaluate the halogen budget contribution from heterogeneous mantle source and from evaporates, which dominate in the south (Cambrian evaporites) and north (Devonian evaporites) of Siberian platform. For this study we use basaltic sills and lava flows emplaced in the area with no volatile-rich sediments south-east from Norilsk (Dyupkin lake and Lower Tunguska river regions) and a sill intruded into evaporates in Nepa location in the south of the platform, originally aimed at prospecting for potassium salts. Borehole samples of basalts intruded into evaporites might have been penetrated by salts and anhydrite. In order to eliminate this effect and ensure that we analyse halogen contents in pure basalts prior to any further analysis the samples were specifically treated so that penetrated material was removed as leachates. Whole rock fine powders of basalts were analysed for halogens, major and trace elements. The solutions obtained by basalt pyrohydrolysis extraction, leachates of basaltic powders and dissolved evaporites were analysed by ion chromatography for chlorine and fluorine and by ICP-MS for bromine and iodine. Basalts intruded into evaporites demonstrate predicted pronounced chlorine, bromine and iodine enrichments associated with salt assimilation. The results show that bromine

  9. Salt tectonics on propagating passive roof detachments: The case of the Sivas Basin (Turkey) (United States)

    Legeay, Etienne; Kergaravat, Charlie; Ringenbach, Jean-Claude; Ribes, Charlotte; Pichat, Alexandre; Callot, Jean-Paul


    The Sivas Basin is located in a particular position at the junction of three crustal domains: the Pontides to the North, the Anatolide - Tauride platforms to the South, and the Central Anatolian Crystalline Complex to the West. This Tertiary basin is formed during the closure of the Northern branch of Neotethys. In regard to subsurface data, this basin developed over an ophiolitic basement obducted from the North during the Late Cretaceous, outcropping mainly to the North and South of the basin boundaries. Following the campanian obduction, the basin infill starts with the development of carbonate platforms directly on the topographic highs of ophiolitic basement, comparable to the present day Omanese ophiolite. Onset of Tauride compression results in a general deepening of the southern basin during Paleocene to Eocene, with the deposition of thick marine deposits. From the southern edge to the central part, we recognized proximal and coarse marine deposits passing to turbidites and volcanoclastic alternances. The late Eocene records a very quick shallowing due to the onset of the Taurus retro-arc development, marked by a thick evaporitic sequence over a wide area, followed by a continental clastic succession, grading northward into evaporites. The Oligocene and Miocene stages are characterized by the northwqrd migration of the foreland basin, associated to the emplacement of salt controlled mini-basins, on top of the evaporitic sequence north of the former foreland through, mostly with continental filling, except a transgression at Aquitanian. The facies evolution of the Sivas Basin is closely related to the tectonic setting. The southern part of the basin corresponds to the Taurus retro-arc during Eocene to Oligocene times, resulting into the development of the foreland through and northward directed thrusts. This process allows for the development of slices of Eocene turbidites, thus modifying deeply the Eocene to Oligocene paleogeography, and depositional

  10. Alongstrike geometry variations of the Carpathian thrust front east of Tarnów (SE Poland) as intersection phenomenon related to thrust-floor palaeotopography (United States)

    Gluszynski, Andrzej; Aleksandrowski, Pawel


    Structural geometry of the Miocene (Badenian-Sarmatian) Carpathian orogenic front between Tarnów and Pilzno was investigated, using borehole and 2D and 3D seismic data. In line with some earlier studies by other authors, but in much more comprehensive way, our study reveals details of the alongstrike changing structural geometry of the Carpathian orogenic front and offers a model of its tectonic evolution. At places the frontal thrust of the Carpathians is blind and accompanied by well developed wedge tectonics phenomena. Elsewhere it is emergent at the surface and shows an apparently simple structure. The base of the fold-thrust zone rests on a substratum with highly variable palaeotopography, which includes a major palaeovalley incised in the Mesozoic basement to a depth exceeding 1 km. The palaeovalley floor was covered with salt-bearing evaporites at the time when the thrusting took place. The wedge tectonics phenomena include backthrusts and a prominent crocodile structure. The tectonic wedge is formed by stacked thrust-slices of the Cretaceous-to-Oligocene flysch of the Skole nappe. This wedge has forced a basal Miocene evaporitic layer (including salt) to split into two horizons (1) the lower one, which acted as a tectonic lubricant along the floor thrust of the forward-moving flysch wedge, and (2) the upper one, along which the Miocene sediments of the Carpathian foredeep were underthrusted by the flysch wedge. This resulting crocodile structure has the flysch wedge in its core, a passive roof of Miocene sediments at the top and tilted Miocene strata at its front, defining a frontal homocline. A minor triangle zone, cored with deformed evaporites, has formed due to backthrust branching at the rear of the frontal monocline. At other places, the Carpathian flysch and its basal thrust, emerge at the surface. The flysch must have once also formed a wedge there, but was mostly removed by erosion following its elevation above the present-day topographic surface

  11. Drilling the Messinian Salinity Crisis as a Model Analogue for Dolomite Deposition at the End of Massive Salt Deposition Events (United States)

    McKenzie, Judith A.; Aloisi, Giovanni; Anjos, Sylvia; Latgé, Ricardo; Matsuda, Nilo; Bontognali, Tomaso; Vasconcelos, Crisogono


    Sedimentologic and stratigraphic studies of the Lower Cretaceous sequence, deposited in the economically important Campos Basin, southeast Brazil, document the occurrence of ~20-m-thick dolomite intervals overlying the "massive salt" megasequences of the Lagoa Feia Formation. This stratigaphic succession marks the Aptian/Albian transition from extreme evaporitic conditions of the Lagoa Feia Formation to shallow marine conditions of the Macaé Formation, related to the early opening of the South Atlantic. The facies change from evaporites to dolomite is interpreted as a product of dolomitization resulting from the refuxing of hypersaline fluids from shallow embayments with intense evaporation (Latgé, 2001). Although the reflux model provides a mechanism to produce fluids with geochemical composition favorable for dolomite precipitation, it cannot account for all of the factors required to promote dolomite precipitation. In this study, we propose a different model to explain the post-evaporite deposition of massive dolomite based on the study of sequences deposited at the end Messinian Salinity Crisis, which were recovered from the deep basins of the Mediterranean Sea during DSDP/ODP drilling campaigns. At most of these deep-water sites, the cored interval contained unusual dolomite deposits overlying the uppermost evaporite sections. For example, the upper Messinian sedimentary sequence at DSDP Site 374 comprises non-fossiliferous dolomitic mudstone overlying dolomitic mudstone/gypsum cycles, which in turn overlie anhydrite and halite (Hsü, Montadert et al., 1978). We postulate that the end Messinian dolomite is a product of microbial activity under extreme hypersaline conditions. In the last 20 years, research into the factors controlling dolomite precipitation under Earth surface conditions has led to the development of new models involving the metabolism of microorganisms and associated biofilms to overcome the kinetic inhibitions associated with primary

  12. Straits to Extinction. Integrated Magneto-Bio-Stratigraphy and Cyclostratigraphy Studies Reveal the Destructive Power of Marine Gateways (United States)

    Palcu, D.; Simon, D.; da Silva, A. C.; Popov, S. V.; Golovina, L.; Krijgsman, W.


    The marine gateways are an important element in the geographic and paleogeographic architecture of oceans and seas. They influence the heat and chemical exchange between neighbouring water bodies, mixing or segregating them and influencing the climate and the ecosystems. In extreme configurations, they play a role in the onset of Salinity Crises and the formation of evaporites. However, detailed information on the sensitivity and functioning of gateways remains scarce as their geological records are poorly preserved. To counter the lack of reliable records our research focuses on the impact of the gateways on the adjacent seas. We studied marine sediments from basins that belonged to the Neogene system of seas and lakes of Eurasia (Paratethys). Integrated magneto-bio-stratigraphy and cyclostratigraphy studies in these basins have provided high-resolution correlations between the neighbouring seas within Paratethys, which, in turn, led to the identification of problematic gateway configurations. Here we focus on two such configurations: the setting that allows evaporite formation and the configuration that leads to extinction events. The gateway setting responsible for salinity crises not only leads to extinctions but also to the formation evaporites. We focus on the Badenian Salinity Crisis (BSC), an event that occurred between 13.8-13.3Ma, which is particularly interesting because it is a selective salinity crisis, happening only in some of the sub-basins of Paratethys. In this case, our initial evidence shows that the configuration requires multiple gateways that can produce water stratification and brine formation. The gateway configuration that triggers extinctions has been linked with the Badenian-Sarmatian Extinction Event (BSEE), placed at 12.65Ma. The event. that has completely destroyed the marine ecosystems of Central and Eastern Europe (with an extinction rate of 94%), has occurred in less than 10kyr and according to our numerical modelling results it

  13. First Observations of Boron on Mars and Implications for Gale Crater Geochemistry (United States)

    Gasda, P. J.; Haldeman, E. B.; Wiens, R. C.; Rapin, W.; Frydenvang, J.; Maurice, S.; Clegg, S. M.; Delapp, D.; Sanford, V.; McInroy, R.


    Borates are potentially important precursor materials for the origin of life on Earth. It has been shown that borates are required to stabilize ribose, a component of RNA, when produced by the formose reaction, a prebiotically plausible mechanism to produce ribose from formaldehyde. Evaporites, including borates, also shed light on the history of aqueous activity on Mars. The ChemCam instrument onboard the NASA Curiosity rover provides quantitative elemental compositions of targets in Gale Crater, Mars, using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). Laboratory observations of Fe-free targets indicate that a LIBS emission line is visible with as little as 10 ppm B. We have observed B lines in 23 calcium sulfate veins in Gale Crater: 3 in Yellowknife Bay and 20 in the Murray lacustrine mudstone and the Stimson eolian sandstone units since sol 727, as Curiosity arrived at the base of Mt. Sharp, a 5 km sedimentary mound in the center of Gale Crater. To calibrate these observations, samples composed of borates diluted with Hawaiian basalt have been analyzed using the LANL ChemCam engineering model. Preliminary results show that the Gale Crater veins have between 10-100 ppm B. One possible explanation for borates in veins is that Gale Lake evaporated, depositing evaporites, including borates. Later, Gale Crater was partially buried and its lacustrine and overlying eolian units were lithified and fractured. Water flowed through the evaporite-rich layers, partially dissolving them. Fluid moved through the fractures, re-precipitating the borates and sulfates as veins. ChemCam cannot directly determine mineralogy, but B is likely present as borax as the dominate borate phase in these veins, based on previous estimates of vein fluid temperature. Borates forming in this environment tend to precipitate from mildly alkaline fluids. The fluid temperature and pH implies these veins were potentially habitable environments.

  14. Geochemical evolution of groundwater in the Mud Lake area, eastern Idaho, USA (United States)

    Rattray, Gordon W.


    Groundwater with elevated dissolved-solids concentrations—containing large concentrations of chloride, sodium, sulfate, and calcium—is present in the Mud Lake area of Eastern Idaho. The source of these solutes is unknown; however, an understanding of the geochemical sources and processes controlling their presence in groundwater in the Mud Lake area is needed to better understand the geochemical sources and processes controlling the water quality of groundwater at the Idaho National Laboratory. The geochemical sources and processes controlling the water quality of groundwater in the Mud Lake area were determined by investigating the geology, hydrology, land use, and groundwater geochemistry in the Mud Lake area, proposing sources for solutes, and testing the proposed sources through geochemical modeling with PHREEQC. Modeling indicated that sources of water to the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer were groundwater from the Beaverhead Mountains and the Camas Creek drainage basin; surface water from Medicine Lodge and Camas Creeks, Mud Lake, and irrigation water; and upward flow of geothermal water from beneath the aquifer. Mixing of groundwater with surface water or other groundwater occurred throughout the aquifer. Carbonate reactions, silicate weathering, and dissolution of evaporite minerals and fertilizer explain most of the changes in chemistry in the aquifer. Redox reactions, cation exchange, and evaporation were locally important. The source of large concentrations of chloride, sodium, sulfate, and calcium was evaporite deposits in the unsaturated zone associated with Pleistocene Lake Terreton. Large amounts of chloride, sodium, sulfate, and calcium are added to groundwater from irrigation water infiltrating through lake bed sediments containing evaporite deposits and the resultant dissolution of gypsum, halite, sylvite, and bischofite.

  15. UNAM Scientific Drilling Program of Chicxulub Impact Structure-Evidence for a 300 kilometer crater diameter (United States)

    Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.; Marin, L.; Trejo-Garcia, A.

    As part of the UNAM drilling program at the Chicxulub structure, two 700 m deep continuously cored boreholes were completed between April and July, 1995. The Peto UNAM-6 and Tekax UNAM-7 drilling sites are ˜150 km and 125 km, respectively, SSE of Chicxulub Puerto, near the crater's center. Core samples from both sites show a sequence of post-crater carbonates on top of a thick impact breccia pile covering the disturbed Mesozoic platform rocks. At UNAM-7, two impact breccia units were encountered: (1) an upper breccia, mean magnetic susceptibility is high (˜55 × 10-6 SI units), indicating a large component of silicate basement has been incorporated into this breccia, and (2) an evaporite-rich, low susceptibility impact breccia similar in character to the evaporite-rich breccias observed at the PEMEX drill sites further out. The upper breccia was encountered at ˜226 m below the surface and is ˜125 m thick; the lower breccia is immediately subjacent and is >240 m thick. This two-breccia sequence is typical of the suevite-Bunte breccia sequence found within other well preserved impact craters. The suevitic upper unit is not present at UNAM-6. Instead, a >240 m thick evaporite-rich breccia unit, similar to the lower breccia at UNAM-7, was encountered at a depth of ˜280 m. The absence of an upper breccia equivalent at UNAM-6 suggests some portion of the breccia sequence has been removed by erosion. This is consistent with interpretations that place the high-standing crater rim at 130-150 km from the center. Consequently, the stratigraphic observations and magnetic susceptibiity records on the upper and lower breccias (depth and thickness) support a ˜300 km diameter crater model.

  16. Deformation in layered Zechstein-III K-Mg salts with high mechanical contrasts. Core analysis revealing strain concentrations and the development of fracturing and folding into a tectonic mélange. (United States)

    Raith, Alexander; Urai, Janos L.


    In fully developed evaporite cycles, effective viscosity contrasts of up to five orders of magnitude are possible between different layers, but the structures and mechanics in evaporites with such extreme mechanical stratification are not well understood. During the late stage of an evaporation cycle potassium and magnesium (K-Mg) salts are precipitated. These K-Mg salts are of economic interest but also a known drilling hazard due to their very low viscosity. A better understanding of salt tectonics with extreme mechanical stratification is needed for better exploration and production of potassium-magnesium salts and to predict the internal structure of potential nuclear waste repositories in salt We analyzed a unique carnallite (KMgCl3*6H20) - and bischofite (MgCl2*6H20) - rich drill core from the Zechstein III-1b subunit in the Veendam Pillow in the Netherlands, which has a complex tectonic history with multiple phases of extension and compression as shown by seismic reflection data. Salt withdrawal followed by convergent flow into the salt pillow produced ruptures and folds in the underlying ZIII- Anhydrite-Carbonate Stringer and formed the outer shape of the soft ZIII-1b layer. The slabbed core was analyzed by macroscale photography, bulk chemical methods, XRD and optical microscopy. Results show high strain in the weaker bischofite- and carnallite- rich layers, with associated dynamic recrystallization at very low differential stress, completely overprinting the original texture. Stronger layers formed by alternating beds of halite and carnallite show complex recumbent folding on different scales commonly interrupted by sub-horizontal shear zones with brittle deformation, veins and boudinage. We attribute this tectonic fragmentation to be associated with a softening of the complete ZIII-1b subunit during its deformation. The result is a tectonic mélange with cm - to 10m size blocks with internal folds and boudinage. We infer that these structures and

  17. Hygroscopic salts and the potential for life on Mars. (United States)

    Davila, Alfonso F; Duport, Luis Gago; Melchiorri, Riccardo; Jänchen, Jochen; Valea, Sergio; de Los Rios, Asunción; Fairén, Alberto G; Möhlmann, Diedrich; McKay, Christopher P; Ascaso, Carmen; Wierzchos, Jacek


    Hygroscopic salts have been detected in soils in the northern latitudes of Mars, and widespread chloride-bearing evaporitic deposits have been detected in the southern highlands. The deliquescence of hygroscopic minerals such as chloride salts could provide a local and transient source of liquid water that would be available for microorganisms on the surface. This is known to occur in the Atacama Desert, where massive halite evaporites have become a habitat for photosynthetic and heterotrophic microorganisms that take advantage of the deliquescence of the salt at certain relative humidity (RH) levels. We modeled the climate conditions (RH and temperature) in a region on Mars with chloride-bearing evaporites, and modeled the evolution of the water activity (a(w)) of the deliquescence solutions of three possible chloride salts (sodium chloride, calcium chloride, and magnesium chloride) as a function of temperature. We also studied the water absorption properties of the same salts as a function of RH. Our climate model results show that the RH in the region with chloride-bearing deposits on Mars often reaches the deliquescence points of all three salts, and the temperature reaches levels above their eutectic points seasonally, in the course of a martian year. The a(w) of the deliquescence solutions increases with decreasing temperature due mainly to the precipitation of unstable phases, which removes ions from the solution. The deliquescence of sodium chloride results in transient solutions with a(w) compatible with growth of terrestrial microorganisms down to 252 K, whereas for calcium chloride and magnesium chloride it results in solutions with a(w) below the known limits for growth at all temperatures. However, taking the limits of a(w) used to define special regions on Mars, the deliquescence of calcium chloride deposits would allow for the propagation of terrestrial microorganisms at temperatures between 265 and 253 K, and for metabolic activity (no growth) at

  18. Geochemical evolution of groundwater in the Culebra dolomite near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, southeastern New Mexico, USA (United States)

    Siegel, M.D.; Anderholm, S.


    The Culebra Dolomite Member of the Rustler Formation, a thin (10 m) fractured dolomite aquifer, lies approximately 450 m above the repository horizon of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in southeastern New Mexico, USA. Salinities of water in the Culebra range roughly from 10,000 to 200,000 mg/L within the WIPP site. A proposed model for the post-Pleistocene hydrochemical evolution of the Culebra tentatively identifies the major sources and sinks for many of the groundwater solutes. Reaction-path simulations with the PHRQPITZ code suggest that the Culebra dolomite is a partial chemical equilibrium system whose composition is controlled by an irreversible process (dissolution of evaporites) and equilibrium with gypsum and calcite. Net geochemical reactions along postulated modern flow paths, calculated with the NETPATH code, include dissolution of halite, carbonate and evaporite salts, and ion exchange. R-mode principal component analysis revealed correlations among the concentrations of Si, Mg, pH, Li, and B that are consistent with several clay-water reactions. The results of the geochemical calculations and mineralogical data are consistent with the following hydrochemical model: 1. (1) solutes are added to the Culebra by dissolution of evaporite minerals 2. (2) the solubilities of gypsum and calcite increase as the salinity increases; these minerals dissolve as chemical equilibrium is maintained between them and the groundwater 3. (3) equilibrium is not maintained between the waters and dolomite; sufficient Mg is added to the waters by dissolution of accessory carnallite or polyhalite such that the degree of dolomite supersaturation increases with ionic strength 4. (4) clays within the fractures and rock matrix exert some control on the distribution of Li, B, Mg, and Si via sorption, ion exchange, and dissolution. ?? 1994.

  19. Audio-magnetotelluric surveys to constrain the origin of a network of narrow synclines in Eocene limestone, Western Desert, Egypt (United States)

    Tarabees, Elhamy A.; Tewksbury, Barbara J.; Mehrtens, Charlotte J.; Younis, Abdellatif


    Recent work with high resolution satellite imagery has revealed a network of narrow synclines developed during the Oligocene or Miocene over tens of thousands of square kilometers in Eocene limestone of the Thebes Group in the Western Desert of Egypt. The synclines are non-tectonic, and their scale and geometry strongly resemble sag synclines in Qatar that were produced by dissolution of subsurface evaporites and resulting sag of overlying layers. Evaporite dissolution cannot explain the Egypt synclines, because subsurface evaporites of any significance have never been reported in this part of Egypt. In this study, we use audio-magnetotelluric surveys to illuminate the subsurface under the synclines in order to constrain possible models for their formation. We suspected karst dissolution at depth, and, given a modern water table depth of over 400 m, we expected that dry fracture networks and void spaces under the synclines might result in higher electrical resistivities than surrounding coherent limestone. We also anticipated a significant change from high to low resistivity at the contact between the Thebes Group and the underlying Esna Shale at depths of 400 m or more. Instead, we found localized low resistivity zones extending from about 50-100 m below the surface to depths of more than 400 m that are strongly correlated with synclines. We suggest that these localized low resistivity zones are filled with artesian groundwater that has insufficient hydraulic head to rise to the modern topographic surface and that is localized in subsurface voids and collapse breccias produced by dissolution. Sag of overlying limestone layers is a reasonable model for syncline formation but, given the Oligocene/Miocene age of the synclines, dissolution and sag would be unrelated to young groundwater processes.

  20. Examining the interplay of climate and low amplitude sea-level change on the distribution and volume of massive dolomitization: Zebbag Formation, Cretaceous, Southern Tunisia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Newport, Richard; Hollis, Cathy; Bodin, Stéphane


    During the Cretaceous, a humid global climate, calcitic seas, high relative sea-level and low amplitude changes in relative sea-level largely prevented large-scale dolomitization in many carbonate successions. However, the well-exposed shallow-water carbonate sediments of the Upper Albian...... dolomitized. Petrographic textures indicate dolomitization largely post-dated marine cementation and platform emergence but pre-dated chemical compaction. Slightly more positive oxygen isotope signatures, slightly elevated concentrations of Sr and a near-absence of evaporites are consistent...

  1. Tectono-sedimentary evolution of salt controlled minibasin in a fold-an-thrust belt setting Example from the Sivas Basin Turkey and physical model. (United States)

    Kergaravat, Charlie; Ribes, Charlotte; Darnault, Romain; Callot, Jean-Paul; Ringenbach, Jean-Claude


    The aim of this study is to present the influence of regional shortening on the evolution of a minibasin province and the associated foldbelt geometry based on a natural example, the Sivas Basin, then compared to a physical experiment. The Sivas Basin in the Central Anatolian Plateau (Turkey) is a foreland fold-and-thrust belt, displaying in the central part a typical wall and basin province characterized by spectacularly exposed minibasins, separated by continuous steep-flanked walls and diapirs over a large area (45x25 km). The advance of the orogenic wedge is expressed within the second generation of minibasins by a shortening-induced squeezing of diapirs. Network of walls and diapirs evolve form polygonal to linear pattern probably induced by the squeezing of pre-existing evaporite walls and diapirs, separating linear primary minibasins. From base to top of secondary minibasins, halokinetic structures seem to evolve from small-scale objects along diapir flanks, showing hook and wedges halokinetic sequences, to large stratigraphic wedging, megaflap and salt sheets. Minibasins show progressively more linear shape at right angle to the regional shortening and present angular unconformities along salt structures related to the rejuvenation of pre-existing salt diapirs and walls probably encouraged by the shortening tectonic regime. The advance of the fold-and-thrust belts during the minibasins emplacement is mainly expressed during the late stage of minibasins development by a complex polygonal network of small- and intermediate-scale tectonic objects: (1) squeezed evaporite walls and diapirs, sometimes thrusted forming oblique or vertical welds, (2) allochthonous evaporite sheets, (3) thrusts and strike-slip faults recording translation and rotation of minibasins about vertical axis. Some minibasins are also tilted, with up to vertical position, associated with both the salt expulsion during minibasins sinking, recorded by large stratigraphic wedge, and the late

  2. Paleogeography of the mid-Cretaceous period

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zharkov, M.A.; Murdmaa, I.O.; Filatova, N.I. [Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (Russian Federation)


    Global lithologic-paleogeographic maps for the Aptian, Albian, Cenomanian, and Turonian stages of the Cretaceous were compiled for the first time using common methods and taking into consideration the paleogeographic environment of continents and oceans. Particular features of the global distribution of arid and humid environments on continents were analyzed to distinguish belts and zones of evaporite and red-bed sedimentation, coal accumulation, and bauxite and kaolin formation. It is shown that climatic zonality and the location of arid and humid environments on continents were dependent on the arrangement of continents and oceans on the surface of the Earth.

  3. Role of detachments and thrust kinematics in Structural evolution of Kohat and Potwar fold thrust belt in Pakistan (United States)

    Ghani, Humaad; Zeilinger, Gerold; Sobel, Edward; Heidarzadeh, Ghasem


    The Kohat and Potwar fold thrust belts in Pakistan represent the outermost external zone of the Himalayan fold and thrust system. The Main Boundary thrust marks their northern extent, showing that they are genetically linked; however, both exhibit a distinct contrast between the structural style at the surface and subsurface. This contrast becomes more conspicuous at the leading edge of the thrust belt where the Potwar allochothon extends further south, linked to Kohat in the north via an active strike-slip fault. Previous workers explained the structural evolution of the two belts separately, disregarding the influence of similar fold and thrusts developed in both belts. This research focuses on the preparation of a 3D structural model at the boundary of the two thrust belts to understand similarities and differences in their structural style and evolution. The model is constrained by integrating field, seismic and well data for better subsurface interpretation. Cross sections show that Potwar evolved on thrust faults originating from a basal detachment in Precambrian (pC) salt and terminating in Miocene Molasse forming duplexes of pre Himalayan strata. To the south, the Potwar allochothon is glided over a salt detachment with rare internal deformation toward its leading edge, forming fault bend fold thrust structure known as Salt range. The structural evolution towards the west in Kohat results from deformation on multiple detachment horizons at the pC salt, Eocene evaporites and Miocene Molasse. Disharmonic folding over Eocene evaporites is evident from their presence in the cores of outcropping folds. In the subsurface, closely spaced thrusts cut up section from basal detachment terminates in Eocene evaporites forming duplex in northern part of area. In south change of lithological facies from evaporites to limestone shift detachment level upward in to molasse strata which resemble structural style in northern Potwar. Thrusts at the surface evolved from the

  4. Valley fill in the Roswell-Artesia area, New Mexico (United States)

    Lyford, Forest P.


    Drill samples from 225 water and oil wells in an area 70 miles long and 20 miles wide in the Roswell-Artesia area, southeastern New Mexico were examined. A thickness map and a saturated thickness map of the valley-fill sediments were constructed. Maximum depth of valley fill is about 300 feet in large closed depressions near Roswell, Hagerman, and Artesia. The depressions were formed by the solution of carbonates and evaporites that underlie the fill. Maximum saturated thickness is about 250 feet in depressions near Hagerman and Artesia and about 300 feet in a depression near Roswell.

  5. Processes of mineralization in the Hauran Basin (Syria and Jordan) and in adjoining areas (United States)

    Raggad, Marwan Al; Elias, Salameh; Inbar, Nimrod; Rosenthal, Eliahu; Möller, Peter; Siebert, Christian; Magri, Fabien


    Volcanic rocks covering vast areas in central north Jordan and in central and southern Syria erupted during 6 different phases starting in Miocene and continuing - with major interruptions - into the Holocene. The petrological composition of the different flows of the Harrat ash Shaam Basalt complex is quite homogeneous with the major minerals: Plagioclase, K-feldspar, clinopyroxene, amphibole, biotite, olivine, magnetite, limonite, goethite, pyrite and chalcopyrite. The oldest basalts cover Cretaceous and Paleogene sediments, which at that time formed the land surface of drainage basins. The basaltic aquifer contains groundwater with a wide range of salinities. They represent a continuous sequence of increasingly mineralized groundwater originating from precipitation over Jebel Druz flowing radially into all directions, in coincidence with the topographic slopes. Along the flow-paths halite and gypsum are dissolved. Ca2+ not only depends on gypsum dissolution but also increases proportionally to Mg. This may suggest that the combination of Ca2+, Mg2+ and sulfate is a saline endmember fluid originating from the underlying carbonate formations of the basalt. Mixing with recharge water could explain the chemical composition of the various types of water. The signature of dissolved gypsum and halite indicates dissolution of evaporites that might have formed by evaporation either before the basalt covered the area or due to the hot basalts heating up the underlying carbonates and their enclosed fluids. Evaporation of water precipitated evaporites. Ca and Mg halides are hygroscopic, thus they are only present in solution. Such saline water, however, has not affected the low saline groundwater because their increase in Ca depends neither on the increase of Mg2+ nor of SO42-. This leaves the formation of clay minerals as the probably sink for Na. Inverse modelling applying PHREEQC with phreeq.dat database reveals that the mineralization of groundwater increases due to

  6. Desert spring mounds: a potential analogue to Martian arid environments? (United States)

    Franchi, F.; Frisia, S.


    Spring carbonates have been often considered as putative analogues of Martian arid environments. On Earth these are believed to form by the interaction of highly saline water and microbial communities, which favor the formation of authigenic micrite. Here we present new data from spring mounds in the western Makgadikgadi Pan (Botswana) and the Great Artesian Basin (South Australia). In both areas, upwelling of ground water give rise to mounds and layered deposits which are close morphological analogues of landforms documented on Mars. The authigenic carbonates and evaporites associated with the spring mounds retain evidence of microbial microfabric founded elsewhere, pointing to the potential existence of similar microbial in the extreme Martian conditions.

  7. Sulfur and oxygen isotope compositions of Upper Triassic sulfates from Northerm Apennines (Italy): palaeogeographic and hidrogeochemical implications


    Boschetti, T.; Cortecchi, G.; Toscani, L.; Iacumin, P.


    Upper Triassic bedded evaporite sulfate of the Burano Formation outcropping at Cerreto Pass between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna in the Northern Apennines were analyzed for sulfur and oxygen isotope compositions, yielding d34S and d18O values of 15.5±0.4‰ and 10.8±1.2‰, respectively (mean ±99% confidence intervals). Combining these values with those of other Burano Formation sulfate deposits along the Apennine chain, mean for d34S and d18O values are obtained (15.2±0.2‰ and 10.9±0.5‰, respectiv...

  8. Sulfur and oxygen isotope compositions of Upper Triassic sulfates from northern Apennines (Italy) : paleogeographic and hydrogeochemical implications


    Boschetti, T.


    Upper Triassic bedded evaporite sulfate of the Burano Formation outcropping at Cerreto Pass between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna in the Northern Apennines were analyzed for sulfur and oxygen isotope compositions, yielding d34S and d18O values of 15.5±0.4‰ and 10.8±1.2‰, respectively (mean ±99% confidence intervals). Combining these values with those of other Burano Formation sulfate deposits along the Apennine chain, mean for d34S and d18O values are obtained (15.2±0.2‰ and 10.9±0.5‰, respectiv...

  9. Evaluation of LANDSAT-2 (ERTS) images applied to geologic structures and mineral resources of South America. [Salar de Coposa, Chile and Salar of Uyuni, Bolivia (United States)

    Carter, W. D. (Principal Investigator); Kowalik, W. S.


    The author has identified the following significant results. The Salar of Coposa is located in northern Chile along the frontier with Bolivia. The surface was divided into six general classes of materials. Analysis of LANDSAT image 1243-14001 by use of interactive multispectral computer (Image 100) enabled accurate repetition of these general classes based on reflectance. The Salar of Uyuni is the largest of the South American evaporite deposits. Using image 1243-13595, and parallel piped computer classification of reflectance units, the Salar was divided into nine classes ranging from deep to shallow water, water over salt, salt saturated with water, and several classes of dry salt.

  10. Reinterpretation of Halokinetic Features in the Ancestral Rocky Mountains Paradox Salt Basin, Utah and Colorado (United States)

    Thompson, J. A.; Giles, K. A.; Rowan, M. G.; Hearon, T. E., IV


    The Paradox Basin in southeastern Utah and southwestern Colorado is a foreland basin formed in response to flexural loading by the Pennsylvanian-aged Uncompaghre uplift during the Ancestral Rocky Mountain orogen. Thick sequences of evaporites (Paradox Formation) were deposited within the foreland basin, which interfinger with clastic sediments in the foredeep and carbonates around the basin margin. Differential loading of the Pennsylvanian-Jurassic sediments onto the evaporites drove synsedimentary halokinesis, creating a series of salt walls and adjacent minibasins within the larger foreland basin. The growing salt walls within the basin influenced patterns of sediment deposition from the Pennsylvanian through the Cretaceous. By integrating previously published mapping with recent field observations, mapping, and subsurface interpretations of well logs and 2D seismic lines, we present interpretations of the timing, geometry, and nature of halokinesis within the Paradox Basin, which record the complex salt tectonic history in the basin. Furthermore, we present recent work on the relationships between the local passive salt history and the formation of syndepositional counter-regional extensional fault systems within the foreland. These results will be integrated into a new regional salt-tectonic and stratigraphic framework of the Paradox Basin, and have broader implications for interpreting sedimentary records in other basins with a mobile substrate.

  11. Natural and historic heritage of the Bochnia Salt Mine (South Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janusz Wiewiorka


    Full Text Available The Bochnia Salt Mine, presented in this paper, is situated ca. 40 km E of Cracow, in the southern part of the Neogene Carpathian Foredeep, close to the Carpathian edge. In this region the rock-salt deposits formed as a result of the Late Miocene folding and local tectonic thickening of Badenian evaporites. The Bochnia deposit, situated in the almost vertical N limb of the Bochnia Anticline, stretches ca. 7 km WE, but only 15-200 m NS. Salt mining in Bochnia began in the thirteenth c. and continued until 1990. The historic part of the mine, since 1995 operated by a company supplying health and tourism services, is an officially listed monument of historic heritage. Legal protection also comprises 27 sites of key value for the geology of the deposit. These documentation sites record the whole profile of the evaporite series and the adjacent beds, main and minor tectonic structures, as well as mineralogical curiosities, such as fibrous halite and enterolithic anhydrite. For some years, efforts have been made to enter the Bochnia Salt Mine, in 2008 visited by over 140 000 tourists, on the UNESCO World List of Cultural and Natural Heritage.

  12. Antarctic glacio-eustatic contributions to late Miocene Mediterranean desiccation and reflooding. (United States)

    Ohneiser, Christian; Florindo, Fabio; Stocchi, Paolo; Roberts, Andrew P; DeConto, Robert M; Pollard, David


    The Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) was a marked late Neogene oceanographic event during which the Mediterranean Sea evaporated. Its causes remain unresolved, with tectonic restrictions to the Atlantic Ocean or glacio-eustatic restriction of flow during sea-level lowstands, or a mixture of the two mechanisms, being proposed. Here we present the first direct geological evidence of Antarctic ice-sheet (AIS) expansion at the MSC onset and use a δ(18)O record to model relative sea-level changes. Antarctic sedimentary successions indicate AIS expansion at 6 Ma coincident with major MSC desiccation; relative sea-level modelling indicates a prolonged ∼50 m lowstand at the Strait of Gibraltar, which resulted from AIS expansion and local evaporation of sea water in concert with evaporite precipitation that caused lithospheric deformation. Our results reconcile MSC events and demonstrate that desiccation and refilling were timed by the interplay between glacio-eustatic sea-level variations, glacial isostatic adjustment and mantle deformation in response to changing water and evaporite loads.

  13. Epigene and Hypogene Gypsum Karst Manifestations of the Castile Formation: Eddy County, New Mexico and Culberson County, Texas, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stafford Kevin W.


    Full Text Available Permian evaporites of the Castile Formation crop out over ~1,800 km2 in the western Delaware Basin (Eddy County, New Mexico and Culberson County, Texas, USA with abundant and diverse karst manifestations. Epigene karst occurs as well-developed karren on exposed bedrock, while sinkholes dominate the erosional landscape, including both solutional and collapse forms. Sinkhole analyses suggest that more than half of all sinks are the result of upward stoping of subsurface voids, while many solutional sinks are commonly the result of overprinting of collapsed forms. Epigene caves are laterally limited with rapid aperture decreases away from insurgence, with passages developed along fractures and anticline fold axes. Hypogene karst occurs as diverse manifestations, forming the deepest and longest caves within the region as well as abundant zones of brecciation. Hypogene caves exhibit a wide range of morphologies from complex maze and anastomotic patterns to simple, steeply dipping patterns, but all hypogene caves exhibit morphologic features (i.e. risers, outlet cupolas and half-tubes that provide a definitive suite of evidence of dissolution within a mixed convection (forced and free convection hydrologic system. Extensive blanket breccias, abundant breccia pipes and numerous occurrences of calcitized evaporites indicate widespread hypogene speleogenesis throughout the entire Castile Formation. Although most cave and karst development within the Castile outcrop region appears to have hypogene origins, epigene processes areactively overprinting features, creating a complex speleogenetic evolution within the Castile Formation.

  14. Stable isotopes back-track the origin of alabaster from the 'Ulrich Epitaph', Güstrow, Germany (United States)

    Böttcher, Michael E.; Fuchs, Arnold; Gehre, Matthias; Krempler, Michael; Cooper, Anthony H.


    Natural calcium sulphate minerals (like gypsum, in the variety of 'alabaster') have been used for a long time for art and ornamental works despite its high solubility in aqueous solution due to its easy way of recovery and handling. To identify different European source provenances, geochemical and stable isotope forensic methods have been applied, thereby defining historical pathways of trade. A detailed geochemical characterization of both alabaster samples from the monument and potential sources is a pre-requisite for a backtracking material sources. Several tracers have been tested in the past identifiying the coupled sulfur and oxygen isotope composition of the sulfate molecule in the evaporite minerals to be highly characteristic. In the present study, we analyzed the stable sulfur and oxygen isotope composition of raw alabaster from the famous Ulrich Epithaph in Güstrow, Northeastern Germany, and compared the results with new measurements from one of the major European contributors of alabaster in the 16th century, the Cellaston quarry, Derbyshire (England) and literature data for further potential Spanish and Frensh source quarries (Kloppmann et a., 2014; Archaeometry, 56). We found that the stable sulfur and oxygen isotope signatures of alabaster from the Ulrich Epitaph indicate the origin from the Upper Triassic (Keuper) evaporites of the English Cellaston quarry and are not related to other potential alabaster sources. This further illustrates the alabaster trade way between England and Germany in the late 16th century.

  15. Dry/Wet Cycling and the Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Prebiotic Polymer Synthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David S. Ross


    Full Text Available The endoergic nature of protein and nucleic acid assembly in aqueous media presents two questions that are fundamental to the understanding of life’s origins: (i how did the polymers arise in an aqueous prebiotic world; and (ii once formed in some manner, how were they sufficiently persistent to engage in further chemistry. We propose here a quantitative resolution of these issues that evolved from recent accounts in which RNA-like polymers were produced in evaporation/rehydration cycles. The equilibrium Nm + Nn ↔ Nm+n + H2O is endoergic by about 3.3 kcal/mol for polynucleotide formation, and the system thus lies far to the left in the starting solutions. Kinetic simulations of the evaporation showed that simple Le Châtelier’s principle shifts were insufficient, but the introduction of oligomer-stabilizing factors of 5–10 kcal/mol both moved the process to the right and respectively boosted and retarded the elongation and hydrolysis rates. Molecular crowding and excluded volume effects in present-day cells yield stabilizing factors of that order, and we argue here that the crowded conditions in the evaporites generate similar effects. Oligomer formation is thus energetically preferred in those settings, but the process is thwarted in each evaporation step as diffusion becomes rate limiting. Rehydration dissipates disordered oligomer clusters in the evaporites, however, and subsequent dry/wet cycling accordingly “ratchets up” the system to an ultimate population of kinetically trappedthermodynamically preferred biopolymers.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anto Gabrić


    Full Text Available The occurences and deposits of gypsum can be found in big karst poljes (Sinjsko, Vrličko, Petrovo, Kosovo and Kninsko as well as in tectonnically predestined river valleys of Zrmanja, Butišnica and Una. There also appear spatially localized occurences on the island of Vis and in the vicinity of Samobor. Evaporites (gypsum and anhydrite with adjoining overlying clastic rocks (red sandstones, siltites and pelites, carbonate rocks (dolomites and limestones and porous carbonate breccias (Rauhwackes were deposited during the period of Upper Permian. The recent position of the Upper Permian beds is a result of complex tectonic, particularly neotectonic, movements and diapiric displacements. Evaporites were deposited in marginal areas of the epicontinental marine basin, in a period of favourable conditions for the sabkha and playa sedimentation due to the continuous shoreline progradation. The Upper Permian age of these sediments in Dalmatio is proved by the characteristic mineral paragenesis and palinological determinations in elastics rocks, as well as by isotope analyses of sulphure in gypsum. Gypsum is a significant ore mineral resource in building, cement production, as well as in a number of tehnological processes used in chemical industry and elsewhere. According to the recent investigations gypsum is predestined to serve as an ore mineral resource of significant perspectives (the paper is published in Croatian.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fischer, P. D.; Brown, M. E. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Hand, K. P., E-mail: [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)


    We present a comprehensive analysis of spatially resolved moderate spectral resolution near-infrared spectra obtained with the adaptive optics system at the Keck Observatory. We identify three compositionally distinct end member regions: the trailing hemisphere bullseye, the leading hemisphere upper latitudes, and a third component associated with leading hemisphere chaos units. We interpret the composition of the three end member regions to be dominated by irradiation products, water ice, and evaporite deposits or salt brines, respectively. The third component is associated with geological features and distinct from the geography of irradiation, suggesting an endogenous identity. Identifying the endogenous composition is of particular interest for revealing the subsurface composition. However, its spectrum is not consistent with linear mixtures of the salt minerals previously considered relevant to Europa. The spectrum of this component is distinguished by distorted hydration features rather than distinct spectral features, indicating hydrated minerals but making unique identification difficult. In particular, it lacks features common to hydrated sulfate minerals, challenging the traditional view of an endogenous salty component dominated by Mg-sulfates. Chloride evaporite deposits are one possible alternative.

  18. Over half a century of Messinian salinity crisis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Battista Vai, G.


    Did the Mediterranean ever become a desert during Messinian or was it a huge hyperhaline water body? According to Selli, the introduction of the concept and name of the Messinian Salinity Crisis in 1954, the second hypothesis was correct, but he did not succeed in preventing the rapid growth of popularity of the first hypothesis, triggered by the DSD Mediterranean campaign during the 1970s. The ensuing desiccation theory became popular enough to be included in elementary text books. The controversy has been revived in the new millennium and much former proof of the theory is now in doubt. The Mediterranean was not totally isolated, but often supplied with normal marine water. Instead of km-deep drawdown, shallower-to-absent level drop is favoured. Exposed canyons at the mouth of major Mediterranean rivers have turned into submarine channels filled by clastic sulphates. The mega-catastrophic potential of the desiccation theory has turned out to be less worrying. Perhaps the text books of our grandchildren should be updated. Within the frame of new evidence regarding normal water supply, even from the Indian Ocean, are discussed, based on two new palinspastic Messinian maps. However, reduced sharpness in the controversy and increasing consensus reached among specialists depend on ongoing inferred correlations between on-land and deep-marine Messinian evaporites. Only drilling across the whole, deep Mediterranean evaporite sequences can back-up the reliability of the correlation and validity of these new views. (Author)

  19. Hydrogeological flow in gypsum karst areas: some examples from northern Italy and main circulation models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bartolomeo Vigna


    Full Text Available A Messinian succession containing gypsum beds crops out in northern Italy, mainly in Piedmont and along the northern flank of the Apennine mountains in Emilia-Romagna. These gypsum bodies have been extensively quarried at the surface, in outcrops, and through underground quarries. In Emilia-Romagna these gypsum outcrops can be rather extensive, several km long and up to 1 km wide, while in Piedmont they are mostly covered by silty-marly deposits of Upper Messinian and Pliocene age and show only sparse and small outcrops. The underground quarrying of these evaporite bodies in Piedmont has allowed studying in detail their hydrogeology, and the ways in which water flows through these karst rocks. In contrast, in Emilia-Romagna the hydrogeology of these aquifers has been studied with traditional spring water monitoring and speleological methods. On the basis of the results it has been possible to define three conceptual models regarding the water circulation in these evaporites, similar to the models existing for carbonate aquifers. The models represent aquifers with decreasing vulnerability to pollution, from the more vulnerable system with dominant conduit drainage, characterizing most of the known gypsum aquifers, to those with interconnected conduit drainage and with dispersive circulation.

  20. Contrasts between Ordovician and Mississippian carbonate depositional styles in Williston basin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lineback, J.A.; Roth, M.S.; Davidson, M.L.


    The Madison Group is an example of a deep-water sediment-starved basin that was filled in by turbidites derived from a ringing carbonate shelf. As the basin filled, the Madison was capped by a basinward prograding sabkha sequence. Correlation of log markers demonstrates considerable bottom topography along prograding clinoform ramps in the lower Madison and the irregularity of the advancing evaporite complex in the upper Madison. Many market horizons pinch out against the clinoform slopes or the prograding evaporites, leaving few regionally traceable markers below the Polar interval. The Madison has a high potential for multiple reservoir development and for multiple stratigraphic traps where pinch-outs and lateral gradations occur. In contrast, log markers in the Bighorn Group extend regionally. The lithologies represented by the markers are also consistent regionally. Several discrete, nonlaterally intergrading events in the upper Bighorn are marked by sharp transitions upward from burrowed, mud-rich carbonate through laminated dolomudstone to anhydrite. The regional persistence of lithofacies, their relatively uniform thickness, and the long distance correlation of log markers indicates both long and short term depositional stability over nearly uniform bottom topography. Deposition took place in a very shallow sea that graded to a carbonate marsh or swamp environment over the entire Williston basin region. Reservoirs are developed at consistent stratigraphic horizons, and the possibility of stratigraphic traps is limited under these conditions.

  1. Analyses of Recent Sediment Surface Dynamic of a Namibian Kalahari Salt Pan Based on Multitemporal Landsat and Hyperspectral Hyperion Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Milewski


    Full Text Available This study combines spaceborne multitemporal and hyperspectral data to analyze the spatial distribution of surface evaporite minerals and changes in a semi-arid depositional environment associated with episodic flooding events, the Omongwa salt pan (Kalahari, Namibia. The dynamic of the surface crust is evaluated by a change-detection approach using the Iterative-reweighted Multivariate Alteration Detection (IR-MAD based on the Landsat archive imagery from 1984 to 2015. The results show that the salt pan is a highly dynamic and heterogeneous landform. A change gradient is observed from very stable pan border to a highly dynamic central pan. On the basis of hyperspectral EO-1 Hyperion images, the current distribution of surface evaporite minerals is characterized using Spectral Mixture Analysis (SMA. Assessment of field and image endmembers revealed that the pan surface can be categorized into three major crust types based on diagnostic absorption features and mineralogical ground truth data. The mineralogical crust types are related to different zones of surface change as well as pan morphology that influences brine flow during the pan inundation and desiccation cycles. These combined information are used to spatially map depositional environments where the more dynamic halite crust concentrates in lower areas although stable gypsum and calcite/sepiolite crusts appear in higher elevated areas.

  2. Marine carbonate embayment system in an Eolian dune terrain, Permian Upper Minnelusa Formation, Rozet Area, Powder River Basin, Wyoming

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    Achauer, C.W.


    The eolian origin for Minnelusa sandstones has been stressed in numerous published articles. However, the dolomites that are interbedded with the eolian sandstones have received little attention. Isopach mapping of one of the dolomite units (Dolomite I) reflects a marine embayment system whose individual embayments range from 1/2 to 1 mi in width and trend primarily in a northwest direction. Consistently the embayment dolomites pinch out against the flanks of reworked, low relief, broad, eolian dune ridges. So far, 108 mi/sup 2/ of the Dolomite I marine embayment system have been mapped, but the overall extent of the system is undoubtedly much greater. Dolomite I is rarely cored, but cores from stratigraphically higher embayment dolomites in the upper Minnelusa show that these dolomites display the following, shoaling-upward sequence: (1) subtidal, sparingly fossiliferous dolomite; (2) intertidal, algal-laminated or brecciated or mud-cracked dolomite; and (3) very thin, supratidal, nodular anhydrite. The embayments, therefore, became the sites of marine sabkhas located between eolian dunes. Two main conclusions emerge from this study: (1) the juxtaposition of eolian sandstones and marine dolomites in a tectonically stable area suggests that eustatic sea level changes and a very arid climate were responsible for the marked environmental and lithologic changes observed in the upper Minnelusa, and (2) arid, coastal, evaporitic sabkhas bordered by eolian dunes are known from a number of modern and ancient cases, but marine carbonate embayments and associated evaporitic sabkhas that penetrate deeply into eolian sandstone terrains are rare.

  3. Map Showing Geology and Hydrostratigraphy of the Edwards Aquifer Catchment Area, Northern Bexar County, South-Central Texas (United States)

    Clark, Amy R.; Blome, Charles D.; Faith, Jason R.


    Rock units forming the Edwards and Trinity aquifers in northern Bexar County, Texas, are exposed within all or parts of seven 7.5-minute quadrangles: Bulverde, Camp Bullis, Castle Hills, Helotes, Jack Mountain, San Geronimo, and Van Raub. The Edwards aquifer is the most prolific ground-water source in Bexar County, whereas the Trinity aquifer supplies water for residential, commercial, and industrial uses for areas north of the San Antonio. The geologic map of northern Bexar County shows the distribution of informal hydrostratigraphic members of the Edwards Group and the underlying upper member of the Glen Rose Limestone. Exposures of the Glen Rose Limestone, which forms the Trinity aquifer alone, cover approximately 467 km2 in the county. This study also describes and names five informal hydrostratigraphic members that constitute the upper member of the Glen Rose Limestone; these include, in descending order, the Caverness, Camp Bullis, Upper evaporite, Fossiliferous, and Lower evaporite members. This study improves our understanding of the hydrogeologic connection between the two aquifers as it describes the geology that controls the infiltration of surface water and subsurface flow of ground water from the catchment area (outcropping Trinity aquifer rocks) to the Edwards water-bearing exposures.

  4. Laboratory measurements of seismic velocity anisotropy of salt diapirs: Implications for wellbore stability and seismic processing (United States)

    Vargas-Meleza, Liliana; Healy, David


    A set of ten evaporite samples collected from outcrops in a single diapiric province in Cape Breton Island (Canada) have been tested for seismic velocity anisotropy using three methods: 1) conventional ultrasonic pulse transmission method, where velocities are found from the travel times and the known dimensions of the samples. In order to obtain the entire suite of elastic constants, both P- and S-wave velocity measurements were taken in three different directions of cuboid rock samples. Velocities have been measured under dry, ambient conditions of temperature and pressure in halite-, gypsum- and anhydrite-dominated samples; 2) optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy on thin sections to define the spatial distribution of minerals, their crystallographic preferred orientations (CPO); and 3) a numerical 'rock-recipe' approach based on Tatham et al. (2008) to calculate seismic velocity anisotropy using arbitrary composites of evaporite minerals and different CPOs. These three methods are then compared to understand the controlling factors of the anisotropic elastic properties. The elasticity data are used to guide geomechanical modeling for wellbore stability and to provide insights for the seismic data processing and seismic imaging of salt diapirs. Reference Tatham, D.J., Lloyd, G.E., Butler, R.W.H. and Casey, M, 2008, Amphibole and lower crustal seismic properties: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 267, 118-128.

  5. Petrography of gypsum-bearing facies of the Codó Formation (Late Aptian, Northern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jackson D.S. Paz


    Full Text Available An original and detailed study focusing the petrography of evaporites from the Late Aptian deposits exposed in the eastern and southern São Luís-Grajaú Basin is presented herein, with the attempt of distinguishing between primary and secondary evaporites, and reconstructing their post-depositional evolution. Seven evaporites phases were recognized: 1. chevron gypsum; 2. nodular to lensoidal gypsum or anhydrite; 3. fibrous to acicular gypsum; 4. mosaic gypsum; 5. brecciated gypsum or gypsarenite; 6. pseudo-nodular anhydrite or gypsum; and 7. rosettes of gypsum. The three first phases of gypsum display petrographic characteristics that conform to a primary nature. The fibrous to acicular and mosaic gypsum were formed by replacement of primary gypsum, but their origin took place during the eodiagenesis, still under influence of the depositional setting. These gypsum morphologies are closely related to the laminated evaporites, serving to demonstrate that their formation was related to replacements that did not affect the primary sedimentary structures. The pseudo-nodular anhydrite or gypsum seems to have originated by mobilization of sulfate-rich fluids during burial, probably related to halokinesis. The rosettes of gypsum, which intercept all the other gypsum varieties, represent the latest phase of evaporite formation in the study area, resulting from either intrastratal waters or surface waters during weathering.Neste trabalho, é apresentado um estudo original e detalhado enfocando os aspectos petrográficos dos evaporitos de depósitos aptianos superiores expostos no sul e leste da Bacia de São Luís-Grajaú. O objetivo é o estabelecimento de critérios que permitam distinguir entre evaporitos primários e secundários, além da reconstrução de sua evolução pós-deposicional. Sete fases de evaporitos foram reconhecidas: 1. gipsita em chevron; 2. gipsita ou anidrita nodular a lenticular; 3. gipsita fibrosa a acicular; 4. gipsita em

  6. Strontium, boron, oxygen, and hydrogen isotope geochemistry of brines from basal strata of the Gulf Coast sedimentary basin, USA (United States)

    Moldovanyi, Eva P.; Walter, Lynn M.; Land, Lynton S.


    Significant spatial heterogeneities exist in the stable isotopic composition of saline formation waters from reservoirs of the Smackover Formation (Upper Jurassic). We focused on the southwest Arkansas shelf, a structurally simple portion of one of the interior basins of the northern Gulf Coast sedimentary basin. Here, faulting and facies changes juxtapose dominantly oolitic carbonate strata against basal evaporites, red beds, and siliciclastics, as well as metamorphosed basement rocks. Brines from this area have exceptionally high Br and alkali element concentrations and have spatially heterogeneous hydrogen sulfide concentrations. Strontium, boron, oxygen, and hydrogen isotope compositions exhibit coherent relations with other aspects of brine geochemistry. Sr isotope compositions range from those expected for carbonates and evaporites deposited from Jurassic seawater (0.7071) to radiogenic ratios as high as 0.7107. Generally, most radiogenic Sr isotope values are associated with H 2S-rich waters which also have elevated alkali element (Li, B, K, Rb) concentrations. These alkali element-rich waters are associated with portions of the South Arkansas fault system which reach basement. Boron isotope compositions are similarly heterogeneous, ranging from values of +26 to +50%.. Brines with highest B contents are most depleted in 11B, consistent with boron input from brines generated from high-temperature siliciclastic diagenetic reactions. Normalizing B contents to Br in the brines reveals a reasonable mixing trend between a Dead Sea-type composition and Texas Gulf Coast-type shale/sand reservoir waters. Oxygen and hydrogen isotope data exhibit regional variations which are controlled by meteoric water invasion along the northern limb of the southwest Arkansas Fault, which has surface expression. Although oxygen isotope compositions are often near equilibrium with respect to reservoir carbonate, it is more difficult to ascribe trends in δD values to local water

  7. Integrating petroleum and sulfur data to map the Guadalupian-Ochoan (Middle to Upper Permian) Boundary of the Delaware Basis, Trans-Pecos, Texas (United States)

    Dishron, Joseph B.


    The Delaware Basin of the Permian Basin is a classic intra-cratonic basin of West Texas and Southeast New Mexico. Hydrocarbon exploration and production have occurred in the region since the early 1920s, and, as a result, the formations related to these oil and gas reserves have been studied in great detail. Some formations in the Delaware Basin, however, have not been studied in such detail, and this thesis examines one, lesser-known unit that could have economic potential. The Lamar Limestone (Lamar Lime) of the Bell Canyon Formation has commonly been dismissed as a production interval; rather, it has been described as a source and seal rock for the Ramsey Sand of the lower Bell Canyon Formation. However, recent studies found that the Lamar Lime was contributing to production, and it has been described by Trentham (2006) as a potentia "mini Barnett" reservoir. The depths of these deposits are in a range that is ideal for oil accumulation. This study made use of data from wells and test holes drilled in the western Delaware Basin, Culberson County, Texas. Many oil and gas wells have been drilled in the western Delaware Basin, but they are concentrated in the north and east portions of Culberson County. In addition, sulfur wells were drilled in the area in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Analyses of the well logs of these wells and of core and outcrop studies were completed to gain a better understanding of the distribution and economic potential of the Lamar. Both datasets were combined to provide information not readily available in the oil and gas dataset. The Lamar Lime is an excellent marker bed because it underlies thick evaporites. The evaporite sequences are Ochoan in age, and, therefore, the contact of the Lamar Lime (Bell Canyon Formation) and the Castile Formation is the approximate boundary for the Guadalupian-Ochoan Series. The Castile Formation, the Salado Formation, and the Rustler Formation (from oldest to youngest) are the evaporite units that

  8. Conodont biostratigraphy and paleoecology of the marine sequence of the Tapajós Group, Early-Middle Pennsylvanian of Amazonas Basin, Brazil (United States)

    Scomazzon, Ana Karina; Moutinho, Luciane Profs; Nascimento, Sara; Lemos, Valesca Brasil; Matsuda, Nilo Siguehiko


    This study was undertaken in the south and western regions of the Amazonas Basin to describe the conodont biostratigraphy and paleoecology of Pennsylvanian carbonate rocks of the marine portion of the Tapajós Group comprising the upper Monte Alegre, Itaituba, and lower Nova Olinda formations. The analyzed area includes one outcrop along the Tapajós river (TAP), two carbonate quarries (QI, QII), and 18 wells (dots 1-18). The conodont fauna is dominated by Idiognathoides sinuatus and Neognathodus symmetricus in the Monte Alegre Formation, followed by Idiognathodus incurvus, Diplognathodus coloradoensis and Neognathodus bassleri in the Itaituba and Nova Olinda formations. The conodont association suggests an Early to Middle Pennsylvanian age to the analyzed section. Relative ages attributed to the three lithostratigraphic units using conodonts, palynomorphs, and foraminifers are consistent. Herein are proposed one local taxon-range zone of Idiognathodus incurvus in the Itaituba and lower part of the Nova Olinda Formation and one local taxon-range subzone of Diplognathodus coloradoensis in the Itaituba Formation, suggesting a late Bashkirian - Moscovian (Atokan - early Desmoinesian) age to these strata. The Itaituba Formation marks the establishment of large Pennsylvanian marine conditions in the Amazonas Basin and is composed primarily of marine carbonates of abundant fossil content, tidal flat evaporites and siliciclastic thin intervals. Its lower limit, with the Monte Alegre Formation, is characterized by the predominant occurrence of fluvial-deltaic sandstones superimposed on an extensive sequence of aeolian sandstones, siltstones and shales intercalated with the interdune and lakes. From the upper strata of Itaituba Formation the faunal and lithological characteristics indicate the occurrence of a regressive phase culminating in a restricted environment, arid which indicates the Nova Olinda Formation. This is characterized by the occurrence of evaporites

  9. Investigation of evaporate deposits in the “Great Ear” area of Lop Nor salt plain, Xinjiang Province, China (United States)

    Ma, L.; Li, B.; Jiang, P.; Lowenstein, T. K.; Zhong, J.; Sheng, J.; Wu, H.


    In arid regions of the world, salt pans are common features occupying the lowest areas of closed interior basin. The Lop Nor salt plain is located at the east end of the Tarim Basin, Xinjiang Province, China. Widespread Holocene salt deposits were known to cover thousands of square kilometers and up to hundreds of meters thick. However, the salt pans in the central-eastern sector of the Lop Nor salt plain is unusually represented by successive concentric black-and-white rings that closely resembled a big human ear in satellite images. The total area of the “Great Ear” is approximately 5,500 km2, and the internal morphology is considered essentially flat with an elevation of 800 m. A series of detailed field investigations on the “Great Ear” salt pans involved describing evaporates and surface morphologies, measuring chemical compositions, and groundwater depths. The deposits show clear lateral variations in salt content, water content, evaporate mineralogy, as well as the microrelief of salt crust in the “Great Ear” area. Spatially, spectral imaging variation corresponds to color variation in the “Great Ear”, which suggests surface moist conditions of a salt pan: dark-toned areas are wet and the bright-toned areas are dry. In the wet zone, capillary fringing of groundwater brines control the precipitation of evaporites and microrelief genesis. The salt pans are marked by pressure-ridge and well-developed hexagonal honeycomb polygons structures, where the microrelief of salt crust ranges from 30 to 80 cm. In the dry salt pans zone, groundwater discharge was not observed on the surface and the salt crust is characterized by low relief, low salinity, a lack of efflorescences crusts, and significant amounts of detrital sediments. This zone shows bright-tone in the satellite images due to higher reflectance of dry salt-encrusted pans surface. Though, the sediment beneath the surface typically is saturated with concentrated brines and displacive

  10. Sedimentary mode and reservoir distribution of the Cambrian carbonate & evaporate paragenesis system in the Sichuan Basin

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    Anna Xu


    Full Text Available The Cambrian carbonate & evaporite paragenesis system in the Sichuan Basin is made up of the Longwangmiao, Gaotai and Xixiangchi Fms. So far, great breakthrough has been made only in the Longwangmiao Fm instead of the latter two, and the Anyue Gasfield was discovered in the center of this basin. In this paper, therefore, the Cambrian carbonate & evaporite paragenesis system in the Sichuan Basin was analyzed in terms of its structural–sedimentary setting, sequence stratigraphic framework, sedimentary facies and the distribution of evaporites by using various geologic, logging and seismic data. Then, the geological model of sedimentary facies was established and the distribution range of favorable reservoirs was predicted. Based on these studies, the following results are obtained. Firstly, the palaeotectonic framework is characterized by the style of “one depression between two uplifts” in the setting of a large SE dipping slope, and the stratigraphic filling is in the structure of “onlapping at the bottom and truncation at the top” which is thin in the west and thick in the east. Secondly, three third-order sequence cycles which, on the whole, become shallow upward are developed from bottom to top, and gypsum-salt rocks are mainly located at the high system tract (HST of third-order sequences and concentrated in the Wanzhou–Yibin sag. Thirdly, the geological model of sedimentary facies is composed of three major sedimentary structural layers from bottom to top, namely the evaporative carbonate ramp, the evaporative diamictic restricted platform and the evaporative restricted platform. The sedimentary environment changes from the open to the closed and the penesaline for a long time, and then back to the open. The distribution of shoals changes from the pattern of “dual banks” in a large area to more scattered shoals and banded shoals, while the evaporative lagoon and tidal flat shrink. Fourthly, the reservoir distribution is

  11. Fluid mixing and recycling during Pyrenean thrusting: evidence from fluid inclusion halogen ratios (United States)

    McCaig, A. M.; Tritlla, J.; Banks, D. A.


    Syntectonic fluids have been sampled through fluid inclusion microthermometry and crush-leach analyses (cations and halogens) from a 50 km N-S transect through the central-southern Pyrenees. The fluid inclusions are contained in syntectonic quartz veins in Triassic redbeds, Cretaceous carbonates and Hercynian basement rocks, with some calcite and dolomite data from limestones and evaporites in more external parts of the belt. The main datasets come from (1) Alpine shear zones cutting the Néouvielle granodiorite in the Hercynian Axial Zone at the north end of the transect; (2) An imbricate zone beneath the Alpine Gavarnie Thrust at the Pic de Port Vieux; (3) Several localities in the footwall and hangingwall of the Gavarnie Thrust on the southern margin of the Axial Zone. The inclusion fluids generally decrease in salinity from 27-35% at the northern end of the transect to 7-22% on the southern margin of the Axial Zone. The majority of the inclusions have Cl/Br ratios lower than seawater and are interpreted as relict fluids after seawater evaporation and halite precipitation in the upper Trias. This interpretation is supported by Cl-Br-Na systematics, which are consistent with a change from halite to halite + sylvite precipitation with progressive evaporation. Fluids in the basement shear zones are interpreted to have essentially the same evaporitic origin as those still contained in sedimentary formations, although it is possible that final concentration of brines in the Néouvielle Massif involved retrograde hydration reactions with removal of water by precipitation of hydrous minerals. The fluids are also very similar in salinity and halogen chemistry to those found in veins associated with Mesozoic Pb-Zn-F deposits which predate the thrusting. The lower salinities seen at the southern margin of the Axial Zone are interpreted to reflect mixing of the brines with a higher level fluid (connate or meteoric water) circulating within the Mesozoic carbonates of the

  12. Catastrophic sinkhole formation in Kansas: A case study (United States)

    Lambrecht, J.L.; Miller, R.D.


    Sinkholes represent a hazard to property and human safety in a wide variety of geologic settings across the globe. In most cases, the subsidence rate of a sinkhole represents the most significant potential impact and risk to public safety. Since 1979, the Kansas Geological Survey has studied numerous sinkholes using high-resolution seismic reflection in an attempt to better understand the mechanisms that control their formation. Most sinkholes in central Kansas form as a result of dissolution of the Permian Hutchinson salt (Figure 1). The fluid source and associated pathway responsible for leaching these bedded evaporites have been natural, anthropogenic, and a combination of both. Sinkholes have been a part of the landscape in the North American midcontinent long before modern oil, gas, and mineral exploration, but clearly the activities of man have played a significant role in both increasing the number of sinkholes and affecting their subsidence rates.

  13. Natural and human-induced sinkhole hazards in Saudi Arabia: distribution, investigation, causes and impacts (United States)

    Youssef, Ahmed M.; Al-Harbi, Hasan M.; Gutiérrez, Francisco; Zabramwi, Yasser A.; Bulkhi, Ali B.; Zahrani, Saeed A.; Bahamil, Alaa M.; Zahrani, Ahmed J.; Otaibi, Zaam A.; El-Haddad, Bosy A.


    Approximately 60 % of the 2,150,000 km2 area of Saudi Arabia is underlain by soluble sediments (carbonate and evaporite rock formations, salt diapirs, sabkha deposits). Despite its hyper-arid climate, a wide variety of recent sinkholes have been reported in numerous areas, involving significant property losses. Human activities, most notably groundwater extraction, have induced unstable conditions on pre-existing cavities. This work provides an overview of the sinkhole hazard in Saudi Arabia, a scarcely explored topic. It identifies the main karst formations and the distribution of the most problematic sinkhole areas, illustrated through several case studies covering the wide spectrum of subsidence mechanisms. Some of the main investigation methods are presented through selected examples, including remote sensing, trenching and geophysics. Based on the available data, the main causal factors are identified and further actions that should be undertaken to better assess and manage the risk are discussed.

  14. Marine Microbial Mats and the Search for Evidence of Life in Deep Time and Space (United States)

    Des Marais, David J.


    Cyanobacterial mats in extensive seawater evaporation ponds at Guerrero Negro, Baja California, Mexico, have been excellent subjects for microbial ecology research. The studies reviewed here have documented the steep and rapidly changing environmental gradients experienced by mat microorganisms and the very high rates of biogeochemical processes that they maintained. Recent genetic studies have revealed an enormous diversity of bacteria as well as the spatial distribution of Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya. These findings, together with emerging insights into the intimate interactions between these diverse populations, have contributed substantially to our understanding of the origins, environmental impacts, and biosignatures of photosynthetic microbial mats. The biosignatures (preservable cells, sedimentary fabrics, organic compounds, minerals, stable isotope patterns, etc.) potentially can serve as indicators of past life on early Earth. They also can inform our search for evidence of any life on Mars. Mars exploration has revealed evidence of evaporite deposits and thermal spring deposits; similar deposits on Earth once hosted ancient microbial mat ecosystems.

  15. Controlling factors on the reservoir quality of the Asmari Formation: A case study from the Dezful Embayment

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    Mehdi Daraei


    Full Text Available Material & Methods   The study is based on sedimentological and petrophysical data from two wells of a field located in the Dezful Embayment, where the Ahwaz Sandstone Member is present, alongside with some compar able sedimentological data from NW Zagros, where the Kalhur Evaporitic Member is extended. A total of 600 red-stained thin sections, 198 blue-dyed thin sections, and 908 poroperm values were the main data included in this study .     Discussion of Results & Conclusions   Facies analysis shows the Asmari Formation in the studied area is composed of 11 facies, representing three depositional systems. Most of the area was occupied by a carbonate depositional system with a ramp physiography. Meanwhile, in SW Zagros, a marginal marine deltaic system prevailed, and in NW Zagros a tectonically driven evaporitic intrashelf sub-basin was created by a combination of arid climatic condition, sea-level fluctuations and tectonics. In these two sub-basins, the deposition of Ahwaz Sandstone Member and Kalhure Evaporitic Member occurred, respectively.   Based on the findings, the main diagenetic processes affecting the Asmari Formation are micritization, dolomitization, dissolution, cementation, compaction, and minor fracturing. Micritization is a common process in the shoal and lagoonal facies, leading to a more susceptible facies to the later dolomitization. Dolomitization is the most pervasive diagenetic process of the formation, most of which occurred due to early diagenetic evaporative models (seepage-reflux and sabkha dolomitizations. Dissolution is another early diagenetic event in the strata, which probably happened by evaporitic brines. This process has dominantly produced moldic pores in the formation. Cementation as the main porosity destruction process has taken place in variable mineralogies and fabrics. Dolomite cement is the most widespread cement, precipitated in early diagenesis. Anhydrite cement is the more effective cementation

  16. Controlling factors on the reservoir quality of the Asmari Formation: A case study from the Dezful Embayment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abas-ali Nickandish


    Full Text Available   Material & Methods   The study is based on sedimentological and petrophysical data from two wells of a field located in the Dezful Embayment, where the Ahwaz Sandstone Member is present, alongside with some compar able sedimentological data from NW Zagros, where the Kalhur Evaporitic Member is extended. A total of 600 red-stained thin sections, 198 blue-dyed thin sections, and 908 poroperm values were the main data included in this study .     Discussion of Results & Conclusions   Facies analysis shows the Asmari Formation in the studied area is composed of 11 facies, representing three depositional systems. Most of the area was occupied by a carbonate depositional system with a ramp physiography. Meanwhile, in SW Zagros, a marginal marine deltaic system prevailed, and in NW Zagros a tectonically driven evaporitic intrashelf sub-basin was created by a combination of arid climatic condition, sea-level fluctuations and tectonics. In these two sub-basins, the deposition of Ahwaz Sandstone Member and Kalhure Evaporitic Member occurred, respectively.   Based on the findings, the main diagenetic processes affecting the Asmari Formation are micritization, dolomitization, dissolution, cementation, compaction, and minor fracturing. Micritization is a common process in the shoal and lagoonal facies, leading to a more susceptible facies to the later dolomitization. Dolomitization is the most pervasive diagenetic process of the formation, most of which occurred due to early diagenetic evaporative models (seepage-reflux and sabkha dolomitizations. Dissolution is another early diagenetic event in the strata, which probably happened by evaporitic brines. This process has dominantly produced moldic pores in the formation. Cementation as the main porosity destruction process has taken place in variable mineralogies and fabrics. Dolomite cement is the most widespread cement, precipitated in early diagenesis. Anhydrite cement is the more

  17. The global sulfur cycle (United States)

    Sagan, D. (Editor)


    The results of the planetary biology microbial ecology's 1984 Summer Research Program, which examined various aspects of the global sulfur cycle are summarized. Ways in which sulfur flows through the many living and chemical species that inhabit the surface of the Earth were investigated. Major topics studied include: (1) sulfur cycling and metabolism of phototropic and filamentous sulfur bacteria; (2) sulfur reduction in sediments of marine and evaporite environments; (3) recent cyanobacterial mats; (4) microanalysis of community metabolism in proximity to the photic zone in potential stromatolites; and (5) formation and activity of microbial biofilms on metal sulfides and other mineral surfaces. Relationships between the global sulfur cycle and the understanding of the early evolution of the Earth and biosphere and current processes that affect global habitability are stressed.

  18. Ancient microbes from halite fluid inclusions: optimized surface sterilization and DNA extraction. (United States)

    Sankaranarayanan, Krithivasan; Timofeeff, Michael N; Spathis, Rita; Lowenstein, Tim K; Lum, J Koji


    Fluid inclusions in evaporite minerals (halite, gypsum, etc.) potentially preserve genetic records of microbial diversity and changing environmental conditions of Earth's hydrosphere for nearly one billion years. Here we describe a robust protocol for surface sterilization and retrieval of DNA from fluid inclusions in halite that, unlike previously published methods, guarantees removal of potentially contaminating surface-bound DNA. The protocol involves microscopic visualization of cell structures, deliberate surface contamination followed by surface sterilization with acid and bleach washes, and DNA extraction using Amicon centrifugal filters. Methods were verified on halite crystals of four different ages from Saline Valley, California (modern, 36 ka, 64 ka, and 150 ka), with retrieval of algal and archaeal DNA, and characterization of the algal community using ITS1 sequences. The protocol we developed opens up new avenues for study of ancient microbial ecosystems in fluid inclusions, understanding microbial evolution across geological time, and investigating the antiquity of life on earth and other parts of the solar system.

  19. Hydrocarbons in carbonate rocks of the Neoproterozoic Alto Paraguay basin, Mato Grosso, Brazil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nogueira, Afonso C.R. [Fundacao Univ. do Amazonas, Manaus (Brazil). Dept. de Geociencias; Kerkis, Alexei; Hidalgo, Renata L. [Sao Paulo Univ., SP (Brazil). Inst. de Geociencias. Programa de Pos-graduacao em Geologia Sedimentar; Riccomini, Claudio; Fairchild, Thomas R. [Sao Paulo Univ., SP (Brazil). Inst. de Geociencias]. E-mail:


    Full text of publication follows: A singular occurrence of hydrocarbons (bitumen) was found in Neo proterozoic carbonate rocks of the Araras Formation (Alto Paraguay basin) in the Terconi quarry (Mirassol d'Oeste, Mato Grosso, Brazil). The bitumen occurs in a transgressive carbonate succession overlying Varanger tillites, that consists of two facies associations: (1) lagoon complex, with pink parallel-laminated dolomicrites and fenestral stromatolitic biostromite, and (2) tidal-flat complex, represented by terrigenous gray micrites and pseudosparites, with parallel lamination, asymmetric ripple marks, tepee breccia, planar stromatolites and evaporites. When fresh, the bitumen is compact and vitreous, filling fractures, stylolites and dissolution cavities, generally associated with calcite cement and euhedral dolomite crystals. Microscopic examination shows the bitumen filling pores of primary (fenestral) and secondary (moldic and intragranular) origins. As the first record of hydrocarbon in Neoproterozoic rocks of the Paraguay Belt, this occurrence opens a new perspective for the evaluation of oil potential in Precambrian rocks of Central Brazil. (author)

  20. In situ detection of boron by ChemCam on Mars (United States)

    Gasda, Patrick J.; Haldeman, Ethan B.; Wiens, Roger C.; Rapin, William; Bristow, Thomas F.; Bridges, John C.; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Clark, Benton; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Frydenvang, Jens; Lanza, Nina L.; Maurice, Sylvestre; Clegg, Samuel; Delapp, Dorothea M.; Sanford, Veronica L.; Bodine, Madeleine R.; McInroy, Rhonda


    We report the first in situ detection of boron on Mars. Boron has been detected in Gale crater at levels Curiosity rover ChemCam instrument in calcium-sulfate-filled fractures, which formed in a late-stage groundwater circulating mainly in phyllosilicate-rich bedrock interpreted as lacustrine in origin. We consider two main groundwater-driven hypotheses to explain the presence of boron in the veins: leaching of borates out of bedrock or the redistribution of borate by dissolution of borate-bearing evaporite deposits. Our results suggest that an evaporation mechanism is most likely, implying that Gale groundwaters were mildly alkaline. On Earth, boron may be a necessary component for the origin of life; on Mars, its presence suggests that subsurface groundwater conditions could have supported prebiotic chemical reactions if organics were also present and provides additional support for the past habitability of Gale crater.

  1. The Mojave vadose zone: a subsurface biosphere analogue for Mars. (United States)

    Abbey, William; Salas, Everett; Bhartia, Rohit; Beegle, Luther W


    If life ever evolved on the surface of Mars, it is unlikely that it would still survive there today, but as Mars evolved from a wet planet to an arid one, the subsurface environment may have presented a refuge from increasingly hostile surface conditions. Since the last glacial maximum, the Mojave Desert has experienced a similar shift from a wet to a dry environment, giving us the opportunity to study here on Earth how subsurface ecosystems in an arid environment adapt to increasingly barren surface conditions. In this paper, we advocate studying the vadose zone ecosystem of the Mojave Desert as an analogue for possible subsurface biospheres on Mars. We also describe several examples of Mars-like terrain found in the Mojave region and discuss ecological insights that might be gained by a thorough examination of the vadose zone in these specific terrains. Examples described include distributary fans (deltas, alluvial fans, etc.), paleosols overlain by basaltic lava flows, and evaporite deposits.

  2. Triassic salt sheets of Mezzouna, Central Tunisia: New comments on Late Cretaceous halokinesis and geodynamic evolution of the northern African margin (United States)

    Dhahri, Ferid; Boukadi, Noureddine


    Two discrete Triassic salt sheets have been discovered within the Coniacian-Santonian series near the salt wall of Mezzouna, central Tunisia. The structure and the lithology of these sheets suggest two halokinetic episodes giving respectively 1) Triassic evaporitic rocks flows over a sloped basin floor resulting in probable salt glacier, and 2) redeposition of erosional debris from the nearby salt wall of Mezzouna, transported and then deposited next to the wall. This finding is used to precise the halokinetic events and the geodynamic evolution of the northern African margin near the Pelagian block between southeastern Tunisia and Tripolitania during Late Cretaceous. A discussion of the halokinesis-related structures is also attempted with emphasize of their genetic mechanisms and temporal development as inferred from geological mapping and new field data.

  3. Use of advanced earth observation tools for the analyses of recent surface changes in Kalahari pans and Namibian coastal lagoons (United States)

    Behling, Robert; Milewski, Robert; Chabrillat, Sabine; Völkel, Jörg


    The remote sensing analyses in the BMBF-SPACES collaborative project Geoarchives - Signals of Climate and Landscape Change preserved in Southern African Geoarchives - focuses on the use of recent and upcoming Earth Observation Tools for the study of climate and land use changes and its impact on the ecosystem. It aims at demonstrating the potential of recently available advanced optical remote sensing imagery with its extended spectral coverage and temporal resolution for the identification and mapping of sediment features associated with paleo-environmental archives as well as their recent dynamic. In this study we focus on the analyses of two ecosystems of major interest, the Kalahari salt pans as well as the lagoons at Namibia's west coast, that present high dynamic caused by combined hydrological and surface processes linked to climatic events. Multitemporal remote sensing techniques allow us to derive the recent surface dynamic of the salt pans and also provide opportunities to get a detailed understanding of the spatiotemporal development of the coastal lagoons. Furthermore spaceborne hyperspectral analysis can give insight to the current surface mineralogy of the salt pans on a physical basis and provide the intra pan distribution of evaporites. The soils and sediments of the Kalahari salt pans such as the Omongwa pan are a potentially significant storage of global carbon and also function as an important terrestrial climate archive. Thus far the surface distribution of evaporites have been only assessed mono-temporally and on a coarse regional scale, but the dynamic of the salt pans, especially the formation of evaporites, is still uncertain and poorly understood. For the salt pan analyses a change detection is applied using the Iterative-reweighted Multivariate Alteration Detection (IR-MAD) method to identify and investigate surface changes based on a Landsat time-series covering the period 1984-2015. Furthermore the current spatial distribution of

  4. Test of airborne fluorometer over land surfaces and geologic materials (United States)

    Stoertz, G. E.; Hemphill, W. R.


    Response of an experimental Fraunhofer line discriminator to a wide range of surficial deposits common in deserts and semideserts was tested in the laboratory and from an H-19 helicopter. No signals attributable to fluorescence were recorded during 540 miles of aerial traverses over southeastern California and west-central Arizona. It was concluded that exposed surfaces of target materials throughout the traverses were either nonluminescent at 5890 A or not sufficiently so to be detectable. It cannot be ruled out that the lack of fluorescence is partly attributable to surficial coatings of nonluminescent weathered material. The principal route surveyed from the air was from Needles, California to Furnace Creek Ranch, Death Valley and return, via the Amargosa River valley, Silurian Lake (dry), Silver Lake (dry), and Soda Lake (dry). Principal targets traversed were unconsolidated clastic sediments ranging from silty clay to cobbles, and a wide range of evaporite deposits.

  5. Paleogeography of the Berriasian-Barremian ages of the Early Cretaceous

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zharkov, M.A.; Murdmaa, I.O.; Filatova, N.I. [Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (Russian Federation). Inst. of Geology


    Global lithologic-paleogeographic maps were compiled for the Berriasian, Valanginian, Hauterivian, and Barremain ages of the Early Cretaceous. Main features of paleogeography, sedimentation environments in oceans, regularities in distribution of paleogeographic environments in continental margins, spatial position of arid and humid sedimentation settings in continents, and position of latitudinal climate belts of the Neocomian time are considered. Five latitudinal climatic belts of the Neocomian time corresponded to the northern circumpolar humid zone with coal deposits, the northern mid-latitudinal humid zone with coal-bauxite-kaolinite deposits, the inter-subtropical arid zone with evaporites, the southern mid-latitudinal humid zone with coal-kaolinite deposits, and the southern humid zone with coal-bearing sequences.

  6. Experimental Acid Weathering of Fe-Bearing Mars Analog Minerals and Rocks: Implications for Aqueous Origin of Hematite-Bearing Sediments in Meridiani Planum, Mars (United States)

    Golden, D. C.; Koster, A. M.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Mertzman, S. A.


    A working hypothesis for Meridiani evaporite formation involves the evaporation of fluids derived from acid weathering of Martian basalts and subsequent diagenesis [1, 2]. However, there are no reported experimental studies for the formation of jarosite and gray hematite (spherules), which are characteristic of Meridiani rocks from Mars analog precursor minerals. A terrestrial analog for hematite spherule formation from basaltic rocks under acidic hydrothermal conditions has been reported [3], and we have previously shown that the hematite spherules and jarosite can be synthetically produced in the laboratory using Fe3+ -bearing sulfate brines under hydrothermal conditions [4]. Here we expand and extend these studies by reacting Mars analog minerals with sulfuric acid to form Meridiani-like rock-mineral compositions. The objective of this study is to provide environmental constraints on past aqueous weathering of basaltic materials on Mars.

  7. Tracing groundwater salinization processes in coastal aquifers: a hydrogeochemical and isotopic approach in the Na-Cl brackish waters of northwestern Sardinia, Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Mongelli


    Full Text Available Throughout the Mediterranean, salinization threatens water quality, especially in coastal areas. This salinization is the result of concomitant processes related to both seawater intrusion and water–rock interaction, which in some cases are virtually indistinguishable. In the Nurra region of northwestern Sardinia, recent salinization related to marine water intrusion has been caused by aquifer exploitation. However, the geology of this region records a long history from the Palaeozoic to the Quaternary, and is structurally complex and comprises a wide variety of lithologies, including Triassic evaporites. Determining the origin of the saline component of the Jurassic and Triassic aquifers in the Nurra region may provide a useful and more general model for salinization processes in the Mediterranean area, where the occurrence of evaporitic rocks in coastal aquifers is a common feature. In addition, due to intensive human activity and recent climatic change, the Nurra has become vulnerable to desertification and, in common with other Mediterranean islands, surface water resources periodically suffer from severe shortages. With this in mind, we report new data regarding brackish and surface waters (outcrop and lake samples of the Na-Cl type from the Nurra region, including major ions and selected trace elements (B, Br, I, and Sr, in addition to isotopic data including δ18O, δD in water, and δ34S and δ18O in dissolved SO4. To identify the origin of the salinity more precisely, we also analysed the mineralogical and isotopic composition of Triassic evaporites. The brackish waters have Cl contents of up to 2025 mg L−1 , and the ratios between dissolved ions and Cl, with the exception of the Br / Cl ratio, are not those expected on the basis of simple mixing between rainwater and seawater. The δ18O and δD data indicate that most of the waters fall between the regional meteoric water line and the global meteoric water line, supporting the

  8. Ocean stagnation and ventilation defined by δ34S secular trends in pyrite and barite, Selwyn Basin, Yukon (United States)

    Goodfellow, Wayne D.; Jonasson, Ian R.


    Within the epicratonic Selwyn Basin, at least three cycles can be recognized for Paleozoic time when the water column alternated from open and ventilated to closed and stratified conditions. These cycles are recorded by δ34S values in pyrite that exceed those for coeval seawater during periods of stagnation and decrease markedly during periods of greater circulation. The marked increase in δ34S values for pyrite formed in stratified seas is controlled by the high percentage of sulfate bacterially reduced to sulfide, coupled with the removal of isotopically lighter sulfur from a closed system during pyrite sedimentation. The δ34S curve for barite during this time has a shape similar to the mean evaporite curve except that it is displaced positively, particularly in Frasnian time. This pronounced increase in δ34S values for barite of Frasnian age coincides with the mixing of isotopically heavier sulfur, accumulated earlier in a stratified water column, with surface waters during a ventilation event.

  9. Approche chimique et isotopique de l'origine des eaux en transit dans un grand mouvement de terrain: Exemple du glissement de La Clapière (Alpes-Maritimes, France) (United States)

    Compagnon, Franck; Guglielmi, Yves; Mudry, Jacques; Follacci, Jean-Paul; Ivaldi, Jean-Pierre


    Groundwater flowpaths of La Clapière landslide are studied by chemical and isotopic water analysis of the versant springs. Seepage appends on a recharge area larger than the sliding area (average altitude from 1 567 to 1 780 m ± 150 m). Vertical evolution of springs chemistry!, marked by sulfate ion downwards enrichment (10 mg/L from top of the versant to 800 mg/L at the base), shows gypseous occurrence under or close by the landslide. One hypothesis is that gypsum could originate from evaporites of Triassic synclines pinched into the basement of the Argentera-Mercantour Massif along the dextral strike-slip N 140 °E fault corridor of the Tinée valley. Another hypothesis is that gypsum could originate from sulfated masses percolated into the basement before the alpine sliding of its Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary cover.

  10. Cenozoic structures and the tectonic evolution of the eastern North Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, O.R.; Nielsen, S.B.; Egholm, D.L.


    Abundant seismic sections and well data from the Cenozoic succession in the eastern North Sea area generally reveal normal faulting, salt tectonics and localized tectonic inversion. However, inferences on the Cenozoic dynamic evolution of the region require thorough analysis of interactions between...... or cover tectonism took place. Our objectives are thus 1) to analyze the interaction between basement and cover structures, and if possible 2) to relate the structures to the regional tectonic evolution. The Zechstein evaporites pinch out onto the Ringkøbing-Fyn High, which in the eastern North Sea...... influencede.g. Miocene deposition and controlled the generation of second order faults. The latter detached along the top Chalk Group due to the topography generated during faulting, i.e. they are second order detachment surfaces. We conclude that the regional tectonic significance of the Cenozoic structures...

  11. How rheological heterogeneities control the internal deformation of salt giants. (United States)

    Raith, Alexander; Urai, Janos L.


    Salt giants, like the North European Zechstein, consist of several evaporation cycles of different evaporites with highly diverse rheologies. Common Potassium and Magnesium (K-Mg) salt are typically 10 to 100 times less viscous as halite while stringers consisting of anhydrite and carbonates are about 100 times more viscous. In most parts, these mechanically layered bodies experienced complex deformation, resulting in large scale internal folding with ruptured stringers and shear zones, as observed in seismic images. Furthermore, locally varying evaporation history produced different mechanical stratigraphies across the salt basin. Although most of these extraordinary soft or strong layers are rather thin (pillow. Strain is accumulated in the soft layers leading to stronger salt flow near these layers and extensive deformation inside of them. Thus, if a soft layer is present near a stringer, it will experience more deformation. Additionally, the strong strain concentration in the soft layers could decouple parts of the salt body from the main deformation.

  12. Neogene Tectonics of Part of the Junction of Cyprus and Hellenic Arcs in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (United States)

    Küçük, H. M.; Dondurur, D.; ćifçi, G.; Gürçay, S.; Hall, J.; Yaltırak, C.; Aksu, A. E.


    Messinian evaporite successions, and the N-reflector separates the Messinian evaporite successions from the pre-Messinian Miocene sediments. Interpretation of the data clearly shows that the Miocene and Pliocene-Quaternary tectonic frameworks of the Anaxagoras Mountain are dominated by thrust faults. These major faults in turn, control all of the sedimentary structures observed over the submarine mountain. These thrusts display E-W trending map traces and show southerly vergence. The seismic profiles across the southwestern margin of the Antalya Basin, immediately north of the Anaxagoras Mountain show the presence of numerous upright anticlines and their intervening synclines. These structures are interpreted as salt-cored anticlines. Although mud volcanoes and diapiric structures have also been observed in the area, the normal-move-out velocities suggest that these structures are indeed cored by evaporites. The western margin of the Anaxagoras Mountain is delineated by a profound lineation which separates it from the Anaximander Mountains in the west. In the seismic reflection profiles, this lineation appears to be controlled by NE-SW-trending and mainly west-verging thrusts. The tip points of these thrusts lie at the depositional surface, and their trajectories can be traced well below 4-5 seconds. It is speculated that this prominent and somewhat arcuate boundary defines a crustal scale structure that links the Anaximander Mountains to the Antalya Basin. If so, it might have a sinistral strike slip component, possibly associated with the clockwise rotation of the Anaxagoras Mountain. The acoustic basement is located at approximately 5-6 s in the seismic reflection profiles from the Antalya Basin, and is interpreted to include Miocene-Oligocene sediments. A short seismic profile from the eastern side of Finike basin shows that Pliocene-Quaternary thickness of Finike Basin is more than in the Antalya Basin. The fact that no unequivocal evaporite successions are observed in

  13. The microbial community at Laguna Figueroa, Baja California Mexico - From miles to microns (United States)

    Stolz, J. F.


    The changes in the composition of the stratified microbial community in the sediments at Laguna Figeroa following floods are studied. The laguna which is located on the Pacific coast of the Baja California peninsula 200 km south of the Mexican-U.S. border is comprised of an evaporite flat and a salt marsh. Data collected from 1979-1983 using Landsat imagery, Skylab photographs, and light and transmission electron microscopy are presented. The flood conditions, which included 1-3 m of meteoric water covering the area and a remanent of 5-10 cm of siliciclastic and clay sediment, are described. The composition of the community prior to the flooding consisted of Microcoleus, Phormidium sp., a coccoid cynanobacteria, Phloroflexus, Ectothiorhodospira, Chloroflexus, Thiocapsa sp., and Chromatium. Following the floods Thiocapsa, Chromatium, Oscillatora sp., Spirulina sp., and Microcoleus are observed in the sediments.

  14. Sur l'origine par altération du substratum schisteux de la minéralisation chlorurée des eaux d'une nappe côtière sous climat semi-aride (Chtouka-Massa, Maroc) (United States)

    Krimissa, Samira; Michelot, Jean-Luc; Bouchaou, Lhoussaine; Mudry, Jacques; Hsissou, Youssef


    The origin of chloride ions in groundwater from the Chtouka-Massa plain (Morocco) was studied by using chemical and isotopic analyses of water, and petrographic and chemical analyses of rocks. It appears that the schist formation, which forms the basement of the studied aquifer, is the main source of the high Cl - concentrations in groundwater. In these schists, chloride is, for a part, probably contained in biotites, and is released into groundwater through the weathering of these minerals. However, the exceptionally high chloride contents of these schists are difficult to explain if one does not assume that they also contain evaporitic-type minerals. To cite this article: S. Krimissa et al., C. R. Geoscience 336 (2004).

  15. Long term fluctuations of groundwater mine pollution in a sulfide mining district with dry Mediterranean climate: Implications for water resources management and remediation. (United States)

    Caraballo, Manuel A; Macías, Francisco; Nieto, José Miguel; Ayora, Carlos


    Water resources management and restoration strategies, and subsequently ecological and human life quality, are highly influenced by the presence of short and long term cycles affecting the intensity of a targeted pollution. On this respect, a typical acid mine drainage (AMD) groundwater from a sulfide mining district with dry Mediterranean climate (Iberian Pyrite Belt, SW Spain) was studied to unravel the effect of long term weather changes in water flow rate and metal pollutants concentration. Three well differentiated polluting stages were observed and the specific geochemical, mineralogical and hydrological processes involved (pyrite and enclosing rocks dissolution, evaporitic salts precipitation-redisolution and pluviometric long term fluctuations) were discussed. Evidencing the importance of including longer background monitoring stage in AMD management and restoration strategies, the present study strongly advise a minimum 5-years period of AMD continuous monitoring previous to the design of any AMD remediation system in regions with dry Mediterranean climate. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Origin of carbonate-magnetite-sulfide assemblages in Martian meteorite ALH84001 (United States)

    Scott, Edward R. D.


    A review of the mineralogical, isotopic, and chemical properties of the carbonates and associated submicrometer iron oxides and sulfides in Martian meteorite ALH84001 provides minimal evidence for microbial activity. Some magnetites resemble those formed by magnetotactic microorganisms but cubic crystals glass. Carbonates with these features have not been identified in carbonaceous chondrites and terrestrial rocks, suggesting that the ALH84001 carbonates have a unique origin. Carbonates and hydrated minerals in ALH84001, like secondary phases in other Martian meteorites, have O and H isotopic ratios favoring formation from fluids that exchanged with the Martian atmosphere. I propose that carbonates originally formed in ALH84001 from aqueous fluids and were subsequently shock heated and vaporized. The original carbonates were probably dolomite-magnesite-siderite assemblages that formed in pores at interstitial sites with minor sulfate, chloride, and phyllosilicates. These phases, like many other volatile-rich phases in Martian meteorites, may have formed as evaporite deposits from intermittent floods.

  17. Geochemical correlation of oils and source rocks from central and NE Syria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abboud, M. [Aleppo University (Syria). Dept. of Geology; University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States). School of Geology and Geophysics; Philp, R.P.; Allen, J. [University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States). School of Geology and Geophysics


    Eighteen crude oils and seven source rock samples from the Mesopotamian foredeep, NE Syria, and from the NE Palmyrides in the centre of the country have been characterized by geochemical techniques. The presence of two oil families ('A' and 'B') generated by different source rock types of different ages has been established on the basis of biomarker and carbon isotopic analyses. The data indicates that Groups A and B oils were generated by marine clastic and marine carbonate-evaporitic source rocks, respectively. Group A oils, occurring in Middle Triassic, Middle Jurassic and Upper Cretaceous reservoir rocks in the NE Palmyride area, are geochemically similar to extracts from the Lower Triassic Amanus Shale Formation. Group B oils, which are present in Middle Triassic, Middle Jurassic and Upper Cretaceous reservoirs in the Mesopotamian foredeep, are geochemically similar to extracts of the Middle Triassic Kurra Chine Dolomite and Upper Cretaceous Shiranish Formations. (author)

  18. A new Hypothesis for the Origin and Redistribution of Sulfates in the Equatorial Region of Western Mars (United States)

    Fan, C.; Schulze-Makuch, D.; Wolff, J. A.; Fairen, A. G.


    The formation of sulfates on Mars has been under debate since they were identified by several Mars missions starting from the 1970s. We propose that sulfates formed as evaporites in enclosed standing bodies of water in the Valles Marineris area following the early alteration of Martian basaltic crust, were then elevated by the Tharsis uplift, and transported together with rock materials to Meridiani Planum by periodic outbursts of water, where they were deposited as sediments. The proposed model comprehensively addresses all forms of sulfate occurrences near the equator in the western Martian hemisphere and relates it to physiographic processes (volcanic, tectonic and sedimentary) affecting the Martian surface (Fan et al. 2008). Fan, C., Schulze-Makuch, D., Wolff, J.A., and Fairen, A.G. (2008) A new hypothesis for the origin and redistribution of sulfates in the equatorial region of Western Mars. Geophysical Research Letters 35, L06201, doi:10.1029/2007GL033079

  19. Tampa Bay as a model estuary for examining the impact of human activities on biogeochemical processes: an introduction (United States)

    Swarzenski, Peter W.; Baskaran, Mark; Henderson, Carl S.; Yates, Kim


    Tampa Bay is a shallow, Y-shaped coastal embayment that is located along the center of the Florida Platform – an expansive accumulation of Cretaceous–Tertiary shallow-water carbonates and evaporites that were periodically exposed during glacio–eustatic sea level fluctuations. As a consequence, extensive karstification likely had a controlling impact on the geologic evolution of Tampa Bay. Despite its large aerial size (∼ 1000 km2), Tampa Bay is relatively shallow (mean depth = 4 m) and its watershed (6700 km2) is among the smallest in the Gulf of Mexico. About 85% of all freshwater inflow (mean = 63 m3 s-1) to the bay is carried by four principal tributaries (Orlando et al., 1993). Groundwater makes up an important component of baseflow of these coastal streams and may also be important in delivering nutrients and other constituents to the bay proper by submarine groundwater discharge.

  20. Isolation and Characterization of Halotolerant Soil Fungi from the Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma (United States)

    EVANS, Sarah; HANSEN, Ryan W.; SCHNEEGURT, Mark A.


    The Great Salt Plains (GSP) of Oklahoma is an inland terrestrial hypersaline environment where saturated brines leave evaporite crusts of NaCl. The current report examines the fungal community, complementing earlier reports on the bacterial and archaeal communities. Twenty-five fungal isolates from GSP soils were obtained on medium containing 10% NaCl and characterized. Based on 18S rRNA gene sequence analysis, all of the isolates fall within the Ascomycetes, with a predominance of Trichocomaceae, represented by Aspergillus, Eurotium, and Penicillium species. Representatives of Anthrinium, Cladosporium, Debaryomyces, Fusarium, and Ulocladium also were isolated. Overall the isolates were widely halotolerant, with best growth observed at lower salinities and no halophilism. The fungal genera observed were all cosmopolitan, without strong specialization. Taken together, these results support the conclusion that hypersaline environments do not have a characteristic community, in contrast to what was observed at the GSP for bacteria and archaea. PMID:25249710

  1. South Atlantic paleobathymetry since early Cretaceous. (United States)

    Pérez-Díaz, Lucía; Eagles, Graeme


    We present early Cretaceous to present paleobathymetric reconstructions and quantitative uncertainty estimates for the South Atlantic, offering a strong basis for studies of paleocirculation, paleoclimate and paleobiogeography. Circulation in an initially salty and anoxic ocean, restricted by the topography of the Falkland Plateau, Rio Grande Ridge and Walvis Rise, favoured deposition of thick evaporites in shallow water of the Brazilian-Angolan margins. This ceased as seafloor spreading propagated northwards, opening an equatorial gateway to shallow and intermediate circulation. This gateway, together with subsiding volcano-tectonic barriers would have played a key role in Late Cretaceous climate changes. Later deepening and widening of the South Atlantic, together with gateway opening at Drake Passage would lead, by mid-Miocene (∼15 Ma) to the establishment of modern-style thermohaline circulation.

  2. Karstic terrain in the equatorial layered deposits within a crater in northern Sinus Meridiani, Mars. (United States)

    Baioni, Davide


    This work investigates the equatorial layered deposits (ELDs) located within a crater located in northern Sinus Meridiani, Mars (4.430 N, 3.320 W), which display traits that are consistent with formation by karst-driven processes. Here, shallow depressions showing a variety of plan forms ranging from rounded, circular, elongated, polygonal and drop-like to elliptical can be observed. The morphologic and morphometric analyses performed, highlight that these depressions display strong morphometric (sizes) and morphologic (shapes, bottoms, walls) similarities with the karst depressions that are common on limestone and evaporite terrains on the Earth and other regions on Mars. On the basis of the characteristics of the investigated landforms and the similarities of features on Earth and Mars, and after discarding other possible origins such as, aeolian, periglacial, volcanic or impact related processes, it has been inferred that the depressions are karstic dolines formed polygenetically by corrosion and solution-related intra-crater processes.

  3. Stratigraphy of Upper Permian and Lower Triassic Strata of the Žiri Area (Slovenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tea Kolar-Jurkovšek


    Full Text Available The paper deals with the stratigraphy of Late Permian and Early Triassic strata of the Lukač section in the Žiri area of western Slovenia. This is the only section presently known in the External Dinarides where the Permian-Triassic boundary is defined following international criteria based on the first appearance of the conodont Hindeodus parvus. The following lithostratigraphic units have been formalized: the Bellerophon Limestone and Evaporite-dolomite Members of the Bellerophon Formation and the Luka~ Formation with the three members,the Transitional Beds, Streaky Limestone and Carbonate-clastic Member. The paper presents the results of micropaleontologicalstudy based on foraminifers and conodonts as well as petrographic and sedimentologic research results. The investigation of conodont assemblages enabled the conodont biozonation of the Permian-Triassic interval of the studied Lukač section.

  4. Latest Guadalupian (Middle Permian) conodonts and foraminifers from West Texas (United States)

    Lambert, L.L.; Wardlaw, B.R.; Nestell, M.K.; Nestell, G.P.


    Clarkina, which characterizes Upper Permian (Lopingian Series) strata, evolved from Jinogondolella altudaensis in the Delaware basin of West Texas as demonstrated by transitional continuity. The West Texas section is significantly more complete in the uppermost Guadalupian interval than that of the probable GSSP reference section in South China, and clarifies the phylogenetic relationships among other conodont taxa as well. Jinogondolella granti clearly evolved into J. artafrons new species, both characterized by Pa elements with a distinctive fused carina. Representatives of Jinogondolella crofti are limited to the uppermost part of the altudaensis zone, and are interpreted as terminal paedomorphs. The associated foraminifer (non-fusulinid) fauna has some species in common with Zechstein faunas, possibly presaging the evaporitic basin that would develop following this latest Guadalupian marine deposition in West Texas.

  5. Exceptional preservation of Miocene pollen: plasmolysis captured in salt?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Durska, W.


    Exceptionally well-preserved Miocene pollen from the Bochnia salt mine of southern Poland is reported herein. The halite deposits within the salt mine belonging to Late Badenian (Miocene) marine evaporites originated in the Paratethys. Rounded and angular structures are present inside pollen grains. On the basis of the similarity with plasmolyzed pollen grains of modern plants, these structures are considered to represent cytoplasms plasmolyzed in the condensed brine prior to fossilization. Two forms of plasmolyzed cytoplasms (concave and convex) can be observed in modern pollen. Both are distinguished in the investigated fossil material. In porate and colporate grains the shape of the plasmolyzed cellular content is concave while in inaperturate it is convex. The plasmolysis form depends on the type of apertures and pollen shape. The percentage of pollen with fossilized cytoplasms within individual taxa is a valuable environmental indicator, as it depends on the proximity of the pollen-producing plant assemblages to the depositional setting. (Author)

  6. Constraints on Conceptual and Quantitative Modeling of Early Diagenetic Sediment-Hosted Stratiform Copper Mineralization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex C. Brown


    Full Text Available Early diagenetic sediment-hosted stratiform copper (eSSC mineralization results from low-temperature cuprous chloride complexes carried by saline aqueous solution circulating through footwall aquifers. Favorable copper solubilities are attained in moderately oxidizing, near-neutral pH solutions. That specific oxidation level is not determined by co-existence with hematite, with its near-indiscriminant control over Eh. Instead, redbed footwall aquifers are signatures of diagenetic oxidation. Relentless in-situ oxidation of ferrous minerals in redbeds produces pore waters too reduced to transport copper, thus eliminating compaction waters as ore solutions. Continuous early influxes of descending oxygen-rich meteoric waters which have assimilated evaporitic salts may redden aquifers and still retain oxidation levels capable of carrying copper to form downstream eSSCs.

  7. Novel chitosan film embedded with liposome-encapsulated phage for biocontrol of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in beef. (United States)

    Cui, Haiying; Yuan, Lu; Lin, Lin


    In recent years, phages used for the reduction of pathogenic bacteria have fostered many attentions, but they are liable to lost bioactivity in food due to the presence of acidic compounds, enzymes and evaporite materials. To improve the stability of phages, a chitosan edible film containing liposome-encapsulated phage was engineered in the present study. The characteristics of liposome-encapsulated phage and the chitosan film containing liposome-encapsulated phage were investigated. The encapsulation efficiency of phages in liposome reached 57.66±0.12%. Besides, the desirable physical properties of chitosan film were obtained. The chitosan film embedded with liposome-encapsulated phage exhibited high antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli O157:H7, without the impact on the sensory properties of beef. Hence, chitosan film containing liposome-encapsulated phage could be a promising antibacterial packaging for beef preservation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Messinian Erosional Surface in the Levantin margins: geodynamic implications. (United States)

    Mocochain, L.; Clauzon, G.; Robinet, J.; Blanpied, C.; Suc, J. P.; Gorini, C.; Abdalla, A. Al; Azki, F.


    During the Messinian salinity crisis (5.96-5.33 Ma), the Mediterranean Sea was disconnected from the Atlantic Ocean. As a consequence, a dramatic sea-level fall occurred during part of the crisis and deep erosion has been observed on the Mediterranean margins as well as on the continent. The origin and evolution of the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) and associated deposits beneath the Mediterranean seafloor is still subject of considerable debate, mainly focused on their depositional environment, age and correlation from the basinal to marginal series. One of the key problems concerns the lack of biostratigraphy data and 3D geometrical control of main stratigraphic surfaces. Recent studies in three areas in the Eastern Mediterranean basins, Hatay (Turkey), Lattakie (Syria), and Psematismenos (Cyprus) basins confirm the presence of the Messinian Erosional Surface which separates the uppermost Miocene deposits from the Pliocene, clearly encased in incises valleys. Systematic cartography of this unconformity shows fluvial erosion in relation with the peak of the Messinian Salinity Crisis. On the edges of the Psematismenos incised valleys or subareal canyons, the Messinian Erosional Surface impacts the previously deposited Messinian marginal evaporites linked to a first step of the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Huge Mass Transport Deposits are often locally preserved along the canyons edges and made of breccias with blocks of variable size and nature, gypsum and other pre-Messinian rocks. Fan delta complexes infilled the Messinian canyons flooded during the Zanclean. The most spectacular is described in the Nahr El Khabir Valley in northern Syria. These observations consists in distinct steps of the Messinian Salinity Crisis: 1- circum-Mediterranean deposition of marginal evaporite between 5.96 and 5.6 Ma in suspended basins, and 2- the downcutting of the Messinian fluvial canyons between 5.6 and 5.32Ma ending with the complex Pliocene marine reflooding, caracterised by

  9. Photogeologic map showing distribution of sinkholes south of Fairplay, Park County, Colorado--a possible geologic hazard (United States)

    Shawe, D.R.; Steven, T.A.; Taylor, R.B.; Maxwell, C.H.


    A large group of at least 50, and perhaps significantly more, sinkholes partially surrounds Black Mountain 6-10 mi south Fairplay in South Park, Park County, Colorado. The sinkholes occur in bedrock in the evaporite facies of the Middle Pennsylvania Minturn Formation, and in Quaternary soil, alluvium, and glacial outwash gravels that overlie the evaporite beds. Sinkholes range in size from small depressions a few feet across to large holes several hundred feet across. Measured sinkholes range in size from about 25 ft in diameter and 2 ft deep to about 235 ft in diameter and 25 ft deep. In places, several sinkholes have coalesced to form depressions as much as 750 ft long and 400 ft wide. One large cluster of small craters is about 1,8000 ft long and 600 ft wide. As reported to us by a resident rancher, one small sinkhole collapsed about 10 years ago. The area of sinkholes extends into land now under development for residences, and the sinkholes thus pose a potential hazard that needs to be considered in future development. Also, they might jeopardize existing farmland, structures, ans roads (including U.S. Highway 285), as well as projected roads and airstrips. This report is not a comprehensive evaluation of the distribution and origin of the sinkholes; its intent is to call attention to their presence and to encourage further study. Many by not all of the sinkholes were visited; the geologic map is based mainly on the interpretation of aerial photographs by D.R. Shawe.

  10. Formation of Authigenic Sulfates in Cold Dry Glaciers: Terrestrial and Planetary Implications of Sublimites (United States)

    Massé, M.; Rondeau, B.; Ginot, P.; Schmitt, B.; Bourgeois, O.; Mitri, G.


    Salts are common on planetary surfaces, and sulfates have been widely observed on Earth, Mars (Gendrin et al., 2005) and on some of Jupiter's and Saturn's icy moons like Europa (Dalton et al., 2007). These minerals can form under a wide range of conditions, and the determination of sulfate formation processes can provide key elements for deciphering past planetary surface conditions. Most terrestrial sulfates form as evaporites in warm environments with high water/rock ratios, but these conditions are rarely encountered on other planets. Here we describe the formation of cryogenic sulfates in an extreme cold and dry environment: the Guanaco glacier located in the Chilean Andes (Fig.1a, Rabatel et al., 2011). Field analyses reveal that it is a cold-based glacier, its surface temperature remains below 0°C throughout the year, and ablation occurs mostly by sublimation. Ablation creates ice cliffs punctuated of pluricentimetric whitish, tapered crystals embedded in the ice (Fig.1b, c). By Raman and chemistry, they proved to be gypsum, covered by micrometric crystals of jarosite, halotrichite and native sulfur. The euhedral morphology of these soft minerals indicates that they are neoformed and have not been transported in the ice. This is supported by the absence of gypsum crystals in ice cores drilled through the glacier. We infer that the crystallization thus occurred at the glacier surface during ice sublimation and does not involve liquid water. To distinguish this original salt formation process from the more common evaporites, we name these minerals "sublimites". Though this formation process is uncommon and generates minor quantities of sulfates on Earth, it may be dominant on other bodies in the Solar System where sublimation is effective. Examples of planetary sublimites may include gypsum on the North Polar Cap of Mars (Massé et al., 2012), and other sulfates on icy moons where sublimation has been observed (Howard et al., 2008).

  11. Magnetotelluric signature of anticlines in Iran's Sehqanat oil field (United States)

    Mansoori, Isa; Oskooi, Behrooz; Pedersen, Laust B.


    The magnetotelluric (MT) method has proved to be an effective tool in hydrocarbon exploration especially in areas with geological structures/formations where seismic reflection provides neither good quality data nor images. The Sehqanat oil field located in the sedimentary zone of Zagros in SW of Iran is a typical example. It is covered by the high velocity and heterogeneous formation of Gachsaran, which is exposed at the surface and has a thickness varying from 500 m to more than 2 km in the region. Gachsaran is composed mainly of salt and evaporites overlying, as a cap rock, the Asmari limestone formation which is the main reservoir in all oil fields of Iran along the Zagros range. The main geological interface which is targeted to be imaged with the MT method is the contact between the highly conductive evaporites of the Gachsaran formation and the underlying more resistive carbonates of the Asmari formation. MT data at more than 600 stations along five parallel SW-NE profiles crossing the main geological trend of the study area and transient electromagnetic data over 400 stations to be used for static shift corrections of the MT data were available. Dimensionality and strike analysis of the MT data show dominant two-dimensional (2-D) conditions in almost all sites and periods. The 2-D resistivity models resolved the boundary between Gachsaran and Asmari formations as a transition zone from highly conductive to resistive structures. The Sehqanat anticline has also been delineated throughout the 2-D resistivity sections as a resistive dome-shaped body located in the middle part of the MT profiles. There is a considerable correlation between the 2-D resistivity models and the adjacent 2-D reflection seismic sections so that a more reliable interpretation on the hydrocarbon trap of the Sehqanat anticline can be obtained.

  12. Mineral sources of water and their influence on the safe disposal of radioactive wastes in bedded salt deposits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fallis, S.M.


    With the increased use of nuclear energy, there will be subsequent increases in high-level radioactive wastes such as Sr/sup 90/, Cs/sup 137/, and Pu/sup 239/. Several agencies have considered the safest possible means to store or dispose of wastes in geologic environments such as underground storage in salt deposits, shale beds, abandoned dry mines, and in clay and shale pits. Salt deposits have received the most favorable attention because they exist in dry environments and because of other desirable properties of halite (its plasticity, gamma-ray shielding, heat dissipation ability, low mining cost, and worldwide abundance). Much work has been done on bedded salt deposits, particularly the Hutchinson Salt Member of the Wellington Formation at Lyons, Kansas. Salt beds heated by the decay of the radioactive wastes may release water by dehydration of hydrous minerals commonly present in evaporite sequences or water present in other forms such as fluid inclusions. More than 80 hydrous minerals are known to occur in evaporite deposits. The occurrences, total water contents (up to 63%) and dehydration temperatures (often less that 150/sup 0/C) of these minerals are given. Since it is desirable to dispose of radioactive wastes in a dry environment, care must be taken that large quantities of water are not released through the heating of hydrous minerals. Seventy-four samples from four cores taken at Lyons, Kansas, were analyzed by x-ray diffraction. The minerals detected were halite, anhydrite, gypsum, polyhalite, dolomite, magnesite, quartz, feldspar, and the clay minerals illite, chlorite, kaolinite, vermiculite, smectite, mixed-layer clay, and corrensite (interstratified chlorite-vermiculite). Of these, gypsum, polyhalite and the clay minerals are all capable of releasing water when heated.

  13. U.S. Geological Survey assessment of global potash production and resources—A significant advancement for global development and a sustainable future. (United States)

    Cocker, Mark D.; Orris, Greta J.; Wynn, Jeff


    During the past 15 yr, the global requirement for fertilizers has grown considerably, mainly due to demand by a larger and wealthier world population for more and higher-quality food. The demand and price for potash as a primary fertilizer ingredient have increased in tandem, because of the necessity to increase the quantity and quality of food production on the decreasing amount of available arable land. The primary sources of potash are evaporates, which occur mainly in marine salt basins and a few brine-bearing continental basins. World potash resources are large, but distribution is inequitable and not presently developed in countries where population and food requirements are large and increasing. There is no known substitute for potash in fertilizer, so knowledge of the world’s potash resources is critical for a sustainable future. The U.S. Geological Survey recently completed a global assessment of evaporite-hosted potash resources, which included a geographic information system–based inventory of known potash resources. This assessment included permissive areas or tracts for undiscovered resources at a scale of 1:1,000,000. Assessments of undiscovered potash resources were conducted for a number of the world’s evaporite-hosted potash basins. The data collected provide a major advance in our knowledge of global potash resources that did not exist prior to this study. The two databases include: (1) potash deposits and occurrences, and (2) potash tracts (basins that contain these deposits and occurrences and potentially undiscovered potash deposits). Data available include geology, mineralogy, grade, tonnage, depth, thickness, areal extent, and structure, as well as numerous pertinent references.

  14. Investigating groundwater flow between Edwards and Trinity aquifers in central Texas. (United States)

    Wong, C I; Kromann, J S; Hunt, B B; Smith, B A; Banner, J L


    Understanding the nature of communication between aquifers can be challenging when using traditional physical and geochemical groundwater sampling approaches. This study uses two multiport wells completed within Edwards and Trinity aquifers in central Texas to determine the degree of groundwater inter-flow between adjacent aquifers. Potentiometric surfaces, hydraulic conductivities, and groundwater major ion concentrations and Sr isotope values were measured from multiple zones within three hydrostratigraphic units (Edwards and Upper and Middle Trinity aquifers). Physical and geochemical data from the multiport wells were combined with historical measurements of groundwater levels and geochemical compositions from the region to characterize groundwater flow and identify controls on the geochemical compositions of the Edwards and Trinity aquifers. Our results suggest that vertical groundwater flow between Edwards and Middle Trinity aquifers is likely limited by low permeability, evaporite-rich units within the Upper and Middle Trinity. Potentiometric surface levels in both aquifers vary with changes in wet vs. dry conditions, indicating that recharge to both aquifers occurs through distinct recharge areas. Geochemical compositions in the Edwards, Upper, and Middle Trinity aquifers are distinct and likely reflect groundwater interaction with different lithologies (e.g., carbonates, evaporites, and siliceous sediments) as opposed to mixing of groundwater between the aquifers. These results have implications for the management of these aquifers as they indicate that, under current conditions, pumping of either aquifer will likely not induce vertical cross-formational flow between the aquifers. Inter-flow between the Trinity and the Edwards aquifers, however, should be reevaluated as pumping patterns and hydrogeologic conditions change. © 2013, National Ground Water Association.

  15. Water Quality and Soil Natural Salinity in the Southern Imera Basin (Sicily, Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta Selvaggi


    Full Text Available The Southern Imera river crosses one of the most arid part of Sicily. The geochemical composition of the river water is due to the solubilization processes of gypsum rocks, which accounts for the particularly low quality of resources in the areas in which the presence of evaporitics deposits is highest. The geochemical composition and hydraulic parameters of river was monitored with the aim of reaching a better understanding of the relationships between litology and water quality. The Imera river is a potential local hydric resource, but seasonal variability of salinity does not allow farmers to use its water. A geochemical monitoring of the Imera river water has been carried out in selected localities integrating a GIS analysis of the river hydrography basin and of the distribution of the evaporitic formation. During 2003 and 2005 we performed four monitoring surveys of water chemicophysical parameters (temperature, pH and electrical conductivity and of the main ionic concentrations (Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, Na+, Cl-, SO4 2- . We also installed a multiparameter probe next to the hydrometrical station of Drasi, about 15 km from the river mouth. Such multiparameter probe was used to determine, continuously and simultaneously, temperature, electrical conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen, redox potenzial, water level. The geochemical composition of the water allowed to confirm the results of Roda (1971 and Favara (2000, who pointed out that the main cause of degrade of the Southern Imera river are the salt-rich waters of some tributaries flowing over gypsum rocks and halite deposits. We have been able to identify which specific areas are the main contributors to the degradation of the Imera river.

  16. Sea salt irradiation experiments relevant to the surface conditions of ocean worlds such as Europa and Enceladus (United States)

    Hand, Kevin P.; Carlson, Robert W.


    We have conducted a set of laboratory experiments to measure changes in NaCl, KCl, MgCl2, and mixtures of these salts, as a function of exposure to the temperature, pressure, and radiation conditions relevant to ice covered ocean worlds in our solar system. Reagent grade salts were placed onto a diffuse aluminum target at the end of a cryostat coldfinger and loaded into an ultra-high vacuum chamber. The samples were then cooled to 100 K and the chamber pumped down to ~10-8 Torr, achieving conditions comparable to the surface of several moons of the outer solar system. Samples were subsequently irradiated with 10 keV electrons at an average current of 1 µA.We examined a range of conditions for NaCl including pure salts grains (~300 µm diameter), salt grains with water ice deposited on top, and evaporites. For the evaporites saturated salt water was loaded onto the cryostat target, the chamber closed, and then slowly pumped down to remove the water, leaving behind a salt evaporate for irradiation.The electron bombardment resulted in the trapping of electrons in halogen vacancies, yielding the the F- and M- color centers. After irraditiation we observed yellow-brown discoloration in NaCl. KCl was observed to turn a distinct violet. In NaCl these centers have strong absorptions at 450 nm and 720 nm, respectively, providing a highly diagnostic signature of otherwise transparent alkali halides, making it possible to remotely characterize and quantify the composition and salinity of ocean worlds.

  17. The influence of preexisting structure and halokinesis on organic matter preservation and thrust system evolution in the Ionian Basin, Northwest Greece

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karakitsios, V. [Univ. of Athens (Greece)


    The opening of the Ionian basin and its internal differentiation is attested to by lateral facies and thickness variations of the formations deposited during the Pliensbachian and Tithonian (synrift formations). The beginning of the synrift sequence is represented by the Siniais Limestones (Pliensbachian) and their lateral equivalent, the Louros Limestones. The geometric characteristics of the extensional basin depend on both extension related to the latest opening of the Tethys ocean and halokinesis of the Ionian zone evaporitic substratum. The accumulation of organic matter in the {open_quotes}Lower and Upper Posidonia beds{close_quotes} of the Ionian zone during the Toarcian and Tithonian is directly related to the geometry of the synrift period of the Ionian basin. Restricted subbasins were formed where the geometry of the basin favored stagnation and consequently the locally euxinic conditions of bottom waters. Anoxic conditions persisted locally to the postrift period in areas where the {open_quotes}Upper Siliceous Zone{close_quotes} (Albian-Cenomanian) of the Vigla Limestones is well developed; these areas probably represent subbasins that were preserved by the continuation of halokinetic movements during the postrift period. During the early Miocene Alpine orogeny, collision-related compressive stresses on the margin induced the reactivation of preexisting fractures, which were responsible for the inversion tectonics that affected the Mesozoic basin. The geometric characteristics of the inverted basin were dependent on lithology (evaporates), geometry of the extensional structures, and direction of the compressional phase. The geological evolution in the Ionian basin is an example of inversion tectonics of a basin with an evaporitic substratum. The opening of the Ionian basin and the inversion tectonics influence both the source rocks and the probable hydrocarbon traps of the Ionian zone.

  18. Structure and tectonics of the Sierra Madre oriental fold-thrust belt near Monterrey, northeastern Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, C.A.; Gray, G.G.; Goldhammer, R. (Exxon Production Research Co., Houston, TX (United States))


    The Monterrey salient was examined using Landsat TM and MSS images to determine factors controlling the development, distribution, and exposure of Laramide structures. Lateral Mesozoic facies changes influence structural styles and distribution. Exposure of deep foreland structures north of Monterrey is partly related to the location of the Cupido reef trend. Structure along the front of the salient changes abruptly from tectonic wedging to normal overthrusting where deltaic clastics of the Difunta Group grade into incompetent Mendez shale. Salt thickness is an important factor controlling structural development. Areas without evaporites are usually persistent basement highs characterized by less severe deformation. Areas with thin evaporites have complex structural styles, depending on stratigraphy, depth of exposure, and distance from the Sierra Madre thrust front. Thick salt, apparently in a Jurassic rift beneath the salient, facilitated the northward transport of thrust sheets. Late Cretaceous salt movement influenced stratigraphy in La Popa basin where limestone lenses developed in the clastic Difunta Group. Basement topography is the major factor controlling development, style, distribution of structures, and areal distribution of salt and lateral facies changes. The authors propose a tectonic model that explains the large scale structural styles in the region. The Coahuila basement-high block acted as a buttress during Laramide shortening, limiting northward progression of deformation west of Saltillo. East, in the Monterrey salient, the effect of deeper basement and thick salt permitted thrusts to transport material much farther north, resulting in development of a north-south zone of distributed left-lateral shear in the region of Saltillo.

  19. Fluid inclusion and stable isotope studies of the Mesloula Pb-Zn-Ba ore deposit, NE Algeria: Characteristics and origin of the mineralizing fluids (United States)

    Laouar, Rabah; Salmi-Laouar, Sihem; Sami, Lounis; Boyce, Adrian J.; Kolli, Omar; Boutaleb, Abdelhak; Fallick, Anthony E.


    In the Saharan Atlas (NE Algeria), the Triassic evaporitic formation was brought to the surface through the thick Cretaceous and Tertiary sedimentary cover as diapirs due to the effect of Atlasic tectonic events. The diapir piercing began in the Jurassic and has continued through present day. Many outcrops of several square kilometres are distributed in a large area (approximately 80 km wide) that extends northeasterly over 300 km towards Tunisia. The diapiric evaporitic formation is often accompanied by the emplacement of Pb-Zn-Ba-F mineralization. The Mesloula massif is an example of these deposits. Fluid inclusion and sulphur, carbon and oxygen isotope studies were carried out on Pb-Zn-Ba mineralization and associated gangue carbonates. Gypsum of the Triassic formation was also analysed for its sulphur isotope composition to show the role of evaporates in the generation of this typical peridiapiric deposit. Gypsum from the Triassic formation showed a narrow range of δ34SVCDT values, ranging from +14.6 to +15.5‰ (n = 8). This range is comparable to that of Triassic seawater sulphates. Sulphide minerals yielded δ34SVCDT values between 0 and + 11.7‰ (n = 15), indicating that sulphide sulphur was likely derived from Triassic sulphates through thermochemical sulphate reduction (TSR) because fluid inclusion microthermometric measurements yielded a mean temperature of 150 °C. Residual sulphate in such a system would have been enriched in 34S; this is reflected in the barite δ34SVCDT values, which range from +21.1 to +33.5‰ (n = 5). The δ13CVPDB values of calcite minerals, ranging from +2.1 to +6.3‰ (n = 4), indicate an inorganic carbon origin, likely from the host carbonate rocks. δ18OVSMOW values were between +21.9 and + 24.9‰, indicating that the most likely source of mineralizing fluids was formation water.

  20. A new petroleum system in offshore Campeche, Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gonzalez, R.; Cruz, P.; Limon, M. [Pemex Exploracion y produccion, Mexico City (Mexico)


    A new petroleum system in the Sonda de Campeche of Mexico has been recently defined. This system is entirely Oxfordian in age, comprising eolian and beach sandstone reservoirs overlain by evaporites, which provide the seal, and in turn, overlain by organically rich, low energy carbonate mudstones, which are source rocks. This petroleum system was created during the late stages of opening of the Gulf of Mexico. The source rocks are composed of an algal mudstone overlying the evaporite sequence. Geochemistry, isotopic and biomarkers analyses allowed us to identify the Oxfordian source rock and also to obtain an excellent correlation with the oils Oxfordian reservoired in the discoveries. Oxfordian sandstones in the Sonda de Campeche exhibit excellent reservoir quality, ranging from 6 to 26% porosity and 2 to 2730 md permeability. The porosity is principally secondary due to the dissolution of dolomite anhydrite and cement but intergranular porosity can also be observed. The tectonic evolution of the Gulf of Mexico, in the Sonda de Campeche produced three types of traps (1) faulted blocks of {open_quotes}domino{close_quotes} style, developed during the extensional stage; (2) faulted anticlines formed during the Middle Miocene compressive event; and (3) traps related to diapirism of salt of the Middle Miocene-Pleistocene. The seal rocks are mainly composed by Oxfordian evaporates. Oil generation was initiated in the Middle Miocene following the compressional stage. The potential source rocks reached maturity beneath a thick Tertiary overburden in downthrown fault blocks and expelled hydrocarbons which migrated in a predominantly vertical direction. The oils do not show any diagnostic evidence of bacterial alteration.

  1. Saline pan deposits from the ˜1.8 Ga Makgabeng Formation, Waterberg Group, South Africa (United States)

    Simpson, E. L.; Eriksson, K. A.; Kuklis, C. A.; Eriksson, P. G.; Bumby, A. J.; van Jaarsveld, C. F.


    Interbedded medium- to fine-grained sandstones and mudstones, which occur within an 800-m-thick areally extensive aeolian dune and interdune deposit of the 1.8 Ga Makgabeng Formation, Waterberg Group, South Africa, are interpreted as saline pan deposits. Few examples of saline pan deposits have been documented from the Precambrian rock record; most of those described have been assigned to alkaline-saline and playa lake settings. Seven saline pan facies are recognized in the Makgabeng Formation: (A) strongly asymmetrical ripples, (B) inversely graded laminations, (C) slightly asymmetrical ripples, (D) symmetrical ripples, (E) massive sandstone, (F) horizontal lamination, and (G) massive-graded mudstone. These facies are interpreted respectively as current-ripple, wind-ripple, combined-flow ripple, wave-ripple, suspension (E and G) and upper plane-bed deposits (F). XRD analysis of saline pan mudstones from drill core south of the study area indicates the presence of trace amounts of anhydrite and gypsum. Additional evidence for evaporite deposition includes evaporite pseudomorphs in the underlying dune deposits and distinctive structures linked to efflorescent salt crust development. Stacking of facies reflects fluctuations (10's to 100's of years) in the hydrologic regime of the saline pan, whereas the efflorescent crusts are consistent with shorter period (months or years) flooding and desiccation cycles. Maximum saline pan depths and geographic extent are recorded by thick, graded mudstone facies (G) near the base of the deposit, indicating a time of possible climatic amelioration and saline pan expansion, followed by semiarid to arid conditions reflected in the overlying dune deposits.

  2. High-precision 41K/39K measurements by MC-ICP-MS indicate terrestrial variability of δ41K (United States)

    Morgan, Leah; Santiago Ramos, Danielle P.; Davidheiser-Kroll, Brett; Faithfull, John; Lloyd, Nicholas S.; Ellam, Rob M.; Higgins, John A.


    Potassium is a major component in continental crust, the fourth-most abundant cation in seawater, and a key element in biological processes. Until recently, difficulties with existing analytical techniques hindered our ability to identify natural isotopic variability of potassium isotopes in terrestrial materials. However, measurement precision has greatly improved and a range of K isotopic compositions has now been demonstrated in natural samples. In this study, we present a new technique for high-precision measurement of K isotopic ratios using high-resolution, cold plasma multi-collector mass spectrometry. We apply this technique to demonstrate natural variability in the ratio of 41K to 39K in a diverse group of geological and biological samples, including silicate and evaporite minerals, seawater, and plant and animal tissues. The total range in 41K/39K ratios is ca. 2.6‰, with a long-term external reproducibility of 0.17‰ (2, N=108). Seawater and seawater-derived evaporite minerals are systematically enriched in 41K compared to silicate minerals by ca. 0.6‰, a result consistent with recent findings1, 2. Although our average bulk-silicate Earth value (-0.54‰) is indistinguishable from previously published values, we find systematic δ41K variability in some high-temperature sample suites, particularly those with evidence for the presence of fluids. The δ41K values of biological samples span a range of ca. 1.2‰ between terrestrial mammals, plants, and marine organisms. Implications of terrestrial K isotope variability for the atomic weight of K and K-based geochronology are discussed. Our results indicate that high-precision measurements of stable K isotopes, made using commercially available mass spectrometers, can provide unique insights into the chemistry of potassium in geological and biological systems. 

  3. Tectonic Inversion Along the Algerian and Ligurian Margins: On the Insight Provided By Latest Seismic Processing Techniques Applied to Recent and Vintage 2D Offshore Multichannel Seismic Data (United States)

    Schenini, L.; Beslier, M. O.; Sage, F.; Badji, R.; Galibert, P. Y.; Lepretre, A.; Dessa, J. X.; Aidi, C.; Watremez, L.


    Recent studies on the Algerian and the North-Ligurian margins in the Western Mediterranean have evidenced inversion-related superficial structures, such as folds and asymmetric sedimentary perched basins whose geometry hints at deep compressive structures dipping towards the continent. Deep seismic imaging of these margins is difficult due to steep slope and superficial multiples, and, in the Mediterranean context, to the highly diffractive Messinian evaporitic series in the basin. During the Algerian-French SPIRAL survey (2009, R/V Atalante), 2D marine multi-channel seismic (MCS) reflection data were collected along the Algerian Margin using a 4.5 km, 360 channel digital streamer and a 3040 cu. in. air-gun array. An advanced processing workflow has been laid out using Geocluster CGG software, which includes noise attenuation, 2D SRME multiple attenuation, surface consistent deconvolution, Kirchhoff pre-stack time migration. This processing produces satisfactory seismic images of the whole sedimentary cover, and of southward dipping reflectors in the acoustic basement along the central part of the margin offshore Great Kabylia, that are interpreted as inversion-related blind thrusts as part of flat-ramp systems. We applied this successful processing workflow to old 2D marine MCS data acquired on the North-Ligurian Margin (Malis survey, 1995, R/V Le Nadir), using a 2.5 km, 96 channel streamer and a 1140 cu. in. air-gun array. Particular attention was paid to multiple attenuation in adapting our workflow. The resulting reprocessed seismic images, interpreted with a coincident velocity model obtained by wide-angle data tomography, provide (1) enhanced imaging of the sedimentary cover down to the top of the acoustic basement, including the base of the Messinian evaporites and the sub-salt Miocene series, which appear to be tectonized as far as in the mid-basin, and (2) new evidence of deep crustal structures in the margin which the initial processing had failed to

  4. Using a novel Mg isotope tracer to investigate the dolomitization of the Red River Formation in the Williston Basin (United States)

    Kimmig, S. R.; Holmden, C. E.; Qing, H.


    The Williston Basin is a sub-circular intracratonic basin spanning central North America with its center in NW North Dakota. The Late Ordovician Red River Formation is an economically viable unit in the Williston Basin containing large hydrocarbon reserves in Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Manitoba, and Montana. Red River dolomitization contributed to the reservoir-quality porosity and permeability observed today with three types of dolomite (burrow, matrix, and saddle) possibly representing three events. Dolomitization is widely believed to have resulted from downward percolating brines, due to the stratigraphically close association between dolomite deposits and overlying basin-scale evaporites. However, in contrast, Sr isotope evidence suggests an upward fluid migration in the basin. Spatial variation of Mg isotopes (δ26Mg) may serve as a direct tracer of dolomitizing fluid flow. Dolomite sequesters light isotopes of Mg from dolomitizing fluids, therefore, the fluid will evolve with time and distance to heavier δ26Mg values. Accordingly, the δ26Mg values of the Red River dolomite should increase in the direction of fluid flow. We test this hypothesis on Red River burrow dolomite from the Williston Basin; the first event most often attributed to downward infiltration of brines. Burrow δ26Mg values range between -1.89‰ and -1.31‰. Using contouring software, the data are shown to form a pattern of increasing δ26Mg values out from the center of the Williston Basin, indicating an up-dip migration of dolomitizing fluids through the burrow network, rather than down-dip as suggested by the brine reflux model. We conclude that dolomitization of the Red River carbonate is not tied to the spatial and temporal history of evaporite deposition in the Williston Basin, but rather to the thermal history of the basin, suggesting dolomitization likely occurred during a late Paleozoic heating event that drove Mg-rich connate waters ponded in the center of the basin upwards

  5. Formation of Si-Al-Mg-Ca-rich zoned magnetite in an end-Permian phreatomagmatic pipe in the Tunguska Basin, East Siberia (United States)

    Neumann, Else-Ragnhild; Svensen, Henrik H.; Polozov, Alexander G.; Hammer, Øyvind


    Magma-sediment interactions in the evaporite-rich Tunguska Basin resulted in the formation of numerous phreatomagmatic pipes during emplacement of the Siberian Traps. The pipes contain magnetite-apatite deposits with copper and celestine mineralization. We have performed a detailed petrographic and geochemical study of magnetite from long cores drilled through three pipe breccia structures near Bratsk, East Siberia. The magnetite samples are zoned and rich in Si (≤5.3 wt% SiO2), Ca, Al, and Mg. They exhibit four textural types: (1) massive ore in veins, (2) coating on breccia clasts, (3) replacement ore, and (4) reworked ore at the crater base. The textural types have different chemical characteristics. "Breccia coating" magnetite has relatively low Mg content relative to Si, as compared to the other groups, and appears to have formed at lower oxygen fugacity. Time series analyses of MgO variations in microprobe transects across Si-bearing magnetite in massive ore indicate that oscillatory zoning in the massive ore was controlled by an internal self-organized process. We suggest that hydrothermal Fe-rich brines were supplied from basalt-sediment interaction zones in the evaporite-rich sedimentary basin, leading to magnetite ore deposition in the pipes. Hydrothermal fluid composition appears to be controlled by proximity to dolerite fragments, temperature, and oxygen fugacity. Magnetite from the pipes has attributes of iron oxide-apatite deposits (e.g., textures, oscillatory zoning, association with apatite, and high Si content) but has higher Mg and Ca content and different mineral assemblages. These features are similar to magnetite found in skarn deposits. We conclude that the Siberian Traps-related pipe magnetite deposit gives insight into the metamorphic and hydrothermal effects following magma emplacement in a sedimentary basin.

  6. Groundwater and river baseline quality using major, trace elements, organic carbon and Sr-Pb-O isotopes in a Mediterranean catchment: The case of the Lower Var Valley (south-eastern France) (United States)

    Potot, Cécile; Féraud, Gilbert; Schärer, Urs; Barats, Aurélie; Durrieu, Gaël; Le Poupon, Christophe; Travi, Yves; Simler, Roland


    SummaryDissolved trace and major elements, organic carbon and Pb-Sr-O isotopes have been investigated in surface and groundwater of the Var River Valley (SE France), including alluvial, conglomerate and limestone aquifers, as well as surface water. Boxplots and cumulative frequency distribution diagrams define chemical characteristics of each water group and distinguish between natural and anthropogenic range of concentrations. Low concentration of trace elements, statistical analysis of data and Pb isotopic ratios demonstrate that the measured baseline quality is close to the natural background, mainly influenced by water/rock interaction. Pb and Sr isotopes evidence specific primitive end members, buffering these two elements through leaching late Paleozoic rocks, strongly depleted in U and Rb since their formation. Arsenic undergoes geochemical processes such as sorption on clay minerals of the alluvial deposits. Sr isotopic ratios and high SO42-, Sr and Li contents show that Permo-Triassic sediments including evaporites strongly imprint surface waters and alluvial groundwaters. Limestone and conglomerate aquifers are mainly influenced by carbonate minerals, but may be locally affected by evaporite dissolution. High dissolved silica is also specific to conglomerate groundwaters. Limestone and conglomerate groundwaters are characterised by low and heterogeneous trace element compositions that may result from various residence times and rock compositions related to different sampling depth. Even if water quality is generally good for most of the investigated elements, pollution by agricultural activity (fertilisers and pesticides) in the alluvial and some limestone groundwaters has been demonstrated by high NO3- and Br- contents. Br- is suspected to originate from methyl bromide fertiliser. In conglomerate aquifers, NO3- contents may reach high levels, probably due to both agriculture and residential waste pollution. Despite the industrialization in the Low Var

  7. Geologic framework and hydrostratigraphy of the Edwards and Trinity aquifers within northern Bexar and Comal Counties, Texas (United States)

    Clark, Allan K.; Golab, James A.; Morris, Robert R.


    Early Cretaceous time, the area of present-day south-central Texas was again submerged during the Late Cretaceous by a marine transgression resulting in deposition of the Georgetown Formation of the Washita Group.The Early Cretaceous Edwards Group, which overlies the Trinity Group, is composed of mudstone to boundstone, dolomitic limestone, argillaceous limestone, evaporite, shale, and chert. The Kainer Formation is subdivided into (bottom to top) the basal nodular, dolomitic, Kirschberg Evaporite, and grainstone members. The Person Formation is subdivided into (bottom to top) the regional dense, leached and collapsed (undivided), and cyclic and marine (undivided) members.Hydrostratigraphically the rocks exposed in the study area represent a section of the upper confining unit to the Edwards aquifer, the Edwards aquifer, the upper zone of the Trinity aquifer, and the middle zone of the Trinity aquifer. The Pecan Gap Formation (Taylor Group), Austin Group, Eagle Ford Group, Buda Limestone, and Del Rio Clay are generally considered to be the upper confining unit to the Edwards aquifer.The Edwards aquifer was subdivided into HSUs I to VIII. The Georgetown Formation of the Washita Group contains HSU I. The Person Formation of the Edwards Group contains HSUs II (cyclic and marine members [Kpcm], undivided), III (leached and collapsed members [Kplc,] undivided), and IV (regional dense member [Kprd]), and the Kainer Formation of the Edwards Group contains HSUs V (grainstone member [Kkg]), VI (Kirschberg Evaporite Member [Kkke]), VII (dolomitic member [Kkd]), and VIII (basal nodular member [Kkbn]).The Trinity aquifer is separated into upper, middle, and lower aquifer units (hereinafter referred to as “zones”). The upper zone of the Trinity aquifer is in the upper member of the Glen Rose Limestone. The middle zone of the Trinity aquifer is formed in the lower member of the Glen Rose Limestone, Hensell Sand, and Cow Creek Limestone. The regionally extensive Hammett Shale

  8. Geology and undiscovered resource assessment of the potash-bearing Pripyat and Dnieper-Donets Basins, Belarus and Ukraine (United States)

    Cocker, Mark D.; Orris, Greta J.; Dunlap, Pamela; Lipin, Bruce R.; Ludington, Steve; Ryan, Robert J.; Słowakiewicz, Mirosław; Spanski, Gregory T.; Wynn, Jeff; Yang, Chao


    Undiscovered potash resources in the Pripyat Basin, Belarus, and Dnieper-Donets Basin, Ukraine, were assessed as part of a global mineral resource assessment led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The Pripyat Basin (in Belarus) and the Dnieper-Donets Basin (in Ukraine and southern Belarus) host stratabound and halokinetic Upper Devonian (Frasnian and Famennian) and Permian (Cisuralian) potash-bearing salt. The evaporite basins formed in the Donbass-Pripyat Rift, a Neoproterozoic continental rift structure that was reactivated during the Late Devonian and was flooded by seawater. Though the rift was divided, in part by volcanic deposits, into the separate Pripyat and Dnieper-Donets Basins, both basins contain similar potash‑bearing evaporite sequences. An Early Permian (Cisuralian) sag basin formed over the rift structure and was also inundated by seawater resulting in another sequence of evaporite deposition. Halokinetic activity initiated by basement faulting during the Devonian continued at least into the Permian and influenced potash salt deposition and structural evolution of potash-bearing salt in both basins.Within these basins, four areas (permissive tracts) that permit the presence of undiscovered potash deposits were defined by using geological criteria. Three tracts are permissive for stratabound potash-bearing deposits and include Famennian (Upper Devonian) salt in the Pripyat Basin, and Famennian and Cisuralian (lower Permian) salt in the Dnieper-Donets Basin. In addition, a tract was delineated for halokinetic potash-bearing Famennian salt in the Dnieper-Donets Basin.The Pripyat Basin is the third largest source of potash in the world, producing 6.4 million metric tons of potassium chloride (KCl) (the equivalent of about 4.0 million metric tons of potassium oxide or K2O) in 2012. Potash production began in 1963 in the Starobin #1 mine, near the town of Starobin, Belarus, in the northwestern corner of the basin. Potash is currently produced from

  9. Miocene to Present evolution of the Calabria Tyrrhenian continental margin (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea) (United States)

    Pepe, F.; Sulli, A.; Bertotti, G.; Cella, F.


    The Miocene to Present evolution of the Calabria Tyrrhenian Continental Margin (CTCM, Southern Tyrrhenian Sea) are reconstructed using two ENE-WSW oriented, near-vertical seismic profiles (CROP-M27 and SISTER 11 lines). The interpreted profiles were time-to-depth converted, merged and translated in a geological section, which was also extended to the Tyrrhenian bathial plain and the Calabrian arc using wide-angle seismic data [Scarascia et al., 1994], and tested with gravity modelling. Across the CTCM, top of KCU is laterally variable in depth forming basins filled by Oligo-Miocene clastic to terrigenous deposits up to 1500m thick. Basins are separated by major structures with contractional or transcurrent kinematics, where faults are arranged in a positive flower structure fashion, affecting the KCU as well as lower Oligocene to Miocene deposits. The Messinian evaporites display essentially a constant thickness of ~-400m with the exception of the Paola Basin where deep-water Messinian evaporites are up to 1000 m thick. Plio-Quaternary deposits display a remarkable variation in thickness from ~-4.5 km in the Paola Basin to less then 400m in the central sector of the margin. Plio-Quaternary sediments are internally sub-divisible into four sub-units separated by tectonics enhanced angular unconformities. W-ward vergent reverse faults with limited vertical displacement offset the top of KCU as well as the Oligo-Miocene sedimentary and evaporitic units in the eastern side of the Paola basin and in the distal part of the CTCM where a number of closely spaced, W-vergent thrust faults are also observed in the Plio-Pleistocene deposits. Along the CTCM, the only significant normal fault which was identified is located around its central sector, dips to the W and has a displacement of ~-580m. Across the margin, the Moho was inferred at ~-35 km beneath the Calabria Arc and shallows up to 24 km in correspondence with the coastline. Moho deepens again to a depth of ~-28 km in

  10. Paleozoic-involving thrust array in the central Sierras Interiores (South Pyrenean Zone, Central Pyrenees): regional implications (United States)

    Rodriguez, L.; Cuevas, J.; Tubía, J. M.


    This work deals with the structural evolution of the Sierras Interiores between the Tena and Aragon valleys. The Sierras Interiores is a WNW-trending mountain range that bounds the South Pyrenean Zone to the north and that is characterized by a thrust-fold system with a strong lithological control that places preferably decollements in Triassic evaporites. In the studied area of the Sierras Interiores Cenomanian limestones cover discordantly the Paleozoic rocks of the Axial Zone because there is a stratigraphic lacuna developed from Triassic to Late Cretaceous times. A simple lithostratigraphy of the study area is made up of Late Cenomanian to Early Campanian limestones with grey colour and massive aspect in landscape (170 m, Lower calcareous section), Campanian to Maastrichtian brown coloured sandstones (400-600 m, Marboré sandstones) and, finally, Paleocene light-coloured massive limestones (130-230 m), that often generate the higher topographic levels of the Sierras Interiores due to their greater resistance to erosion. Above the sedimentary sequence of the Sierras Interiores, the Jaca Basin flysch succession crops out discordantly. Based on a detailed mapping of the studied area of the Sierras Interiores, together with well and structural data of the Jaca Basin (Lanaja, 1987; Rodríguez and Cuevas, 2008) we have constructed a 12 km long NS cross section, approximately parallel to the movement direction deduced for this region (Rodríguez et al., 2011). The main structure is a thrust array made up of at least four Paleozoic-involving thrusts (the deeper thrust system) of similar thickness in a probably piggyback sequence, some of which are blind thrusts that generate fold-propagation-folds in upper levels. The higher thrust of the thrust array crops out duplicating the lower calcareous section all over the Sierras Interiores. The emplacement of the deeper thrust system generated the tightness of previous structures: south directed piggyback duplexes (the upper

  11. Geologic map of the Rifle Falls quadrangle, Garfield County, Colorado (United States)

    Scott, Robert B.; Shroba, Ralph R.; Egger, Anne


    New 1:24,000-scale geologic map of the Rifle Falls 7.5' quadrangle, in support of the USGS Western Colorado I-70 Corridor Cooperative Geologic Mapping Project, provides new interpretations of the stratigraphy, structure, and geologic hazards in the area of the southwest flank of the White River uplift. Bedrock strata include the Upper Cretaceous Iles Formation through Ordovician and Cambrian units. The Iles Formation includes the Cozzette Sandstone and Corcoran Sandstone Members, which are undivided. The Mancos Shale is divided into three members, an upper member, the Niobrara Member, and a lower member. The Lower Cretaceous Dakota Sandstone, the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation, and the Entrada Sandstone are present. Below the Upper Jurassic Entrada Sandstone, the easternmost limit of the Lower Jurassic and Upper Triassic Glen Canyon Sandstone is recognized. Both the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation and the Lower Triassic(?) and Permian State Bridge Formation are present. The Pennsylvanian and Permian Maroon Formation is divided into two members, the Schoolhouse Member and a lower member. All the exposures of the Middle Pennsylvanian Eagle Evaporite intruded into the Middle Pennsylvanian Eagle Valley Formation, which includes locally mappable limestone beds. The Middle and Lower Pennsylvanian Belden Formation and the Lower Mississippian Leadville Limestone are present. The Upper Devonian Chaffee Group is divided into the Dyer Dolomite, which is broken into the Coffee Pot Member and the Broken Rib Member, and the Parting Formation. Ordovician through Cambrian units are undivided. The southwest flank of the White River uplift is a late Laramide structure that is represented by the steeply southwest-dipping Grand Hogback, which is only present in the southwestern corner of the map area, and less steeply southwest-dipping older strata that flatten to nearly horizontal attitudes in the northern part of the map area. Between these two is a large-offset, mid

  12. Geology of the Aspen 15-minute quadrangle, Pitkin and Gunnison counties, Colorado (United States)

    Bryant, Bruce


    The Aspen area, located 170 km southwest of Denver, Colo., lies at the intersection of the northeast-trending Colorado mineral belt and the west margin of the north-trending Sawatch uplift of Laramide age; it is within the southwest part of the northwest-trending late Paleozoic Eagle basin. Precambrian shales and graywackes, perhaps as old as 2 billion years (b.y.), were converted to sillimanite-bearing gneiss and muscovite-biotite schist 1.65-1.70 b.y. ago. They were deformed into northeast-plunging folds and were migmatized, and they were intruded by quartz diorite, porphyritic quartz monzonite, and granite. Muscovite-biotite quartz monzonite intruded this older Precambrian terrane about 1.45 b.y. ago and is the predominant Precambrian rock near Aspen. Uplift, some faulting, and much erosion occurred during the 900-million year (m.y.) interval between emplacement of the plutonic rocks and deposition of Upper Cambrian sediments. From Late Cambrian through Mississippian the region was part of a broad area alternately covered by shallow seas or occupied by low-lying land. Quartzite, dolomite, and limestone 200-320 m thick, comprising the Sawatch Quartzite and Peerless Formation (Cambrian), Manitou Dolomite (Ordovician), Chaffee Group (Mississippian(?) and Devonian), and Leadville Limestone (Mississippian) were deposited during this interval. After an hiatus during which soil formation and solution of the Leadville Limestone took place in the Late Mississippian, a thick sequence of marine and nonmarine clastic rocks was deposited in the newly developing Eagle basin during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic. Deposition of about 300 m of carbonaceous shale, limestone, dolomite, and minor siltstone and evaporite of the Belden Formation began in a shallow sea in Early and Middle Pennsylvanian time. Facies relations indicate that the northwest-trending Uncompahgre uplift southwest of Aspen, if present at that time, had very low relief. The overlying Middle

  13. Imaging the Crust in the Northern Sector of the 2009 L'Aquila Seismic Sequence through Oil Exploration Data Interpretation (United States)

    Grazia Ciaccio, Maria; Improta, Luigi; Patacca, Etta; Scandone, Paolo; Villani, Fabio


    Aptian-Albian Fucoid Marl horizon, (4) the top of the upper Jurassic "Calcari ad Aptici" Formation, (5) the top of the upper Triassic dolomites plus evaporites of the Burano Formation. Strong but discontinuous deep reflectors can be reasonably attributed to the Paleozoic-Trassic clastic sequence underlying the evaporites. Neogene compression is responsible for a system of NNW-SSE trending fault-propagation folds which have often grown on top of popup-like structures. Extensional features include shallow-seated low-angle faults, likely related to gravitational readjustments on top of compressional features, and younger NNW-SSE trending high-angle faults. The major high-angle fault in the investigated area is represented by the Mt. Gorzano Fault, a regional structure the surface trace of which is at least 20 km long. The Mt. Gorzano Fault is a listric fault that dips around 60° in the first 2 s TWT and flattens at greater depths until it becomes sub-horizontal at about 5 s TWT, i.e. at a depth averaging 12 kilometers. Depth converted sections, calibrated by well data, indicate that the bulk of the aftershock activity is confined between the Triassic dolomites plus evaporites and the underlying Paleozoic-Triassic terrigenous deposits, without affecting the overlying carbonates. Events alignment revealed by accurate Double-Difference relative locations suggests that the Mw5.4 aftershock activated a 12 km-long segment of the Mt. Gorzano Fault at depths ranging from 5 to 10-12 kilometers. Aftershocks cluster in the hanging-wall of the deep portion of the fault recognized in the stack sections, whose geometry is consistent with the fault plane highlighted by earthquakes alignment.

  14. Silica diagenesis: origin of inorganic and replacement cherts (United States)

    Hesse, Reinhard

    Silicification of originally non-siliceous sediments affects a wide variety of rock-types and materials and ranges from minor to pervasive. Partial and minor chertification occur mostly in Phanerozoic carbonates, carbonate-bearing sandstones, evaporites, and fossil wood. The source of the silica is predominantly biogenic. In petrified wood the silicification mechanism is a permeation or void-filling process, not a replacement. In this example, the sequence of silica-phase transformation is the same as that in deep-sea siliceous sediments. In many silicified rocks, particularly in certain carbonates, the transformation sequence is different from that in radiolarites or diatomites. The chemical environment and conditions of early diagenetic chert formation in shallow water carbonates are delineated by the general mixing model of Knauth (1979), but remain unknown for most other types. An exception are the flint nodules and bands of the English Chalk. A detailed geochemical study of the paramoudra flint structures by Clayton (1986) provided remarkable insight into the replacement process. Seven different recurring silica fabrics have been recognized in chert-replaced carbonates including equigranular (microcrystalline quartz or microquartz and megaquartz) and fibrous types (chalcedony, quartzine or length-slow chalcedony, lutecite, zebraic chalcedony and microflamboyant quartz). Among the latter, quartzine and microflamboyant quartz are common in, but by no means restricted to chert-replaced evaporites, for which Milliken (1979) recognized a sequence of seven quartz-fabrics. As a single criterion, only anhydrite inclusions in megaquartz, quartzine or microflamboyant quartz provide unequivocal evidence for an evaporite precursor. The relative timing between silicification and well-established diagenetic carbonate reactions shows that virtually all theoretically possible sequences occur. Chertification of carbonate host sediment thus may take place during early

  15. Lead-isotopic, sulphur-isotopic, and trace-element studies of galena from the Silesian-Cracow Zn-Pb ores, polymetallic veins from the Gory Swietokrzyskie MTS, and the Myszkow porphyry copper deposit, Poland (United States)

    Church, S.E.; Vaughn, R.B.; Gent, C.A.; Hopkins, R.T.


    Lead-isotopic data on galena samples collected from a paragenetically constrained suite of samples from the Silesian-Cracow ore district show no regional or paragenetically controlled lead-isotopic trends within the analytical reproducibility of the measurements. Furthermore, the new lead-isotopic data agree with previously reported lead-isotopic results (R. E. Zartman et al., 1979). Sulfur-isotopic analyses of ores from the Silesian-Cracow district as well as from vein ore from the Gory Swietokrzyskie Mts. and the Myszkow porphyry copper deposit, when coupled with trace-element data from the galena samples, clearly discriminate different hydrothermal ore-forming events. Lead-isotopic data from the Permian and Miocene evaporite deposits in Poland indicate that neither of these evaporite deposits were a source of metals for the Silesian-Cracow district ores. Furthermore, lead-isotopic data from these evaporite deposits and the shale residues from the Miocene halite samples indicate that the crustal evolution of lead in the central and western European platform in southern Poland followed normal crustal lead-isotopic growth, and that the isotopic composition of crustal lead had progressed beyond the lead-isotopic composition of lead in the Silesian-Cracow ores by Permian time. Thus, Mesozoic and Tertiary sedimentary flysch rocks can be eliminated as viable source rocks for the metals in the Silesian-Cracow Mississippi Valley-type (MVT) deposits. The uniformity of the isotopic composition of lead in the Silesian-Cracow ores, when coupled with the geologic evidence that mineralization must post-date Late Jurassic faulting (E. Gorecka, 1991), constrains the geochemical nature of the source region. The source of the metals is probably a well-mixed, multi-cycle molasse sequence of sedimentary rocks that contains little if any Precambrian metamorphic or granitic clasts (S. E. Church, R. B. Vaughn, 1992). If ore deposition was post Late Jurassic (about 150 m. y.) or later

  16. The Northern Apennines palynological record as a contribute for the reconstruction of the Messinian palaeoenvironments (United States)

    Bertini, Adele


    The Messinian stage has long been associated with an overall warm and dry climate whereas recent researches indicate either a warm and humid or a cool and dry climate. The integrated stratigraphic record of vegetation and climatic changes from Northern Apennines sites provides the solution to this apparent contradiction. Its integration with the updated geological and sedimentological studies provides additional data for the reconstruction of the depositional palaeoenvironments in both marginal and deeper sub-basins of the Apennines foredeep. The onset of the Mediterranean salinity crisis (MSC) is recorded in the Gessoso-Solfifera of the Vena del Gesso (marginal sub-basin). Cyclical humid conditions, corresponding to precession minima, developed during the deposition of the shales interbedded with the gypsum (5.9 to 5.6 Ma); some cooler events took also place under the effects of global (glacial stadials) and regional factors (Apennines uplift). At present no major changes from moist to dry conditions are attested to just before the salinity crisis, as well as in Sicily. So climate did not play a major role in the onset of the MSC despite the favourable context provided by inferred thermo-xeric conditions in southern Italy. A drier episode indicated by the expansion of the open vegetation including the northward migration of Lygeum postdates the onset of the salinity crisis of about 400 kyr, in the lower post-evaporitic deposits of Maccarone (deeper sub-basin). It falls within a period of global warming whereas at a regional scale it could correlate p.p. to the evaporite deposition in deeper basins and to hiatuses in the marginal basins of Sicily and of the western sector of Northern Apennines. Its sudden end, about 100 kyr later, in coincidence with a significant increase of Pinaceae, indicates a turnover in the terrestrial setting not linked to major climate changes but possibly to a complex interaction between other palaeoenvironmental factors (e.g., tectonics

  17. "Let's take back our roots through Science". The Sicilian Sulfur: a mineralogical treasure to rediscover. (United States)

    Parisi, Bianca


    The name of sulfur is synonymous of Sicily! Sicilian Sulfur minerals and evaporitic deposits are well-known because they are connected with an important evolution stage of the old mediterranean area. In this Island, in the southern part of Italy, a geological formation of Messinian age, called "gessoso solfifera", outcrops. These rocks are widespread in the south and south-west Sicily, and, there, salt mines and "zolfare", sulfur mines, were located. The formation is characterized by large amounts of gypsum, potassium salts, sodium chlorates and other deposits. Most of the main mineralogical museum collections all over the world have at least a sample of one of these minerals that are usually characterized by a high aesthetic quality. When I proposed a lesson on the origin of sulfur in evaporitic rocks, I realized that an important part of the hystory of our region was in danger to be forgotten by younger generation. The exploitation of this mineral resource in the past is strictly linked to the troubled social and cultural transformation of Sicily during the last century. Thus, this is a particularly suitable topic for a multidisciplinary approach. In cooperation with the Mineralogical Museum (SteBiCeF Department, University of Palermo), a learning project was proposed to a group of 4th year high school students. It has been carrying on in order to develop the knowledge of the geological and chemical features of evaporitic deposits and to promote scientific abilities together with a better understanding of social-environmental issues. Project aims and activities include: ➢ Solubility and saturation experiments to reconstruct a simplified model of minerals deposition ➢ Working in groups: collection of data about old geological outcrops and current evaporating basins where rocks are forming in the world as well as information on sicilian mines from literature and historical documents (video, interviews, pictures, newspapers and others) ➢ a guided tour of the

  18. Late Permian topography at the southern margin of the Northern Permian Basin: Paleogeography inferred from 3D seismic analysis (United States)

    Clausen, Ole R.; Andresen, Katrine J.; Rasmussen, Jens A.


    The Top Pre Zechstein (TPZ) surface in the North Sea Basin is often mapped because it reveals the total basement tectonics in the area. In areas where Zechstein salt is present halokinetic processes, differential subsidence, and Mesozoic faulting however significantly alter the TPZ surface. The study area is located at the southern margin of the Northern Permian Basin in the eastern North Sea at the northern flank of the Ringkøbing-Fyn High. This area occurs approximately at the pinch-out line of the late Permian Zechstein salt and constitutes an excellent theater illustrating a range of salt-related problems. The TPZ surface is characterized by an overall NNW-ward dip defining the northern flank of the RFH and is transected by a set of NNW-SSE striking faults, and a E-W striking set of minor faults. Salt structures in the northern part of the study area introduce velocity pull-up (artefacts) at the TPZ surface and furthermore cause intense faulting of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic cover sediments. Pronounced isolated topographic highs similar to hills can be observed in the southern part of the study area where no to very little Zechstein evaporites are present. In the central part where Zechstein evaporites are present, small topographic highs similar to ridges can be observed at the footwall crest of minor faults. The Zechstein evaporites generally onlap towards the south in the study area but in the transitional zone around the hills, onlap from all directions onto the hills is observed. This suggests that the hills reflect paleo-topography developed during sub-aerial exposure before and perhaps during the deposition of the Zechstein sediments. The internal reflections within the hills show that they are composed of southward dipping sediments and very evident erosional truncations can be observed. The hills are aligned parallel to the major E-W striking basement fault, but are not directly associated to faults offsetting the TPZ surface. However, the alignment

  19. 'Cool-spring' carbonate deposystems, Eastern Alps: controls on formation and mineralogy. (United States)

    Sanders, D.; Wertl, W.


    With respect to their latitudinal and altitudinal range, 'cool'-spring associated limestones (SAL) are among the most widespread carbonate deposits on Earth. Aside of a review by Ford & Pedley (1996), however, no larger-scale perspective on controls over SAL deposition exists. Because of a common presence of SAL in the Eastern Alps, and because of a large range in altitude, geological substrates, and climate, the Alps are well-suited to better understand the formation of limestone-depositing spring. Our results indicate that presence and distribution of Eastern-Alpine SAL are mainly determined by rock substrate and tectonic structure, resulting in suited water chemistry, whereas 'climate' (mean annual temperature and precipitation, duration of snow cover) is of subsidiary influence only. The question for the relation of SAL to environment was approached by parameterized inspection of all available, printed geological maps of the Eastern Alps (status 2008; total number of maps inspected: 168); data extracted from maps for a total of 290 SAL deposits were entered into a database. The geological parameter set was compared with long-term records of temperature, precipitation, and snow cover. In addition, many SAL deposits fossil and active were inspected in the field. Selected active SAL deposits were investigated, since 2004, by diverse physico-chemical and biological methods. In the Eastern Alps, SAL are most common on substrata rich in marls (flysch) or fine-grained calcite (glacial lodgement till), and on substrata bearing sulfate evaporites (e. g. Triassic evaporites) and/or base metal sulfides in presence of carbonate minerals (e. g. calcareous phyllites of 'Bündnerschiefer' type). By combining high solubility (yielding Ca) with sulfate reduction (yielding bicarbonate), sulfate evaporites favour high-Ca/high-bicarbonate spring waters capable of limestone deposition. Oxidation of sulfide ores, present in (sub)economic deposits and/or as disseminated pyrite

  20. Influence of pre-salt topographic features on supra-salt deformation in Mediterranean basins: Geology vs. physical models (United States)

    Ferrer, Oriol; Vidal-Royo, Oskar; Gratacós, Oscar; Roca, Eduard; Muñoz, Josep Anton; Esestime, Paolo; Rodriguez, Karyna; Yazmin Piragauta, Mary; Feliu, Nil


    The presence of a thick Messinian evaporite unit is a well known feature of the Mediterranean basins. This salt unit is composed of three sub-units (Lower, Mobile and Upper Units) in the Northwest Mediterranean. In contrast, in the Eastern Mediterranean it is characterized by a multilayered evaporite sequence. In both regions the salt acted as a detachment favoring the downslope gravitational failure of the overlying sediments in a thin-skinned deformation regime (e.g. Liguro-Provençal or Levant basins). As a result, these salt-bearing passive margins exhibit the classical three-domain structural zonation characterized by upslope extension, intermediate translation and downslope contraction. Nevertheless, the presence of pre-salt reliefs (e.g. irregularly eroded palaeotopography or volcanic edifices) is rather common in the translational domain of the Northwestern Mediterranean (e.g. Liguro-Provençal and West Corsica margins). In this scenario, pre-salt reliefs act as flow barriers and hinder salt drainage. When their summit lies close or above the top salt, these structures may partially or fully block salt flow. They also disrupt locally the structural zonation of the passive margin and constrain cover deformation. In contrast, in the Eastern Mediterranean the Eratosthenes seamount is characterized by a large scale submerged massif (ca. 120 km in size) that significantly influenced the structural evolution of the surrounding areas. This inherited relief acted as a buttress and deflected the Messinian salt flow constraining supra-salt deformation (e.g. Levant Basin and Nile margin). In addition, the geometry of the Eratosthenes seamount also restrained the structural style of the allochthonous salt that was expulsed during the development of the Cyprus subduction zone to the north. Using an experimental approach (sandbox models) and new analysis techniques, we investigate salt and supra-salt deformation in response to two different types of pre-salt relief: 1

  1. Latest Miocene-Pliocene Tiliviche Paleolake, Atacama Desert, Northern Chile 19.5°S: Paleoclimatic and Paleohydrologic Implications (United States)

    Kirk-Lawlor, N. E.; Jordan, T. E.; Rech, J.; Lehmann, S.


    Endorheic paleolake deposits of diatomite, mudstone, sandstone, and evaporites are exposed in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. This study focuses on a major latest Miocene-Pliocene paleolake system centered at 19.5°S, near Tiliviche. A diatiomite unit, up to 35m thick, composed of 0.2-1.5m thick beds of massive, white diatiomite, free of plant matter and root traces, is interpreted have formed from lacustrine diatom blooms. At its maximum extent, the lake would have had a surface area of roughly 200 km2, based on the extent of the diatomite unit, and might have been 50-100 m deep, as inferred by the relationship between the diatomite unit and modern topography. The Tiliviche paleolake initially formed before 6.4 Ma, and much of its sedimentary record formed under a wetter climatic and hydrologic regime than the present. Prior to 3.5 Ma, the lake had evolved into a groundwater-fed saltpan. Polygonally fractured efflorescent halite evaporite and bedded gypsum and gypsarenite evaporite deposits that overlie the diatomite unit are evidence of this saltpan environment. The modern Atacama Desert is hyperarid, with an average precipitation of 2 mm/yr in the driest areas. The paleosol record demonstrates that hyperarid conditions dominated this region since the middle Miocene, albeit with multiple fluctuations to less arid conditions of short to moderately long duration. This hyperaridity is due to the desert’s latitude, ocean currents and the rainshadow created by the Andes. There is no evidence that the rainshadow effect has diminished since the late Miocene, hence global climate changes affecting ocean temperatures and atmospheric patterns likely caused the wetter periods in the Atacama. In particular, prior workers noted wetter conditions in the region ~6-5 Ma, followed by a return to hyper-arid conditions. The regional Pliocene return to hyperaridity coincided with the desiccation of the Tiliviche endorheic lake system. During the late Miocene (~6-5 Ma) wetter

  2. Along-strike variations of the External Betics basal detachment: Implications on the evolution of a curved FTB (United States)

    Jiménez-Bonilla, Alejandro; Torvela, Taija; Balanyá, Juan Carlos; Expósito, Inmaculada; Díaz-Azpiroz, Manuel


    Analogue models have successfully tested the role of different parameters on the orogenic curvature. Among them: (1) along-strike variations of the frictional properties of the detachment layer, (2) the topography of the basement, (3) the syn-tectonic sedimentation and/or erosion and (4) the indenter shape. Previous works have pointed out that, across-strike the central Betic fold-and-thrust belt (FTB), northern branch of the Gibraltar Arc, a change on the structural style and on the topographic envelope (α) coincide with the pinch-out of Triassic evaporites and with a change in the basement dip (β) that induced changes on the wedge geometry and the basal friction (Jiménez-Bonilla et al., 2016). In this work, we tried to constrain the external orogenic wedge geometry to study the evolution of the western Betics FTB and, comparing it with the central Betics FTB, to delve into the structural variations along-strike the Betic chain. In the present work, field data together with reflection seismic interpretations permit us to constrain the across-strike variations on the structural style of the western Betics FTB. The internal FTB is deformed by SW-NE, kilometric-scale, and non-cylindrical folds detached within Triassic evaporites. The middle FTB is characterized by the profusion of allochtonous Triassic mudstones and evaporites and it is deformed into a dextral transpressive band. In the frontal FTB, a Middle Miocene package, the Olistostromic Unit, is deformed by foreland-verging thrusts overlying paleomargin-derived units. Accordingly, these differences on the structural style across the western Betics FTB could be attributable to the variations on the frictional properties of the detachment level. Regarding the wedge geometry, the topographic relief envelope (α) of the western Betics FTB is similar to that one of the central Betics. However, β is significantly lower than in the central Betics (ca. 2° vs >4°). Moreover, neither Triassic pinch-out nor basement

  3. Sinkhole hazard assessment in Lesina Marina area (Apulia, Italy) (United States)

    Canora, F.; Caporale, F.; D'Angella, A.; Fidelibus, D.; Gutierrez, F.; Pellicani, R.; Spilotro, G.


    In "Lesina Marina" area, located in the north-western part of the Apulia region (Italy), near the Adriatic coast, sinkhole phenomena are particularly widespread and constitute a risk for the built-up area. These phenomena are due to the structure of the evaporitic rocks located in the study area and to the groundwater regime, influenced by the presence of a channel that connects the sea to the lagoon. The complex sea-channel-lagoon system produces an inland flow towards the channel modulated by the tide with a variable width according to the rules of the coastal aquifers. Further studies have been carried out in order to clarify the context and the causes of this instability phenomenon. A procedure for the sinkhole susceptibility and hazard assessment has been performed, in order to evaluate the spatial distribution of the most unstable areas and the potential spatio-temporal evolution of the phenomenon. The sinkhole susceptibility model has been created in GIS by assessing the spatial relationship between the sinkhole inventory map and a series of thematic maps relative to instability factors. The thematic layers selected for the study are nine and cover geometrical features of the surface, of the gypsum rockhead and of the incoherent soil cover, groundwater and daily and seasonal groundwater level variations. Daily groundwater variation in a semiconfined coastal aquifer can be related to the permeability and to the void structures of the evaporitic mass. In the years subsequent to 1980, when the first reports of the presence of sinkholes are dated, the evolution of these instabilities in terms of their number and of their increase of extension has been monitored with repeated surveys. These data were used for susceptibility model validation and to define the hazard model. The selected layers revealed to be very useful in describing and mapping the hazard coming from suffusion sinkholes in the study area. The sinkhole hazard assessment is carried out, according to

  4. Comparison of hydrothermal activity between the Adriatic and the Red Sea rift margins (United States)

    Ball, Philip; Incerpi, Nicolò; Birkle, Peter; Lacsamana, Elizabeth; Manatschal, Gianreto; Agar, Susan; Zhang, Shuo; Borsato, Ron


    Detailed field studies, and access to high-quality seismic reflection and refraction data have led to an improved understanding of the architecture and evolution of magma poor and magma rich margins. Associated with the spatial-temporal evolution of the rift, it is evident that there are evolving, extensive, fluid-rock interactions due to the infiltration of fluids within the sediment, basement and lithospheric mantle. Key questions therefore arise: What are the different fluid-rock reactions that can be typed to different geodynamic stages of the rift evolution? What are their compositions and how do they interact with their environment (basement, sediments, evaporites, hydrosphere, and magmatism)? What are the implications for the evolution of the margin rheology, thermal structure, depositional environments/organic matter maturity, and reservoir quality? The Adriatic paleo-rifted margin is preserved in both SE Switzerland and northern Italy. The field exposures provide a unique opportunity to study the fluid flow history of a hyperextended magma poor extensional margin. Analysis of breccias, cement veins and replacement minerals reveal that the margin records a complex, long-lasting history of dolomitization, calcification and silicification during the Jurassic rifting. The Red Sea by contrast is a young rifted margin. It differs from the paleo-Adriatic margin by several characteristics: volcanism is more evident, and syn-tectonic sediments, including evaporites (halite and anhydrite) are thicker. Several core and fluid samples are available from both onshore and offshore wells, which reveal rift-related hydrothermal alteration. In addition, we find evidence for the presence of an extreme dynamic hydraulic system with infiltration of surface water into sub-salt units during Late Pleistocene. In this study we present results from petrographic and geochemical analysis of basement and sedimentary rocks from Adriatic field-derived samples and core/subsurface fluid

  5. The Agost Basin (Betic Cordillera, Alicante province, Spain): a pull-apart basin involving salt tectonics (United States)

    Martín-Martín, Manuel; Estévez, Antonio; Martín-Rojas, Ivan; Guerrera, Francesco; Alcalá, Francisco J.; Serrano, Francisco; Tramontana, Mario


    The Agost Basin is characterized by a Miocene-Quaternary shallow marine and continental infilling controlled by the evolution of several curvilinear faults involving salt tectonics derived from Triassic rocks. From the Serravallian on, the area experienced a horizontal maximum compression with a rotation of the maximum stress axis from E-W to N-S. The resulting deformation gave rise to a strike-slip fault whose evolution is characterized progressively by three stages: (1) stepover/releasing bend with a dextral motion of blocks; (2) very close to pure horizontal compression; and (3) restraining bend with a sinistral movement of blocks. In particular, after an incipient fracturing stage, faults generated a pull-apart basin with terraced sidewall fault and graben subzones developed in the context of a dextral stepover during the lower part of late Miocene p.p. The occurrence of Triassic shales and evaporites played a fundamental role in the tectonic evolution of the study area. The salty material flowed along faults during this stage generating salt walls in root zones and salt push-up structures at the surface. During the purely compressive stage (middle part of late Miocene p.p.) the salt walls were squeezed to form extrusive mushroom-like structures. The large amount of clayish and salty material that surfaced was rapidly eroded and deposited into the basin, generating prograding fan clinoforms. The occurrence of shales and evaporites (both in the margins of the basin and in the proper infilling) favored folding of basin deposits, faulting, and the formation of rising blocks. Later, in the last stage (upper part of late Miocene p.p.), the area was affected by sinistral restraining conditions and faults must have bent to their current shape. The progressive folding of the basin and deformation of margins changed the supply points and finally caused the end of deposition and the beginning of the current erosive systems. On the basis of the interdisciplinary results

  6. Groundwater flow in a closed basin with a saline shallow lake in a volcanic area: Laguna Tuyajto, northern Chilean Altiplano of the Andes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Herrera, Christian, E-mail: [Departamento de Ciencias Geológicas, Universidad Católica del Norte, Casilla 1280, Antofagasta (Chile); Centro de Investigación Tecnológica del Agua en el Desierto (CEITSAZA), Universidad Católica del Norte, Casilla 1280, Antofagasta (Chile); Custodio, Emilio [Department of Geo-Engineering, Technical University of Catalonia/Barcelona Tech (UPC), Barcelona (Spain); Chong, Guillermo [Departamento de Ciencias Geológicas, Universidad Católica del Norte, Casilla 1280, Antofagasta (Chile); Lambán, Luis Javier [Geological Institute of Spain (IGME), Zaragoza (Spain); Riquelme, Rodrigo; Wilke, Hans [Departamento de Ciencias Geológicas, Universidad Católica del Norte, Casilla 1280, Antofagasta (Chile); Jódar, Jorge [Department of Geo-Engineering, Technical University of Catalonia/Barcelona Tech (UPC), Barcelona (Spain); Urrutia, Javier; Urqueta, Harry [Departamento de Ciencias Geológicas, Universidad Católica del Norte, Casilla 1280, Antofagasta (Chile); Centro de Investigación Tecnológica del Agua en el Desierto (CEITSAZA), Universidad Católica del Norte, Casilla 1280, Antofagasta (Chile); Sarmiento, Alvaro [Departamento de Ciencias Geológicas, Universidad Católica del Norte, Casilla 1280, Antofagasta (Chile); and others


    Laguna Tuyajto is a small, shallow saline water lake in the Andean Altiplano of northern Chile. In the eastern side it is fed by springs that discharge groundwater of the nearby volcanic aquifers. The area is arid: rainfall does not exceed 200 mm/year in the rainiest parts. The stable isotopic content of spring water shows that the recharge is originated mainly from winter rain, snow melt, and to a lesser extent from some short and intense sporadic rainfall events. Most of the spring water outflowing in the northern side of Laguna Tuyajto is recharged in the Tuyajto volcano. Most of the spring water in the eastern side and groundwater are recharged at higher elevations, in the rims of the nearby endorheic basins of Pampa Colorada and Pampa Las Tecas to the East. The presence of tritium in some deep wells in Pampa Colorada and Pampa Las Tecas indicates recent recharge. Gas emission in recent volcanoes increase the sulfate content of atmospheric deposition and this is reflected in local groundwater. The chemical composition and concentration of spring waters are the result of meteoric water evapo-concentration, water–rock interaction, and mainly the dissolution of old and buried evaporitic deposits. Groundwater flow is mostly shallow due to a low permeability ignimbrite layer of regional extent, which also hinders brine spreading below and around the lake. High deep temperatures near the recent Tuyajto volcano explain the high dissolved silica contents and the δ{sup 18}O shift to heavier values found in some of the spring waters. Laguna Tuyajto is a terminal lake where salts cumulate, mostly halite, but some brine transfer to the Salar de Aguas Calientes-3 cannot be excluded. The hydrogeological behavior of Laguna Tuyajto constitutes a model to understand the functioning of many other similar basins in other areas in the Andean Altiplano. - Highlights: • Recent volcanism formations play a key role in producing recharge. • Groundwater can flow across local

  7. The Affect of the Space Environment on the Survival of Halorubrum Chaoviator and Synechococcus (Nageli): Data from the Space Experiment OSMO on EXPOSE-R (United States)

    Mancinelli, R. L.


    We have shown using ESA's Biopan facility flown in Earth orbit that when exposed to the space environment for 2 weeks the survival rate of Synechococcus (Nageli), a halophilic cyanobacterium isolated from the evaporitic gypsum-halite crusts that form along the marine intertidal, and Halorubrum chaoviator a member of the Halobacteriaceae isolated from an evaporitic NaCl crystal obtained from a salt evaporation pond, were higher than all other test organisms except Bacillus spores. These results led to the EXPOSE-R mission to extend and refine these experiments as part of the experimental package for the external platform space exposure facility on the ISS. The experiment was flown in February 2009 and the organisms were exposed to low-Earth orbit for nearly 2 years. Samples were either exposed to solar ultraviolet (UV)-radiation (lambda is greater than 110 nm or lambda is greater than 200 nm, cosmic radiation (dosage range 225-320 mGy), or kept in darkness shielded from solar UV-radiation. Half of each of the UV-radiation exposed samples and dark samples were exposed to space vacuum and half kept at 105 pascals in argon. Duplicate samples were kept in the laboratory to serve as unexposed controls. Ground simulation control experiments were also performed. After retrieval, organism viability was tested using Molecular Probes Live-Dead Bac-Lite stain and by their reproduction capability. Samples kept in the dark, but exposed to space vacuum had a 90 +/- 5% survival rate compared to the ground controls. Samples exposed to full UV-radiation for over a year were bleached and although results from Molecular Probes Live-Dead stain suggested approximately 10% survival, the data indicate that no survival was detected using cell growth and division using the most probable number method. Those samples exposed to attenuated UV-radiation exhibited limited survival. Results from of this study are relevant to understanding adaptation and evolution of life, the future of life

  8. Interference between thick- and thin-skinned tectonics along mountain fronts. Example of the Andean foothill (Neuquén basin, Argentina) (United States)

    Nivière, B.; Messager, G.; Lacan, P.; Xavier, J.


    The Chihuido anticline (37°30'S-38°40'S and 69° W-70° W) in western Argentina underlines the eastern orogenic front of Andes. North-south-oriented, it is a crustal-scale anticline, 120 km long and 80 km wide. It culminates at 1500 m in elevation. It is limited to the west by the Agua Amarga syncline and by the deep-rooted Salado fault system late Cretaceous in age. The main river of the area, the Neuquén river, runs north-south behind the Chihuidos to the west in the Agua Amarga syncline. To the south, it bends to the east across the southern terminaison of the anticline. To the north, the northern end of the Chihuido had been cross cut by the Colorado river that currently flows 60 km farther to the north. Folding of terrace remnants of these rivers attests of a Pleistocene tectonic activity of the anticline. They appear clearly bended over a length of ca 30 km with an amplitude of 350 m at the apex. Behind the anticline above the Agua Amarga syncline, the rio Neuquén is depositing a strong thickness of alluvial deposits. Uplift of the anticline resulted in an increase of dip, to the west and to the east, of a decollement level made of the Huitrin evaporites Aptian in age. This tilt allowed decollement of pelicular shales and sandstones of the Rayoso formation and of the Cenamanian continental redbed clastics of the Neuquén group above it. This slide lead to the opening of valleys at the apex of the anticline, interprated as extrado tension gashes, and to the growth of superficial folds at the eastern toe of the Chihuido. These folds root in the Huitrin evaporites and achieve extension of the apex of the anticline. Farther to the west along the Salado fault system, vertical offset of Pleistocene alluvial fans with surface faulting attest of an on-going reactivation of the former mountain front. This reactivation is interprated as the consequence of the uplift of the Chihuido fold. The increase of dip of the decollement level beneath the former tectonic wedge

  9. Ephemeral Liquid Water at the Surface of Martian North Polar Cap (United States)

    Losiak, Anna; Czechowski, Leszek; Velbel, Michael A.


    Formation of large, young gypsum deposits within the Olympia Planum region has been an unsolved riddle since its discovery [1]. It was proposed that gypsum was formed by precipitation of water emanating from polar layered deposits [2]. However, it is improbable that a large amount of bulk water could exist under current Martian low atmospheric pressure sufficiently long to form the observed deposits [3]. One of the proposed solutions to this problem is that gypsum is formed due to weathering in the ice [3, 4, 5, 6]. However none of the previous papers have described this process in detail, tested whether it is possible under current Martian conditions, and defined the environmental properties required for this process to occur. The aim of this paper is to determine if solar irradiation available currently at the North Polar Cap (NPC) is sufficient to heat a basaltic dust grain enough to melt a thin layer of glacial ice located directly beneath it. The numerical model used here is based on a one dimensional, time-dependent equation of heat transfer [8]. The model is applicable for grains exposed on the south-facing side of the NPC spiral troughs, during the warmest days of the year (with average or low amount of dust in the atmosphere), when surface temperature reaches 215 K and solar radiation delivers >260 W m^-2 (on the inclined surface). Our calculations show that during the warmest days of summer, pure water-ice located below a dark dust particle lying on the equatorial-facing slopes of the Martian NPC can be melted. Melting occurs over a wide range of used parameters which shows that this phenomenon is relatively common (albeit localized). Our research shows that on the Martian NPC there can be a sufficient amount of transient, metastable liquid water for evaporites such as gypsum to form, as was hypothesized by [3, 4, 5, 6]. Additionally, bulk water surrounding dust grains near the surface and precipitating evaporitic minerals makes the NPC one of the most

  10. Zeolite Formation and Weathering Processes in Dry Valleys of Antartica: Martian Analogs (United States)

    Gibson, E. K., Jr.; Wentworth, S. J.; McKay, D. S.; Socki, R. A.


    Terrestrial weathering processes in cold-desert climates such as the Dry Valleys of Antarctica may provide an excellent analog to chemical weathering and diagenesis of soils on Mars. Detailed studies of soil development and the chemical and mineralogical alterations occurring within soil columns in Wright Valley, Antarctica show incredible complexity in the upper meter of soil. Previous workers noted the ice-free Dry Valleys are the best terrestrial approximations to contemporary Mars. Images returned from the Pathfinder and Spirit landers show similarities to surfaces observed within the Dry Valleys. Similarities to Mars that exist in these valleys are: mean temperatures always below freezing (-20 C), no rainfall, sparse snowfall-rapidly removed by sublimation, desiccating winds, diurnal freeze-thaw cycles (even during daylight hours), low humidity, oxidative environment, relatively high solar radiation and low magnetic fields . The Dry Valley soils contain irregular distributions and low abundances of soil microorganisms that are somewhat unusual on Earth. Physical processes-such as sand abrasion-are dominant mechanisms of rock weathering in Antarctica. However, chemical weathering is also an important process even in such extreme climates. For example, ionic migration occurs even in frozen soils along liquid films on individual soil particles. It has also been shown that water with liquid-like properties is present in soils at temperatures on the order of approx.-80 C and it has been observed that the percentage of oxidized iron increases with increasing soil age and enrichments in oxidized iron occurs toward the surface. The presence of evaporates is evident and appear similar to "evaporite sites" within the Pathfinder and Spirit sites. Evaporites indicate ionic migration and chemical activity even in the permanently frozen zone. The presence of evaporates indicates that chemical weathering of rocks and possibly soils has been active. Authogenic zeolites have

  11. Eolian dust forcing of river chemistry on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau since 8 Ma (United States)

    Yang, Yibo; Galy, Albert; Fang, Xiaomin; Yang, Rongsheng; Zhang, Weilin; Zan, Jinbo


    Eolian dust is one of the most important factors controlling fluvial hydrological evolution in modern arid and semi-arid central Asia. Here, we present the bulk carbonate Ca-Mg-Sr concentrations and Sr isotopic compositions recorded in water soluble salts, carbonate and silicate fractions, as well as the Nd isotopic compositions in the silicate fraction of a Late Miocene (12.2-5.1 Ma) fluvial sequence exhibiting paleosol development, in the Linxia Basin on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau (TP). Bulk carbonate Mg-Sr systematics show a distinct pattern in log-log plots of Mg/Ca versus log Sr/Ca ratios, and clearly higher 87Sr/86Sr ratios since ∼8 Ma. These findings cannot be adequately explained by the mechanism of prior calcite precipitation (PCP) - this latter process results in a positive correlation between the Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios in authigenic calcite, evident in the fixed gradient in their log-log plots and has been isolated as being the major factor controlling carbonate Mg-Sr systematics before 8 Ma. Nor can these findings be explained by other mechanisms related to the catchment's provenance/sedimentation. The dramatic changes in carbonate Sr contents, Sr isotopes, and Sr/Mg ratios since ∼8 Ma may therefore be inferred to have been triggered by significant inputs of eolian dust via the dissolution of dust carbonates and evaporites in the paleowaters where fluvial and paleosol carbonates precipitated. This process of eolian dust input can be reliably illustrated using a binary mixing model corresponding to a series of varying PCP fluxes (identical to processes affecting the area before 8 Ma) combined with a constant eolian influx calculated from the co-variations between Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca and Sr isotopic ratios. Eolian dust also leaves a fingerprint in the carbonate and silicate minerals of bulk sediments, as revealed respectively by their Sr and Nd isotopic compositions. Eolian dust compositions for the ∼8-5 Ma on the northeastern TP can thus be taken to

  12. Sedimentary response to halfgraben dipslope faults evolution -Billefjorden Trough, Svalbard. (United States)

    Smyrak-Sikora, Aleksandra; Kristensen, Jakob B.; Braathen, Alvar; Johannessen, Erik P.; Olaussen, Snorre; Sandal, Geir; Stemmerik, Lars


    Fault growth and linkage into larger segments has profound effect on the sedimentary architecture of rift basins. The uplifted Billefjorden Through located in central Spitsbergen is an excellent example of half-graben basin development. Detailed sedimentological and structural investigations supported by helicopter and ground base lidar scans along with photogrammetry analysis have been used to improve our understanding of the sedimentary response to faulting and along strike variations in footwall uplift and hanging wall subsidence. The early syn-rift basin fill, the Serpukhovian to Bashkirian Hultberget Formation and the Bashkirian Ebbaelven Member consists of fluvial to deltaic sandstones with minor marine incursions. During this early stage tens to hundred- meters-scale syn-tectonic faults disrupted the dipslope, and created local hanging wall depocentres where sediments were arrested. Changes in fluvial drainage pattern, development of small lacustrine basins along the faults, and the sharp based boundaries of some facies associations are interpreted as response to activity along these, mostly antithetic faults. The basin fill of the late syn-rift stage is composed of shallow marine to tidal mixed evaporite -carbonate facies in the hanging wall i.e. the Bashkirian Trikolorfjellet Member and the Moscovian Minkenfjellet Formation. These sediments interfinger with thick alluvial fan deposits outpouring from relay ramps on the master fault i.e. drainage from the footwall. The carbonate-evaporite cycles deposited on the hanging wall responded to both the eustatic sea level variations and tectonic movements in the rift basin. Intra-basinal footwall uplift of the dipslope controlled development of an internal unconformity and resulted in dissolution of the gypsum to produce stratiform breccia. In contrast thick gypsum-rich subbasins are preserved locally in hanging wall positions where they were protected from the erosion. The syn rift basin fill is capped by post

  13. The Messinian Salinity Crisis: what can we expect from drilling the perched basins from the Balearic Promontory? (United States)

    Johanna, Lofi; Angelo, Camerlenghi; Agnès, Maillard; Diana, Ochoa


    In spite of 40 years of multi-disciplinary research conducted on the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) event, modalities, timing, causes, chronology and consequence at local and planetary scale of this event are still not yet fully understood, and the MSC event remains one of the longest-living controversies in Earth Science. A key factor for the controversy is certainly the lack of a complete record of the MSC deposits preserved in the deepest Mediterranean basins. Anywhere else, on the continental shelves and slopes, the MSC mostly generated a sedimentary/time lag corresponding to a widespread erosional surface. Correlations with the depositional units locally preserved onshore are thus complex, preventing the construction of a coherent scenario linking the outcropping MSC evaporites, the erosion on the margins, and the deposition of clastics and evaporites in the abyssal plains. Recent works based on seismic profile interpretations and conducted on the Balearic promontory allowed to evidence a series of small perched basins presently lying in different water depths stepped from the coast line down to the deep basin. These topographic lows trapped sedimentary series up to 500m thick, interpreted as MSC in age (Maillard et al., 2014; Mocnik et al., 2014; Driussi et al., in press). In the most proximal basins, these deposits have been drilled and logged for industriel purposes and consist of gypsum beds interbedded with marls. Ochoa et al. (submitted) demonstrated that these MSC deposits correlate with the Primary Lower Gypsum sequence deposited in marginal settings before the drawdown phase (Lugli et al., 2010) and that are now observed onshore in tectonically active areas. The basins located in more distal locations also contain MSC deposits (including DREAM proposal) of a Multi-phase IODP Drilling Project entitled "Uncovering A Salt Giant" (857-MDP, coord. A. Camerlenghi). The DREAM Team: A. Giovanni, H. Christian, G. deLangeGert, R. Flecker, D. Garcia

  14. Paleoecology of Neoproterozoic hypersaline environments: Biomarker evidence for haloarchaea, methanogens, and cyanobacteria. (United States)

    Schinteie, R; Brocks, J J


    While numerous studies have examined modern hypersaline ecosystems, their equivalents in the geologic past, particularly in the Precambrian, are poorly understood. In this study, biomarkers from ~820 million year (Ma)-old evaporites from the Gillen Formation of the mid-Neoproterozoic Bitter Springs Group, central Australia, are investigated to elucidate the antiquity and paleoecology of halophiles. The sediments were composed of alternating laminae of dolomitized microbial mats and up to 90% anhydrite. Solvent extraction of these samples yielded thermally well-preserved hydrocarbon biomarkers. The regularly branched C25 isoprenoid 2,6,10,14,18-pentamethylicosane, the tail-to-tail linked C30 isoprenoid squalane, and breakdown products of the head-to-head linked C40 isoprenoid biphytane, were particularly abundant in the most anhydrite-rich sediments and mark the oldest current evidence for halophilic archaea. Linear correlations between isoprenoid concentrations (normalized to n-alkanes) and the anhydrite/dolomite ratio reveal microbial consortia that fluctuated with changing salinity levels. Halophilic archaea were the dominant organisms during periods of high salinity and gypsum precipitation, while bacteria were prevalent during stages of carbonate formation. The irregularly branched C25 isoprenoid 2,6,10,15,19-pentamethylicosane (PMI), with a central tail-to-tail link, was also abundant during periods of elevated salinity, highlighting the activity of methanogens. By contrast, the irregularly branched C20 isoprenoid 2,6,11,15-tetramethylhexadecane (crocetane) was more common in dolomite-rich facies, revealing that an alternate group of archaea was active during less saline periods. Elevated concentrations of isotopically depleted heptadecane (n-C17 ) revealed the presence of cyanobacteria under all salinity regimes. The combination of biomarkers in the mid-Neoproterozoic Gillen Formation resembles lipid compositions from modern hypersaline cyanobacterial mats

  15. A geochemical approach for assessing the possible uses of the geothermal resource in the eastern sector of the Sabatini Volcanic District (Central Italy) (United States)

    Cinti, Daniele; Tassi, Franco; Procesi, Monia; Brusca, Lorenzo; Cabassi, Jacopo; Capecchiacci, Francesco; Delgado Huertas, Antonio; Galli, Gianfranco; Grassa, Fausto; Vaselli, Orlando; Voltattorni, Nunzia


    The Sabatini Volcanic District (SVD) hosts a hydrothermal reservoir heated by the post-magmatic activity that affected the peri-Tyrrhenian sector of central Italy, giving rise to a number of thermal and mineral discharges. In this study, a complete geochemical and isotopic dataset based on the composition of 215 water and 9 bubbling gases, collected from the eastern sector of this huge hydrothermal system, is reported. The main aims are to (i) investigate the fluid sources and the main chemical-physical processes controlling the fluid chemistry and (ii) construct a conceptual fluid circulation model to provide insights into the possible use(s) of the geothermal resource. The fluid discharges are fed by two main aquifers, characterized by: (1) a Ca-HCO3 to Ca(Na)-HCO3 composition, typical of a shallow hydrological circuit within volcanic and sedimentary formations, and (2) a Ca-HCO3(SO4) to Na(Ca)-HCO3(Cl) composition, produced by the interaction of CO2-rich fluids with Mesozoic and Triassic carbonate-evaporite rocks. A thick sequence of low-permeability volcanic products represents a physical barrier between the two fluid reservoirs. As commonly occurring in central-southern Italy, CO2 is mainly produced by thermo-metamorphic decarbonation within the carbonate-evaporite reservoir, with minor contribution of mantle CO2. A dominant crustal source is also indicated by the relatively low R/Ra values (0.07-1.04). Methane and light hydrocarbons are mostly thermogenic, whereas H2S derives from thermogenic reduction of the Triassic anhydrites. Slightly positive 15N/14N values suggest minor N2 contribution from deep sedimentary sources. On the whole, a comparison of these geochemical features with those of the thermal fluids from the western portion of SVD highlights an eastward increasing influence of the shallow aquifer on the deep-originated fluids, likely caused by the proximity of the Apennine range from where the meteoric water, recharging the hydrothermal system

  16. The Lower Triassic Sorkh Shale Formation of the Tabas Block, east central Iran: Succesion of a failed-rift basin at the Paleotethys margin (United States)

    Lasemi, Y.; Ghomashi, M.; Amin-Rasouli, H.; Kheradmand, A.


    The Lower Triassic Sorkh Shale Formation is a dominantly red colored marginal marine succession deposited in the north-south trending Tabas Basin of east central Iran. It is correlated with the unconformity-bounded lower limestone member of the Elika Formation of the Alborz Mountains of northern Iran. The Sorkh Shale is bounded by the pre-Triassic and post-Lower Triassic interregional unconformities and consists mainly of carbonates, sandstones, and evaporites with shale being a minor constituent. Detailed facies analysis of the Sorkh Shale Formation resulted in recognition of several genetically linked peritidal facies that are grouped into restricted subtidal, carbonate tidal flat, siliciclastic tidal flat, coastal plain and continental evaporite facies associations. These were deposited in a low energy, storm-dominated inner-ramp setting with a very gentle slope that fringed the Tabas Block of east central Iran and passed northward (present-day coordinates) into deeper water facies of the Paleotethys passive margin of northern Cimmerian Continent. Numerous carbonate storm beds containing well-rounded intraclasts, ooids and bioclasts of mixed fauna are present in the Sorkh Shale Formation of the northern Tabas Basin. The constituents of the storm beds are absent in the fair weather peritidal facies of the Sorkh Shale Formation, but are present throughout the lower limestone member of the Elika Formation. The Tabas Block, a part of the Cimmerian continent in east central Iran, is a rift basin that developed during Early Ordovician-Silurian Paleotethys rifting. Facies and sequence stratigraphic analyses of the Sorkh Shale Formation has revealed additional evidence supporting the Tabas Block as a failed rift basin related to the Paleotethys passive margin. Absence of constituents of the storm beds in the fair weather peritidal facies of the Sorkh Shale Formation, presence of the constituents of the storm beds in the fair weather facies of the Elika Formation (the

  17. Tracking the multiple origins of salinity in three different karstic aquifers (southern France): Sr isotopes constraints. (United States)

    Le Gal La Salle, Corinne; Khaska, Mahmoud; Lancelot, Joël


    Groundwater resources of the Mediterranean area are submitted to a high anthropic pressure and face a set of major climatic and geological constraints. The potential exploitation of karst aquifers is still unclear and probably underestimated, but their vulnerability to pollution is high and potential for salinization in coastal aquifer increases with over exploitation and the rise of sea level. In order to trace the origin of salinity in karst aquifers in a Mediterranean coastal environment, a multi-tracer approach coupling major, specific trace elements and stable (δ18O, δ2H) and radiogenic (87Sr/86Sr) isotopes was held. Three close sites in southern France have been studied to investigate a different origin of the salinity. In the coastal karst aquifer of la Clape (Aude), salinity originated from deep salt water due to a paleoseawater intrusion followed by water-rock interaction with the carbonate host rock. On land and off-shore, powerful tertiary sedimentary deep deposits limit the karst network communications with the seawater. The presence of many faults could be a contributing factor to the mixing of salt water within the karst water. There it was shown that the paleoseawater proportions in the aquifer ranged from 0 to 16 %. Slightly further inland, in another similar karstic aquifer, the source of Oeillal (Aude) displayed a high salinity. Salinity most surely originated from deep horizons that come to the surface by a major normal fault where it mixes with karst waters. Deep brines from ancient meteoric water evolved by water-rock interaction with evaporites in the underlying Keuper formation. There calculated proportions of salt water into the mixture with karst water varied between 30 and 40%. In the third site located on the edge of the seawater shoreline, the simple limestone karst aquifer of Pliocene in Frontignan (Hérault) was under increasing salinity intrusion of seawater, which proportions of mixing between seawater and karst water varied from 2

  18. Late Miocene-Recent evolution of the Finike Basin and its linkages with the Beydağlari complex and the Anaximander Mountains, eastern Mediterranean (United States)

    Aksu, A. E.; Hall, J.; Yaltırak, C.; Çınar, E.; Küçük, M.; Çifçi, G.


    Interpretation of ~ 2500 km of high-resolution multi-channel seismic reflection profiles shows that the Finike Basin evolved during the Pliocene-Quaternary as the result of dramatic subsidence associated with loading of large imbricate thrust panels that carry the western Tauride Mountains in the north in the Late Miocene. The stacked, seaward prograded Quaternary deltas presently resting at 1000-1500 m water depths corroborate the rapid subsidence of the region. The ubiquitous presence of evaporites in the 2000-2400 m-deep Antalya Basin and their absence in the 3000-3200 m deep Finike Basin suggest that the morphology of the Finike Basin and environs must have been considerably different during the Messinian and that this region must have remained above the depositional base of evaporites during this time. The transition from the Messinian to the Pliocene-Quaternary is marked by partitioning of stress into several discrete spatial domains. A dextral strike-slip fault zone developed along the western Antalya Basin, extending from the apex of the Isparta Angle southward into the Anaximander Mountains. This fault zone, referred to as the Antalya Fault zone, transected the Anaximander Mountains (sensu lato) separating the Anaxagoras Mountain from the Anaximander and Anaximenes Mountains. Hence, the Finike Basin, Sırrı Erinç Plateau and the Anaximander and Anaximenes Mountains remained part of the onland Beydağları Block and experienced ~ 20° counterclockwise rotation during the Late Miocene. We envisage the boundaries of the Beydağları Block as the Burdur-Fethiye Fault zone in the west, the newly delineated Antalya Fault zone in the east and the east-west trending sector of the Sırrı Erinç Plateau in the southwest. Kinematic evaluation of the structural elements mapped across the Finike Basin and the Sırrı Erinç Plateau suggest that two additional strike-slip zones developed during the Pliocene-Quaternary relaying the stress between the Antalya Fault

  19. Evolution of rheologically heterogeneous salt structures: a case study from the NE Netherlands (United States)

    Raith, A. F.; Strozyk, F.; Visser, J.; Urai, J. L.


    The growth of salt structures is controlled by the low flow strength of evaporites and by the tectonic boundary conditions. The potassium-magnesium salts (K-Mg salts) carnallite and bischofite are prime examples of layers with much lower effective viscosity than halite: their low viscosity presents serious drilling hazards but also allows squeeze solution mining. In contrast, intrasalt anhydrite and carbonate layers (stringers) are much stronger than halite. These rheological contrasts within an evaporite body have an important control on the evolution of the internal structure of salt, but how this mechanical layering affects salt deformation at different scales is not well known. In this study, we use high-resolution 3-D seismic and well data to study the evolution of the Veendam and Slochteren salt pillows at the southern boundary of the Groningen High, northern Netherlands. Here the rock salt layers contain both the mechanically stronger Zechstein III Anhydrite-Carbonate stringer and the weaker K-Mg salts, thus we are able to assess the role of extreme rheological heterogeneities on salt structure growth. The internal structure of the two salt pillows shows areas in which the K-Mg salt-rich ZIII 1b layer is much thicker than elsewhere, in combination with a complexly ruptured and folded ZIII Anhydrite-Carbonate stringer. Thickness maps of supra-salt sediments and well data are used to infer the initial depositional architecture of the K-Mg salts and their deformation history. Results suggest that faulting and the generation of depressions on the top Zechstein surface above a Rotliegend graben caused the local accumulation of bittern brines and precipitation of thick K-Mg salts. During the first phase of salt flow and withdrawal from the Veendam area, under the influence of differential loading by Buntsandstein sediments, the ZIII stringer was boudinaged while the lens of Mg salts remained relatively undeformed. This was followed by a convergence stage, when the

  20. From outcrop and petrographic studies to basin-scale fluid flow modelling: The use of the Albanian natural laboratory for carbonate reservoir characterisation (United States)

    Vilasi, Nadège; Malandain, Julien; Barrier, Laurie; Callot, Jean-Paul; Amrouch, Khalid; Guilhaumou, Nicole; Lacombe, Olivier; Muska, Kristaq; Roure, François; Swennen, Rudy


    The Albanian fold-and-thrust belt and the Peri-Adriatic Depression are well documented by means of seismic reflection profiles, GPS reference points, potential data, wells and outcrops. The continuous Oligocene to Plio-Quaternary sedimentary records help to constrain both the burial history of Mesozoic carbonate reservoirs, the timing of their deformation, and the coupled fluid flow and diagenetic scenarios. Since the mid-90s, the Albanian foothills were used as a natural laboratory to develop a new integrated methodology and work flow for the study of sub-thrust reservoir evolution, and to validate on real case studies the use of basin modelling tools as well as the application of new analytical methods for the study petroleum systems in tectonically complex areas. The integration of the interactions between petrographic and microtectonic studies, kinematic, thermal and fluid flow basin modelling, is described in detail. The fracturing of the reservoir intervals has a pre-folding origin in the Albanides and relates to the regional flexuring in the foreland. The first recorded cement has a meteoric origin, implying downward migration and the development of an earlier forebulge in the Ionian Basin. This fluid, which precipitates at a maximum depth of 1.5 km, is highly enriched in strontium, attesting for important fluid-rock interaction with the Triassic evaporites, located in diapirs. From this stage, the horizontal tectonic compression increases and the majority of the fluid migrated under high pressure, characterised by brecciated and crack-seal vein. The tectonic burial increased due to the overthrusting, that is pointed out by the increase of the precipitation temperature of the cements. Afterwards, up- or downward migration of SO 42-, Ba 2+ and Mg 2+-rich fluids, which migrated probably along the décollement level, allows a precipitation in thermal disequilibrium. This period corresponds to the onset of the thrusting in the Ionian Zone. The last stage

  1. Cenozoic stratigraphy of the Sahara, Northern Africa (United States)

    Swezey, Christopher S.


    This paper presents an overview of the Cenozoic stratigraphic record in the Sahara, and shows that the strata display some remarkably similar characteristics across much of the region. In fact, some lithologies of certain ages are exceptionally widespread and persistent, and many of the changes from one lithology to another appear to have been relatively synchronous across the Sahara. The general stratigraphic succession is that of a transition from early Cenozoic carbonate strata to late Cenozoic siliciclastic strata. This transition in lithology coincides with a long-term eustatic fall in sea level since the middle Cretaceous and with a global climate transition from a Late Cretaceous–Early Eocene “warm mode” to a Late Eocene–Quaternary “cool mode”. Much of the shorter-term stratigraphic variability in the Sahara (and even the regional unconformities) also can be correlated with specific changes in sea level, climate, and tectonic activity during the Cenozoic. Specifically, Paleocene and Eocene carbonate strata and phosphate are suggestive of a warm and humid climate, whereas latest Eocene evaporitic strata (and an end-Eocene regional unconformity) are correlated with a eustatic fall in sea level, the build-up of ice in Antarctica, and the appearance of relatively arid climates in the Sahara. The absence of Oligocene strata throughout much of the Sahara is attributed to the effects of generally low eustatic sea level during the Oligocene and tectonic uplift in certain areas during the Late Eocene and Oligocene. Miocene sandstone and conglomerate are attributed to the effects of continued tectonic uplift around the Sahara, generally low eustatic sea level, and enough rainfall to support the development of extensive fluvial systems. Middle–Upper Miocene carbonate strata accumulated in northern Libya in response to a eustatic rise in sea level, whereas Upper Miocene mudstone accumulated along the south side of the Atlas Mountains because uplift of the

  2. Using remote sensing and GIS techniques to determine the tectonic significance of small-scale surface water runoff in Canyonlands National Park (United States)

    Levoir, M. A.; Mueller, K. J.


    The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park consists of brittle strata overlying plastically flowing evaporite deposits. These deposits are primary drivers of active extensional deformation in the overlying sandstone. Previous studies have analyzed the evolution of fault arrays at the surface and the plasticity of the evaporites. Initial research was done to show that surface water runoff, especially when piped into dilating faults, correlates with areas of higher rates of subsidence. In order to make these correlations, surface drainage networks (especially where crossing faults) needed to be analyzed at large and small scales. The best available data in the area are limited to a 5-meter resolution auto-correlated digital elevation model (DEM), stereo film imagery, high-resolution digital air photos, and a differential interferometric SAR data map. Several methodologies for mapping surface features were explored, including photogrammetry, aerial photo analysis, and hydrologic modeling. By using the available datasets and testing various software packages, we have determined a comprehensive and time-effective methodology for mapping, analyzing, and interpreting large- and small-scale hydrologic features. In order to obtain better small-scale modeling, a test DEM using photogrammetric methods successfully created a high-resolution model of the area, but was ultimately not used because the overall accuracy of the DEM was not as high as other available elevation data in the area. Maps of stream order, catchment boundaries, drainages piping directly into faults, and sinkholes were created at varying scales using the most accurate available DEMs and hydrologic modeling software. Piping drainages and sinkhole maps were made by hand. Each map was draped over the InSAR map and aerial imagery, and mapped surface features such as trunk streams at fault crossings, piping drainages, and catchment areas were correlated with areas of highest rates of subsidence (as defined

  3. Dissolved load transport in the Ebro River Basin (Spain): Impact of main lithologies and role of tributaries (United States)

    Petelet-Giraud, E.; Negrel, P. J.


    This study aims to evaluate, over more than 20 years, the export fluxes for dissolved loads at the Ebro River catchment scale. Data are compiled from the of the Confederacion Hidrografica del Ebro (CHE) databank. The spatial and temporal distribution of daily discharges, physico-chemical parameters and chemical data covering the last two decades (1981-2003) were investigated on five monitoring stations along the Ebro River (Mendavia, Castejon, Zaragoza, Sastago and Tortosa), as well as six stations at the outlet of the main tributaries (Arga, Aragon, Gallego, Jalon, Cinca and Segre). The dissolved load of the rivers at the Ebro Basin scale was characterized through the Electrical Conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS) and the major elements chemical data. The surface water can be classified into three main categories, a clear dominance of Ca-SO4 water type, a Ca-HCO3 type mainly encountered in the upper part of the basin and some data presenting a Na-Cl water type. The TDS values are highly variable, both in time and in space, in the range 390-1360 mg/L. The dissolved exportations to the Mediterranean Sea and the relative contribution of the different tributaries were calculated. The Ebro basin in its upper part (upstream Mendavia) contributes around 22.4% of the total exported flux near the outlet (Tortosa) over the studied period. The tributaries that mainly contribute to the total exported dissolved load are the Cinca and Segre (19% and 17% respectively). The Aragon, Gallego and Jalon contributions are very low, often less than 5% of the total exported flux. The specific TDS flux at the outlet of the Ebro is 70 +/- 23 t/km2/year and 108 +/- 24 t/km2/year upstream in Mendavia while the highest chemical erosion rate was calculated for the Arga with 251 +/- 55 t/km2/year. The dissolved export fluxes represent the major export from the Ebro basin, and the respective contribution of carbonate and evaporite (gypsum) with respect to the TDS was then calculated

  4. Nature and evolution of the Ionian basin: integration into the East Mediterranean Realm (United States)

    Tugend, Julie; Arsenikos, Stavros; Chamot-Rooke, Nicolas; Frizon de Lamotte, Dominique; Mohn, Geoffroy; Blanpied, Christian


    The East Mediterranean preserves a complex spatial and temporal succession of rift events from the Late Palaeozoic to Mesozoic times, eventually leading to extreme lithosphere thinning during the Triassic to Middle Jurassic and potentially associated with oceanic crust formation. The onset of convergence between Africa and Europe by the Late Cretaceous is accommodated by discontinuous reactivation and inversion episodes. In this tectonic context, many fundamental questions remain, related to (1) the nature (oceanic or not) of the East Mediterranean basement (including the Levant, Herodotus and Ionian basins) and (2) the age of formation of these deep basins. In this contribution, we focus on the Ionian basin that is remarkably well-preserved, considering that it is delimited to the north and north-west by the Hellenic and Calabrian subduction complexes. To the south, it is separated from the Sirt basin by a relative topographic high, the Cyrenaica ridge. However, the relation between these two basins remains poorly constrained. We use a set of academic seismic reflection data (mainly the IMERSE and ARCHIMEDE surveys) combined with the existing Expending Spread Profiles (from the PASIPHAE cruse) to propose a homogeneous seismic stratigraphy across the Ionian basin and characterize its velocity structure. The mapping of sedimentary sequences across the basin further confirmed the major role of NE-SW oriented structures that have been interpreted to be Late Miocene as they are almost directly sealed by Messinian evaporites. These NE-SW inverted structures control the deposition of Messinian evaporites, which, in turn, control the morphology of the Mediterranean deformation front. Sedimentary sequences have been identified deeper than previously assumed, confirming the occurrence of an extremely thinned basement (about 5 km thick). Furthermore, the interpretations of reflection seismic sections unravel the occurrence of deeply buried rift basins that are characterized

  5. Sources of groundwater salinity and potential impact on arsenic mobility in the western Hetao Basin, Inner Mongolia. (United States)

    Jia, Yongfeng; Guo, Huaming; Xi, Beidou; Jiang, Yonghai; Zhang, Zhuo; Yuan, Rongxiao; Yi, Weixiong; Xue, Xiaolei


    The quality of groundwater used for human consumption and irrigation in the Hetao Basin of Inner Mongolia, China is affected by elevated salinity as well as high arsenic (As) concentrations. However, the origin of high salinity and its potential impact on As mobility in the Basin remain unclear. This study explores both issues using stable isotopic compositions and Cl/Br ratios of groundwater as well as the major ions of both groundwater and leachable salts in aquifer sediments. Limited variations in δ(18)O and δ(2)H (-11.13 to -8.10, -82.23 to -65.67) with the wide range of Total Dissolved Solid (TDS, 351-6734mg/L) suggest less contribution of direct evaporation to major salinity in groundwater. Deuterium excess shows that non-direct evaporation (capillary evaporation, transpiration) and mineral/evaporite dissolution contribute to >60% salinity in groundwater with TDS>1000mg/L. Non-direct evaporation, like capillary evaporation and transpiration, is proposed as important processes contributing to groundwater salinity based on Cl/Br ratio and halite dissolution line. The chemical weathering of Ca, Mg minerals and evaporites (Na2SO4 and CaSO4) input salts into groundwater as well. This is evidenced by the fact that lacustrine environment and the arid climate prevails in Pleistocene period. Dissolution of sulfate salts not only promotes groundwater salinity but affects As mobilization. Due to the dissolution of sulfate salts and non-direct evaporation, groundwater SO4(2-) prevails and its reduction may enhance As enrichment. The higher As concentrations (300-553μg/L) are found at the stronger SO4(2-) reduction stage, indicating that reduction of Fe oxide minerals possibly results from HS(-) produced by SO4(2-) reduction. This would have a profound impact on As mobilization since sulfate is abundant in groundwater and sediments. The evolution of groundwater As and salinity in the future should be further studied in order to ensure sustainable utilization of water

  6. Geochemistry of groundwater in the Beaver and Camas Creek drainage basins, eastern Idaho (United States)

    Rattray, Gordon W.; Ginsbach, Michael L.


    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, is studying the fate and transport of waste solutes in the eastern Snake River Plain (ESRP) aquifer at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in eastern Idaho. This effort requires an understanding of the natural and anthropogenic geochemistry of groundwater at the INL and of the important physical and chemical processes controlling the geochemistry. In this study, the USGS applied geochemical modeling to investigate the geochemistry of groundwater in the Beaver and Camas Creek drainage basins, which provide groundwater recharge to the ESRP aquifer underlying the northeastern part of the INL. Data used in this study include petrology and mineralogy from 2 sediment and 3 rock samples, and water-quality analyses from 4 surface-water and 18 groundwater samples. The mineralogy of the sediment and rock samples was analyzed with X-ray diffraction, and the mineralogy and petrology of the rock samples were examined in thin sections. The water samples were analyzed for field parameters, major ions, silica, nutrients, dissolved organic carbon, trace elements, tritium, and the stable isotope ratios of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen. Groundwater geochemistry was influenced by reactions with rocks of the geologic terranes—carbonate rocks, rhyolite, basalt, evaporite deposits, and sediment comprised of all of these rocks. Agricultural practices near and south of Dubois and application of road anti-icing liquids on U.S. Interstate Highway 15 were likely sources of nitrate, chloride, calcium, and magnesium to groundwater. Groundwater geochemistry was successfully modeled in the alluvial aquifer in Camas Meadows and the ESRP fractured basalt aquifer using the geochemical modeling code PHREEQC. The primary geochemical processes appear to be precipitation or dissolution of calcite and dissolution of silicate minerals. Dissolution of evaporite minerals, associated with Pleistocene Lake

  7. Dzhezkazgan and associated sandstone copper deposits of the Chu-Sarysu basin, Central Kazakhstan (United States)

    Box, Stephen E.; Seltmann, Reimar; Zientek, Michael L.; Syusyura, Boris; Creaser, Robert A.; Dolgopolova, Alla


    Sandstone-hosted copper (sandstone Cu) deposits occur within a 200-km reach of the northern Chu-Sarysu basin of central Kazakhstan (Dzhezkazgan and Zhaman-Aibat deposits, and the Zhilandy group of deposits). The deposits consist of Cu sulfide minerals as intergranular cement and grain replacement in 10 ore-bearing members of sandstone and conglomerate within a 600- to 1,000-m thick Pennsylvanian fluvial red-bed sequence. Copper metal content of the deposits ranges from 22 million metric tons (Mt, Dzehzkazgan) to 0.13Mt (Karashoshak in the Zhilandy group), with average grades of 0.85 to 1.7% Cu and significant values for silver (Ag) and rhenium (Re). Broader zones of iron reduction (bleaching) of sandstones and conglomerates of the red-bed sequence extend over 10 km beyond each of the deposits along E-NE-trending anticlines, which began to form in the Pennsylvanian. The bleached zones and organic residues within them are remnants of ormer petroleum fluid accumulations trapped by these anticlines. Deposit sites along these F1anticlines are localized at and adjacent to the intersections of nearly orthogonal N-NW-trending F2synclines. These structural lows served to guide the flow of dense ore brines across the petroleum-bearing anticlines, resulting in ore sulfide precipitation where the two fluids mixed. The ore brine was sourced either from the overlying Early Permian lacustrine evaporitic basin, whose depocenter occurs between the major deposits, or from underlying Upper Devonian marine evaporites. Sulfur isotopes indicate biologic reduction of sulfate but do not resolve whether the sulfate was contributed from the brine or from the petroleum fluids. New Re-Os age dates of Cu sulfides from the Dzhezkazgan deposit indicate that mineralization took place between 299 to 309 Ma near the Pennsylvanian-Permian age boundary. At the Dzhezkazgan and some Zhilandy deposits, F2fold deformation continued after ore deposition. Copper orebodies in Lower Permian

  8. Complex deformation associated with anhydrite layers in the Tromsø Basin, SW Barents Sea. (United States)

    Marfo, George; Olakunle Omosanya, Kamaldeen; Johansen, Ståle Emil; Zervas, Ioannis


    Internal and external deformation associated with salt structures is of prime interest due to their economic importance as hydrocarbon seals, reservoirs, repositories for chemical waste and their implication on drilling. Salt structures are often associated with anhydrites, which may 'cap' or are enclosed within the allochthonous salt structures. Despite their economic importance, the internal and external structures of evaporites remain poorly studied from field and seismic data due to the sparse outcrops of evaporites and poor seismic imaging. The zero-phased, normal polarity, high resolution multiple 2D seismic data, in combination with detailed interpretation of wireline logs provide an excellent study into the salt structures, and offers a good opportunity to investigate the dynamics, geometries and mechanisms driving deformation of internal and external salt layers associated with the Late Carboniferous to Early Permian Salt structures in the Tromsø Basin. The methods include seismic interpretation and the application of multiple seismic attributes to map stratigraphic units and discontinuities. Our results show that the anhydrite layers are marked by high amplitude reflections at the crests and flanks or fully enclosed within the salt diapirs. Crestal and lateral anhydrite caprocks represent external salt structures whilst the entrained anhydrites or stringers are intrasalt structures. Anhydrite caprocks generally show structural styles such as faults and large-scale folds which are harmonic to the top salt structure. In contrast, anhydrite stringers show folds of varying scale, which are harmonic to disharmonic to the top salt structure. Boudins and steeply dipping stringer fragments are also interpreted within the stringers. Caprock deformation is attributed to salt upwelling. Folding and boudinaging of originally horizontal and continuous stringer layers formed from a multiphase superimposed sequence of ductile and brittle deformation in response to

  9. Sill emplacement and corresponding ground deformation processes at the Alu-Dalafilla volcanic centre in the Danakil Depression, Ethiopia (United States)

    Magee, Craig; Bastow, Ian; Hetherington, Rachel; van Wyk de Vries, Ben; Jackson, Christopher


    evaporitic host rock sequence. Important consequences of the shift to sill-dominated magmatism in the Danakil Depression include: (i) roof uplift induced by sill intrusion may not directly relate to the emplaced magma volume if intrusion promotes ductile deformation of the host evaporitic sequence (Schofield et al. 2014), implying that InSAR studies of ground deformation, crucial to volcanic hazard assessment, may under-estimate intruded magma volumes; and (ii) sill volumes are not incorporated into total melt volume estimates, which are used to constrain lithospheric processes active during continental break-up.

  10. Structure of an inverted basin from subsurface and field data: the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Maestrat Basin (Iberian Chain)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nebot, M.; Guimera, J.


    The Maestrat Basin experienced two main rifting events: Late Permian-Late Triassic and Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous, and was inverted during the Cenozoic Alpine orogeny. During the inversion, an E-W-trending, N-verging fold-and-thrust belt developed along its northern margin, detached in the Triassic evaporites, while southwards it also involved the Variscan basement. A structural study of the transition between these two areas is presented, using 2D seismic profiles, exploration wells and field data, to characterize its evolution during the Mesozoic extension and the Cenozoic contraction. The S-dipping Maestrat basement thrust traverses the Maestrat Basin from E to W; it is the result of the Cenozoic inversion of the lower segment–within the acoustic basement–of the Mesozoic extensional fault system that generated the Salzedella sub-basin. The syn-rift Lower Cretaceous rocks filling the Salzedella sub-basin thicken progressively northwards, from 350m to 1100m. During the inversion, a wide uplifted area –40km wide in the N-S direction– developed in the hanging wall of the Maestrat basement thrust. This uplifted area is limited to the North by the E-W-trending Calders monocline, whose limb is about 13km wide in its central part, dips about 5ºN, and generates a vertical tectonic step of 800-1200m. We interpreted the Calders monocline as a fault-bend fold; therefore, a flat-ramp-flat geometry is assumed in depth for the Maestrat basement thrust. The northern synformal hinge of the Calders monocline coincides with the transition from thick-skinned to thin-skinned areas. The vast uplifted area and the low-dip of the monocline suggest a very low-dip for the basement ramp, rooted in the upper crust. The Calders monocline narrows and disappears laterally, in coincidence with the outcrop of the Maestrat basement thrust. The evaporitic Middle Muschelkalk detachment conditioned the structural style. Salt structures are also related to it; they developed during the

  11. Potassium isotope fractionation between K-salts and saturated aqueous solutions at room temperature: Laboratory experiments and theoretical calculations (United States)

    Li, Weiqiang; Kwon, Kideok D.; Li, Shilei; Beard, Brian L.


    Improvements in mass spectrometry have made it possible to identify naturally occurring K isotope (39K/41K) variability in terrestrial samples that can be used in a variety of geological and biological applications that involve cycling of K such as clay or evaporite formation. However, our ability to interpret K isotope variability is limited by a poor understanding of how K isotopes are fractionated at low temperatures. In this study, we conducted recrystallization experiments of eight K-salts in order to measure the K isotope fractionation factor between the salt and the saturated K solution (Δ41Kmin-sol). Measured Δ41Kmin-sol are +0.50‰ for K2CO3·1.5H2O, +0.32‰ for K2SO4, +0.23‰ for KHCO3, +0.06‰ for K2C2O4·H2O, +0.02‰ for KCl, -0.03‰ for K2CrO4, -0.15‰ for KBr, and -0.52‰ for KI. Overall the Δ41Kmin-sol decreases with increasing r for K in crystals, where r is the average distance between a K atom and its neighboring atoms of negative charge. Salts with monovalent anions and salts with divalent anion complexes define different linear trends with distinct slopes on a plot of Δ41Kmin-sol - r. We applied ab initio lattice dynamics and empirical crystal-chemistry models to calculation of K isotope fractionation factors between K salts; both methods showed that the calculated inter-mineral K isotope fractionation factors (Δ41Kmin-KCl) are highly consistent with experimentally derived Δ41Kmin-KCl under the assumption of consistent β factors for different saturated K solutions. Formulations for the crystal-chemistry model further indicate that both anion charge and bond length r are the principle controlling factors for K isotope fractionation, and the K isotope fractionation factors correlate with r following a 1/r3 relationship. Our experiment and theoretical study confirms the existence of significant equilibrium K isotope fractionation at ambient conditions, and the K isotope fractionation factors for halides and sulfate obtained in this

  12. Room Q data report: Test borehole data from April 1989 through November 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jensen, A.L. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Howard, C.L. [RE/SPEC, Inc., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Jones, R.L.; Peterson, T.P. [Tech. Reps., Inc., Albuquerque, NM (United States)


    Pore-pressure and fluid-flow tests were performed in 15 boreholes drilled into the bedded evaporites of the Salado Formation from within the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The tests measured fluid flow and pore pressure within the Salado. The boreholes were drilled into the previously undisturbed host rock around a proposed cylindrical test room, Room Q, located on the west side of the facility about 655 m below ground surface. The boreholes were about 23 m deep and ranged over 27.5 m of stratigraphy. They were completed and instrumented before excavation of Room Q. Tests were conducted in isolated zones at the end of each borehole. Three groups of 5 isolated zones extend above, below, and to the north of Room Q at increasing distances from the room axis. Measurements recorded before, during, and after the mining of the circular test room provided data about borehole closure, pressure, temperature, and brine seepage into the isolated zones. The effects of the circular excavation were recorded. This data report presents the data collected from the borehole test zones between April 25, 1989 and November 25, 1991. The report also describes test development, test equipment, and borehole drilling operations.

  13. Experimental determination of acetylene and ethylene solubility in liquid methane and ethane: Implications to Titan's surface (United States)

    Singh, S.; Combe, J.-Ph.; Cordier, D.; Wagner, A.; Chevrier, V. F.; McMahon, Z.


    In this study, the solubility of acetylene (or ethyne, C2H2) and ethylene (or ethene, C2H4) in liquid methane (CH4) and ethane (C2H6) has been experimentally determined at Titan surface temperature (90 K) and pressure (1.5 bars). As predicted by theoretical models, the solubilities of acetylene and ethylene are very large at Titan temperature and these species are most likely to be abundantly present in the lakes and as evaporites on the shores or dry lake beds. Our results indicate the solubility of 4.9 × 10-2 mole fraction for acetylene in methane and 48 × 10-2 mole fraction in ethane; for ethylene, 5.6 × 10-1 mole fraction in methane and 4.8 × 10-1 mole fraction in ethane. Assuming the mole fractions from atmospheric models in the lower stratosphere and equilibrium with the surface, we determined that the lakes on Titan that cover ∼400,000 km2 are not saturated. The liquid lakes on Titan act as an important reservoir for both acetylene and ethylene. Assuming difference of methane and ethane content in the lakes at different latitudes, the difference in solubility in liquid methane and ethane, solutes in lakes may change with the temporal evolution (such as; evaporation and condensation) over seasons and geological time scales.

  14. The origin of salt-encased sediment packages: Observations from the SE Precaspian Basin (Kazakhstan) (United States)

    Fernandez, Naiara; Duffy, Oliver B.; Hudec, Michael R.; Jackson, Martin P. A.; Burg, George; Jackson, Christopher A.-L.; Dooley, Tim P.


    Intrasalt sediment packages containing siliciclastic sediments, carbonate sediments, or non-halite evaporites such as gypsum or anhydrite are common within most salt sequences. Intrasalt sediment packages may have been deposited before, during, or after salt deposition and be incorporated into the salt by various processes. Understanding the origin and evolution of intrasalt sediment packages may yield important insights into the tectonic and geodynamic history of the basin, and also into the understanding of salt tectonics. Despite the importance of intrasalt sediment packages, currently there is no systematic description of their possible origins and their distinguishing criteria. This work is divided into three parts. The first part outlines the possible origins of intrasalt sediment packages, as well as criteria to determine if they originated as subsalt, suprasalt or intrasalt sequences. The second part examines how sediment packages that originated on top of salt, such as minibasins, can be encased within salt. Four key encasement processes are proposed: a) salt expulsion from beneath a minibasin experiencing density-driven subsidence; b) salt expulsion from beneath adjacent subsiding minibasins; c) salt expulsion associated with lateral shortening; d) override of minibasins by a salt sheet sourced from elsewhere. The third part of the paper presents a case study from the SE Precaspian Basin, Kazakhstan, where, using a borehole-constrained 3D seismic reflection dataset, the proposed criteria are applied to an area with abundant, newly discovered sediment packages within salt.

  15. Structure and evolution of a rocksalt-mudrock-tectonite: The haselgebirge in the Northern Calcareous Alps (United States)

    Leitner, Christoph; Neubauer, Franz; Urai, János L.; Schoenherr, Johannes


    The Northern Calcareous Alps are part of the Eastern Alps in Austria and Germany. The Mesozoic units of this fold-and-thrust belt were detached, thrusted and stacked along the evaporitic Haselgebirge Formation. Exposed in salt mines, rocksalt and mudrock form a two component tectonite: The rock type “haselgebirge” consists of 10–70 wt % halite with silt- to gravel- or block-sized components within a halite matrix, and the “kerngebirge” with >70 wt % halite. All rock types studied are fault rocks. By use of a temperature-independent subgrain size piezometer, the paleo-differential stress of halite was calculated at ca. 2.5 MPa in Altaussee and ca. 4.5 MPa in Berchtesgaden. Including data from a grain-size piezometer, temperatures were estimated at ca. 150 ± 20 °C and 110 ± 10 °C. This implies very high strain rates, which are about 10−10–10−9 s−1. During the tectonic movement, the halite deformed, recrystallized, and crystallized as veins in mudrock fractures. We interpret high overpressure of the pore fluid to have significantly contributed to fracturing of the mudrock. PMID:26523077

  16. Microbially induced sedimentary structures in evaporite–siliciclastic sediments of Ras Gemsa sabkha, Red Sea Coast, Egypt

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    Amany G. Taher


    Full Text Available The coastal sabkha in Ras Gemsa, Red Sea coast with its colonizing microbial mats and biofilms was investigated. The sabkha sediments consist mainly of terrigenous siliciclastic material accompanied by the development of evaporites. Halite serves as a good conduit for light and reduces the effect of intensive harmful solar radiation, which allows microbial mats to survive and flourish. The microbial mats in the evaporite–siliciclastic environments of such sabkha display distinctive sedimentary structures (microbially induced sedimentary structures, including frozen multidirected ripple marks, salt-encrusted crinkle mats, jelly roll structure, and petee structures. Scanning electron microscopy of the sediment surface colonized by cyanobacteria revealed that sand grains of the studied samples are incorporated into the biofilm by trapping and binding processes. Filamentous cyanobacteria and their EPS found in the voids in and between the particles construct a network that effectively interweaves and stabilizes the surface sediments. In advanced stages, the whole surface is covered by a spider web-like structure of biofilm, leading to a planar surface morphology. Sabkha with its chemical precipitates is a good model for potential preservation of life signatures. It is worthy to note that the available, published works on the subject of the present work are not numerous.

  17. Evidence of mud diapirism and coral colonies in the ionian sea (central mediterranean from high resolution chirp sonar survey

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    C. Corselli


    Full Text Available A chirp sonar survey in the Ionian Sea investigated the Calabrian margin, the Calabrian accretionary wedge, the Taranto Trench and the Apulian foreland. Shallow tectonics structures have been related to deeper ones, recognised on CROP seismic profiles. The identified echo characters have been compared with those described in the modern literature and have been related to different kinds of sediments, on the basis of core samples. Based on echo character and morphology we have recognised: 1 A widespread presence of mounds, up to 50 m high, occurring on the Apulian plateau as isolated mounds in the deepest zones (1600-800 m and in groups in the shallower ones (800-600 m; they have been interpreted as coral mounds, according to a recent discovery of living deep water coral colonies in this zone. 2 Some mud diapirs, isolated or in groups of two or three elements, widespread in the whole study area. In analogy of what has been observed on the Mediterranean Ridge, their presence suggests the activity of deep tectonic structures (thrusts and faults and a reduced thickness (or absence of Messinian evaporites in this part of the Ionian Sea.

  18. The Triassic-Liassic volcanic sequence and rift evolution in the Saharan Atlas basins (Algeria). Eastward vanishing of the Central Atlantic magmatic province

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meddah, A.; Bertrand, H.; Seddiki, A.; Tabeliouna, M.


    We investigate the Triassic-Liassic sequence in ten diapirs from the Saharan Atlas (Algeria). Based on detailed mapping, two episodes are identified. The first one consists of a volcano-sedimentary sequence in which three volcanic units were identified (lower, intermediate and upper units). They are interlayered and sometimes imbricated with siliciclastic to evaporitic levels which record syn-sedimentary tectonics. This sequence was deposited in a lagoonal-continental environment and is assigned to the Triassic magmatic rifting stage. The second episode, lacking lava flows (post magmatic rifting stage), consists of carbonate levels deposited in a lagoonal to marine environment during the Rhaetian-Hettangian. The volcanic units consist of several thin basaltic flows, each 0.5 to 1m thick, with a total thickness of 10–15m. The basalts are low-Ti continental tholeiites, displaying enrichment in large ion lithophile elements and light rare earth elements [(La/Yb)n= 2.5-6] with a negative Nb anomaly. Upwards decrease of light-rare-earth-elements enrichment (e.g. La/Yb) is modelled through increasing melting rate of a spinel-bearing lherzolite source from the lower (6–10wt.%) to the upper (15–20wt.%) unit. The lava flows from the Saharan Atlas share the same geochemical characteristics and evolution as those from the Moroccan Atlas assigned to the Central Atlantic magmatic province. They represent the easternmost witness of this large igneous province so far known.

  19. Measurements of the Suitability of Large Rock Salt Formations for Radio Detection of High-Energy Neutrinos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Odian, Allen C.


    We have investigated the possibility that large rock salt formations might be suitable as target masses for detection of neutrinos of energies about 10 PeV and above. In neutrino interactions at these energies, the secondary electromagnetic cascade produces a coherent radio pulse well above ambient thermal noise via the Askaryan effect. We describe measurements of radio-frequency attenuation lengths and ambient thermal noise in two salt formations. Measurements in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), located in an evaporite salt bed in Carlsbad, NM yielded short attenuation lengths, 3-7 m over 150-300 MHz. However, measurements at United Salt's Hockley mine, located in a salt dome near Houston, Texas yielded attenuation lengths in excess of 250 m at similar frequencies. We have also analyzed early ground-penetrating radar data at Hockley mine and have found additional evidence for attenuation lengths in excess of several hundred meters at 440 MHz. We conclude that salt domes, which may individually contain several hundred cubic kilometer water-equivalent mass, provide attractive sites for next-generation high-energy neutrino detectors.

  20. SIRIP exploration in offshore area of Persian Gulf Bahrgan Sar and Nowruz oil fields discoveries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prosdocimo, L.; Aftabrushad, M.


    SIRIP (Societe Irano-Italienne des Petroles) explored the N. offshore part of the Persian Gulf, the E. slope of central Zagros Mts., and the N. block of Oman Gulf. Marine seismic exploration, surface geologic studies, and exploratory drilling resulted in the discovery of Bahrgan Sar and Nowrouz oil fields in the Persian Gulf. These oil fields are essentially structural. The Bahrgan Sar field produces from Asmari (Oligocene) and Saravak (Cretaceous) limestones and dolomites. Possible future reservoirs are Ghar Formation (Miocene), Nahr Umr and Yamama formations, both of Cretaceous age. The Nowrouz field produces only from the Nahr Umr Formation. The oldest rocks encountered in the Persian Gulf belong to Lower and Middle Jurassic age. These are overlain by thick sections of Cretaceous and Tertiary rocks. The lithologic succession in the Persian Gulf is predominantly marine carbonates, ranging from argillaceous and chalky limestones to dolomitric limestones and dolomites interbedded with marl and shale sections. Evaporite beds occur in Rus (lower Eocene) and Hith-Gotnia (Upper Jurassic) formations.

  1. Caves and Karsts of Northeast Africa.

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    Halliday William R.


    Full Text Available At least potentially karstifiable rocks cover much of the surface of Egypt and northern Libya. Study of caves and other karstic features of this region has been hampered by lack of roads, rapid disintegration of the surface of friable, poorly consolidated limestone, wind-blown sand and other factors. Interbedding with marly aquicludes hampers speleogenesis locally. Calcareous and evaporite karsts are present, however, and their waters are important albeit generally limited resources. Large quantities of fresh water are lost through submarine springs downslope from Libya’s Gebel al Akhdar range; the caves and karst of that range may be among the world’s greatest. A recent attempted compendium of caves and karsts of Egypt and Libya contains several important errors; the supposed 5+ km Ain Zayanah Cave does not exist and the Zayanah System includes several smaller caves. The Bir al Ghanam gypsum karst of northwest Libya, however, has caves up to 3.5 km long. In Egypt, the Mokattam, South Galala, Ma’aza, Siwa and Western Desert karsts and the “White Desert” chalk karst of Farafra Depression are especially important. Qattara and nearby depressions may be karstic rather than structural in origin. Unique Wadi Sannur Cave is the world’s largest gour and a potential World Heritage site. Little knownsandstone karsts or pseudokarsts in southwestern Egypt may contain analogues of features recently identified on Mars. The well-publicised Uweinat caves of northwestern Sudan are talus caves.

  2. Shock Re-equilibration of Fluid Inclusions (United States)

    Madden, M. E. Elwood; Horz, F.; Bodnar, R. J.


    Fluid inclusions (microscopic volumes of fluid trapped within minerals as they precipitate) are extremely common in terrestrial minerals formed under a wide range of geological conditions from surface evaporite deposits to kimberlite pipes. While fluid inclusions in terrestrial rocks are nearly ubiquitous, only a few fluid inclusion-bearing meteorites have been documented. The scarcity of fluid inclusions in meteoritic materials may be a result of (a) the absence of fluids when the mineral was formed on the meteorite parent body or (b) the destruction of fluid inclusions originally contained in meteoritic materials by subsequent shock metamorphism. However, the effects of impact events on pre-existing fluid inclusions trapped in target and projectile rocks has received little study. Fluid inclusions trapped prior to the shock event may be altered (re-equilibrated) or destroyed due to the high pressures, temperatures, and strain rates associated with impact events. By examining the effects of shock deformation on fluid inclusion properties and textures we may be able to better constrain the pressure-temperature path experienced by terrestrial and meteoritic shocked materials and also gain a clearer understanding of why fluid inclusions are rarely found in meteorite samples.

  3. Acidophilic halophilic microorganisms in fluid inclusions in halite from Lake Magic, Western Australia. (United States)

    Conner, Amber J; Benison, Kathleen C


    Lake Magic is one of the most extreme of hundreds of ephemeral acid-saline lakes in southern Western Australia. It has pH as low as 1.7, salinity as high as 32% total dissolved solids, temperatures ranging from 0°C to 50°C, and an unusually complex aqueous composition. Optical petrography, UV-vis petrography, and laser Raman spectrometry were used to detect microorganisms and organic compounds within primary fluid inclusions in modern bedded halite from Lake Magic. Rare prokaryotes appear as 1-3 μm, bright cocci that fluoresce green with UV-vis illumination. Dimpled, 5-7 μm yellow spherules that fluoresce blue with UV-vis illumination are interpreted as Dunaliella algae. Yellow-orange beta-carotene crystals, globules, and coatings are characterized by orange-red fluorescence and three distinct Raman peaks. Because acid saline lakes are good Mars analogues, the documentation of prokaryotes, eukaryotes, and organic compounds preserved in the halite here has implications for the search for life on Mars. Missions to Mars should incorporate such in situ optical and chemical examination of martian evaporites for possible microorganisms and/or organic compounds in fluid inclusions.

  4. Poorly Crystalline, Iron-Bearing Aluminosilicates and Their Importance on Mars (United States)

    Baker, L. L.; Strawn, D. G.; McDaniel, P. A.; Nickerosn, R. N.; Bishop, J. L.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, Richard V.


    Martian rocks and sediments contain weathering products including evaporite salts and clay minerals that only form as a result of interaction between rocks and water [1-6]. These weathering products are key to studying the history of water on Mars because their type, abundance and location provide clues to past conditions on the surface of the planet, as well as to the possible location of present-day reservoirs of water. Weathering of terrestrial volcanic rocks similar to those on Mars produces nano-sized, variably hydrated aluminosilicate and iron oxide minerals [7-10] including allophane, imogolite, halloysite, hisingerite, and ferrihydrite. The nanoaluminosilicates can contain isomorphically substituted Fe, which affects their spectral and physical properties. Detection and quantification of such minerals in natural environments on earth is difficult due to their variable chemical composition and lack of long-range crystalline order [9, 11, 12]. Despite the difficulty in characterizing these materials, they are common on Earth, and data from orbital remote sensing and rover-based instruments suggest that they are also present on Mars [9, 10, 13-17]. Their accurate detection and quantification require a better understanding of how composition affects their spectral properties. We present here the results of XAFS spectroscopy; these results will be corroborated with planned Mossbauer and reflectance spectroscopy.

  5. Síntesis de la cronoestratigrafía y evolución sedimentaria de los sistemas lacustres evaporíticos y carbonatados neógenos de la cuenca de Calatayud-Montalbán

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    Van Darn, J.


    Full Text Available The Tertiary Calatayud-Montalbán Basin consists of two distinct sub-basins separated by the Daroca High (Calatayud Basin in the northem sector and Montalbán Basin in the southem sector. These basins present a quite similar sedimentary evolution of the Neogene evaporitic and carbonatic lacustrine systems, that generally occupy central locations in both basins. Three main sedimentary units (Lower, Intermediate and Upper units divided by two main sedimentary breaks are traditionally described in the Calatayud Basin. The Lower and Intermediate units have evaporitic sedimentation, whilst the Upper Unit is tipically freshwater fluviolacustrine sedimentation. In the central areas of the Montalbán basin, the Barrachina-1 dril1 hole and complementary stratigraphic sections showed a very similar sedimentary evolution of the Neogene units, with similar evaporitic and carbonatic facies, but different chronostratigraphy. The Upper Miocene- Pliocene sedimentary record of the Montalbán Basin is absent. In addition, this work presents the first occurrence of a volcanoclastic layer interbedded in the Lower Miocene evaporitic facies of the Montalbán Basin. The identified mineral assemblages of the lacustrine deposits of both sectors of the basin, show an evolutionary sequence during the Lower-Middle Miocene from hypersaline to lower-moderated salinity lacustrine facies. This evolutionary trend is only complete in the sedimentary record of the Calatayud Basin, where freshwater carbonatic fluviolacustrine facies are described in the Upper Miocene. This precipitation sequence is the result of a progressive hydrochemical change of the lacustrine systems related to a climatic change from the Ramblian to the Middle Miocene. Differences in the chronostratigraphy of both basins should be related to distinct tectonic scenarios and/or geomorphologic features during the Miocene.La Cuenca terciaria de Calatayud-Montalbán consta de dos subcuencas diferentes separadas

  6. Nature and Evolution of the Ore-Forming Fluids from Nanmushu Carbonate-Hosted Zn-Pb Deposit in the Mayuan District, Shaanxi Province, Southwest China

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    Suo-Fei Xiong


    Full Text Available The Nanmushu carbonate-hosted Zn-Pb deposit is located in the Mayuan district of Shaanxi Province, a newly discovered metallogenic district next to the Sichuan Basin, in the northern margin of the Yangtze Block, which is the largest and the only one that is currently mined in this district. The δ34S values of sulfides are characterized by positive values with a peak around +18‰, and the reduced sulfur may have derived from reduction of SO42- from paleoseawater or evaporitic sulfates that have possibly been leached by basinal brines during mineralization stage. Detailed fluid inclusion study shows two types of fluids in the sphalerite, quartz, dolomite, calcite and barite, that is, aqueous-salt dominant inclusions (type I and hydrocarbon-bearing inclusions (type II. The Laser Raman spectroscopy study shows occurrence of certain amount of CH4, C4H6, and bitumen. The salinities show similar values around 6 to 12 wt% NaCl equivalent but a decreasing temperature from early to late stages (typically 200° to 320°C in stage I, 180° to 260°C in stage II, and 140° to 180°C in stage III. These features may be related to basinal brines mixing between an external higher salinity CaCl2  ±  MgCl2-rich fluid and a local H2O-NaCl methane-rich fluid.

  7. The current status of mapping karst areas and availability of public sinkhole-risk resources in karst terrains of the United States (United States)

    Kuniansky, Eve L.; Weary, David J.; Kaufmann, James E.


    Subsidence from sinkhole collapse is a common occurrence in areas underlain by water-soluble rocks such as carbonate and evaporite rocks, typical of karst terrain. Almost all 50 States within the United States (excluding Delaware and Rhode Island) have karst areas, with sinkhole damage highest in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania. A conservative estimate of losses to all types of ground subsidence was $125 million per year in 1997. This estimate may now be low, as review of cost reports from the last 15 years indicates that the cost of karst collapses in the United States averages more than $300 million per year. Knowing when a catastrophic event will occur is not possible; however, understanding where such occurrences are likely is possible. The US Geological Survey has developed and maintains national-scale maps of karst areas and areas prone to sinkhole formation. Several States provide additional resources for their citizens; Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania maintain databases of sinkholes or karst features, with Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio providing sinkhole reporting mechanisms for the public.

  8. Gypsum karst of the Baltic Republics

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    Paukstys B.


    Full Text Available The Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have karst areas developed in both carbonate and gypsiferous rocks. In the north, within the Republic of Estonia, Ordovician and Silurian limestones and dolomites crop out, or are covered by glacial Quaternary sediments. To the south, in Latvia and Lithuania, gypsum karst is actively developing in evaporites of Late Devonian (Frasnian age. Although gypsum and mixed sulphate-carbonate karst only occupy small areas in the Baltic countries, they have important engineering and geo-ecological consequences. Due to the rapid dissolution of gypsum, the evolution of gypsum karst causes not only geological hazards such as subsidence, but it also has a highly adverse effect on groundwater quality. The karst territory of the Baltic states lies along the western side of the area, called the Great Devonian Field that form part of the Russian Plain. Within southern Latvia and northern Lithuania there is an area, exceeding 1000 sq. km, where mature gypsum karst occurs at the land surface and in the subsurface. This karst area is referred to here as the Gypsum Karst Region of the Baltic States. Here the surface karst forms include sinkholes, karst shafts, land subsidence, lakes and dolines. In Lithuania the maximum density of sinkholes is 200 per sq. km; in Latvia they reach 138 units per sq. km. Caves, enlarged dissolution voids and cavities are uncommon in both areas.

  9. Calcified microbes in Neoproterozoic carbonates: implications for our understanding of the Proterozoic/Cambrian transition (United States)

    Knoll, A. H.; Fairchild, I. J.; Swett, K.


    Tidal flat and lagoonal dolostones of the Neoproterozoic Draken Formation, Spitsbergen, exhibit excellent preservation of carbonate fabrics, including heavily calcified microfossils. The crust-forming cyanobacterium Polybessurus is preserved locally by carbonate precipitated on and within sheaths in mildly evaporitic upper intertidal to supratidal environments. In contrast, calcified filaments in columnar stromatolites reflect subtidal precipitation. Filament molds in dolomicrites independently document extremely early lithification. The presence of heavily calcified cyanobacteria in Draken and other Proterozoic carbonates constrains potential explanations for the widespread appearance of calcified microorganisms near the Proterozoic-Cambrian boundary. We propose that the rarity of Proterozoic examples principally reflects the abundance and wide distribution of carbonate crystals precipitated on the sea floor or in the water column. Cyanobacterial sheaths would have competed effectively as sites for carbonate nucleation and growth only where calcitic and/or aragonitic nuclei were absent. In this view, the Proterozoic-Cambrian expansion of calcified microfossils primarily reflects the emergence of skeletons as principal agents of carbonate deposition.

  10. Thermo-mineral waters of Hammam Meskoutine (north-east Algeria: Composition and origin of mineralization

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    Benamara Abdelwaheb


    Full Text Available The extreme north-eastern Algeria, in particular the Guelma city conceals thermal springs, whose waters circulating at great depths allow the rain-waters to warm up (according to the average geothermal gradient of 1°C per 33 m and to acquire a mineralization which depends on the traversed rock. The goal of this research work was to determine mineralization origin of the thermo-mineral waters of Hammam Meskoutine (Algerian N-E. A hydro-chemical study involved analyses of a number of physical and chemical parameters of waters such as: temperature, hydrogen potential, electrolytical conductivity, Cl-, SO4 2-, HCO3 -, Ca2+, Mg2+, K+ and Na+. The data processing on the diagram revealed two dominating chemical facies: sulphate-magnesium and bicarbonate magnesium. With a high conductivity in excess of 2300 μS·cm-1, the temperature reaches 97°C. Calculation of the saturation index shows that the waters are supersaturated in carbonate minerals (calcite, dolomite and aragonite and less saturated with evaporite minerals (halite, anhydrite, sylvite and gypsum. The reconstitution in dissolved salts reveals a dominant salt rich in calcium bicarbonates, in calcium sulphates and secondarily in magnesium salts. Geological sections used in the study zone affirm that the chemical composition of the spring waters comes from the neritic limestone dissolution and the gypso-saline complex of Hammam Meskoutine.

  11. Well-log based prediction of thermal conductivity of sedimentary successions: a case study from the North German Basin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fuchs, Sven; Förster, Andrea


    of these methods is the prediction of TC from well logs. We have examined the relationships between TC and standard well-log data (gamma ray, density, sonic interval transit time, hydrogen index and photoelectric factor) by a theoretical analysis and by using real subsurface data from four boreholes of the North...... are the volume fraction of shale, the matrix hydrogen index and the matrix density. The error of matrix TC prediction is on the order of 4.2 ± 3.2 per cent (carbonates), 7.0 ± 5.6 per cent (evaporites), and 11.4 ± 9.1 per cent (clastic rocks). From the subsurface data, comprising measured TC values (n = 1755......) and well-log data, four prediction equations for bulk TC were developed resembling different lithological compositions. The most valuable input parameters for these predictions are the volume fraction of shale, the hydrogen index and the sonic interval transit time. The equations predict TC with an average...

  12. New ideas on the tectonic of the Kurveleshi anticlinal belt in Albania, and the perspective for exploration in its subthrust

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    Telo Velaj


    In the southern part these features predominate: The anticline structures are large in size, and overthrust with a large amplitude (8–10 km westward. The evaporitic diapirs have erupted through local faults of the anticline structures of the Kurveleshi anticlinal belt (Mali Gjere, Kurveleshi and Fterra anticlines. These eruptions (Delvina, Picar-Kapariel-Bashaj, etc. have helped in the overthrusting of these structural units. It must be mentioned that the backthrusting is also affected by the diapir action. Moreover, vertical diapir occur, in the center of the structures like Navarica. In the northern part, the anticline structures are generally small to medium in size. Only the Patos-Verbas anticline is larger in size. In the Kurveleshi anticlinal belt the Ballsh and Visoka oilfields have developed. The eastern flank of the Shushica synclinal belt apears folded, and the carbonate anticline structures have developed. Existing oil fields include the Gorisht-Kocul, Cakran-Moallaj-Kreshpan and Amonica. These oil fields shoud continue towards the north (under the overthrust of the Patos-Verbas antcline and in the south (under the regional ovethrust of the Kuervelesh anticlinal belt.

  13. Mesozoic and Cenozoic rocks from Malta Escarpment (central Mediterranean)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scandone, P. (Istituto di Geologia e Paleontologia, Pisa, Italy); Patacca, E.; Radoicic, R.; Ryan, W.B.F.; Cita, M.B.; Rawson, M.; Chezar, H.; Miller, E.; McKenzie, J.; Rossi, S.


    Sedimentary rocks of Triassic-Neogene age are present on the Malta Escarpment of the eastern Mediterranean. Upper Triassic dolomitic limestones of shallow-water origin, at depths between 2.5 and 3.5 km, are similar in lithofacies to coeval platform carbonates of the Siracusa (Syracuse) belt of southern Sicily. Jurassic rocks include lower-middle Liassic shallow-water limestones followed by condensed hemipelagic lime deposits indicative of sinking and starving of the former platform. Cretaceous materials are represented by both red marls rich in planktonic faunas and reworkd volcaniclastic breccias including shallow-water skeletal material. Paleogene rocks are both shallow-water limestones with corals, algae, and bivalves, and redeposited calcarenites of lithofacies similar to those from surface and subsurface of the Ragusa zone. Oligocene-lower Miocene rocks from the escarpment are also similar in lithology to the coeval Ragusa deposits. Tortonian is represented by hemipelagic marls indicating open-marine environment. Pervasive dolomitization on lime crusts and on initial-stage fissure fillings with strongly positive isotopic oxygen ratio is thought to be a product of Messinian evaporitic drawdown. Pliocene sediments belong to the Trubi facies and consist of pelagic foraminiferal chalk. An impressive vertical relief existed by Miocene times, as attested by Messinian crusts and veins on or in rocks as old as Late Triassic. Our data do not provide evidence that this morphologic feature necessarily coincides with a continent-ocean transition. The present escarpment was produced by faulting, erosion, and defacement. 14 figures, 1 table.

  14. Un segment proximal de rampe carbonatée d'âge protérozoïque supérieur au Nord du craton d'Afrique centrale (sud-est de la République centrafricaine) (United States)

    Alvarez, Philippe


    Near Bakouma (southwest Central African Republic), the ante Pan African carbonated formations are deeply karstified and overlaid by uranium and phosphorus bearing sediments, probably Eocene in age. The sedimentological study, of drilling cores allows the proposal of a carbonated ramp model for the lithological pile. This ramp was backed on to a large argilaceous continental rise with feldspathic sandy deposits. In the marine domain, pelitic sediments of the coastal plain progressively change into dolomites deposited on a dissipative beach limited by a discontinuous and partially emerged stromatolic bioherm. In the south, the stromatolic bioherms of Kassa-Limassa are interbedded in lagoonal silicified dolomites bearing evidence of evaporitic processes. Native copper is locally present in shore deposits. The progradation of the facies is southwards. This model is compared to the beach of the carbonated ramp evidenced for the Schisto-calcaire Group in Congo. The carbonated ramps of Central Africa, established before the Pan-African orogeny, can be linked to the same tectono-eustatic regressive period as the Schisto-calcaire ramp (West-Congolian Supergroup). By comparaison with the results obtained in south Congo, the age of the carbonated ramp in the north of Central Africa could be near the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary.

  15. Stratigraphy of the Jurassic system in northern Egypt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keeley, M.L.; Shaw, D.; Forbes, G.A.


    A regional synthesis is presented of the stratigraphy of Jurassic strata in Egypt north of 30/degree/N, based on the study of about 80 wells and outcrops from northeastern Egypt. Almost all fossil groups have been investigated for biostratigraphic control. Published work on ammonite faunas from Gebel el Maghara (north Sinai) is integrated with extensive original work on palynofloras (and, to a lesser extent, ostracod/foraminiferal faunas) recovered from marine rocks in the subsurface. The recovery of rich dinocyst assemblages enables the recognition of a ten-fold zonation scheme, largely within the Middle-Late Jurassic sedimentary package. The upper limit of this package is marked by the Cimmerian erosional event; strata younger than Oxfordian are rarely preserved. Only east of 30/degree/E is significant sedimentation known to have occurred immediately prior to the major early Bajocian transgressive event. Thereafter mean sea level rose steadily. The Lower Triassic-Lower Jurassic sedimentary package is poorly understood, largely the result of scanty and ambiguous stratigraphic evidence. However, regional correlations suggest that only very thin earliest Jurassic (Hettangian ) clastic deposition succeeded a sequence of Upper Triassic carbonates and evaporites (Wadi en Natrun Formation) in the north. Arising from these studies is a standard lithostratigraphical scheme. The upper sedimentary package, the Gebel el Maghara Group, comprises three formations (Masajid, Khatatba, and Inmar) and seven members; new units are defined and old units redefined.

  16. Raman spectroscopy of natron: shedding light on ancient Egyptian mummification. (United States)

    Edwards, Howell G M; Currie, Katherine J; Ali, Hassan R H; Jorge Villar, Susana E; David, A Rosalie; Denton, John


    The mummification ritual in ancient Egypt involved the evisceration of the corpse and its desiccation using natron, a naturally occurring evaporitic mineral deposit from the Wadi Natrun, Egypt. The deposit typically contains sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate and impurities of chloride and sulfate as its major elemental components. It is believed that the function of the natron was to rapidly remove the water from the cadaver to prevent microbial attack associated with subsequent biological tissue degradation and putrefaction. Several specimens of natron that were recently collected from the Wadi Natrun contained coloured zones interspersed with the mineral matrix that are superficially reminiscent of extremophilic cyanobacterial colonisation found elsewhere in hot and cold deserts. Raman spectroscopy of these specimens using visible and near-infrared laser excitation has revealed not only the mineral composition of the natron, but also evidence for the presence of cyanobacterial colonies in several coloured zones observed in the mineral matrix. Key Raman biosignatures of carotenoids, scytonemin and chlorophyll have been identified.

  17. Andean deformation and rift inversion, eastern edge of Cordillera Oriental (Guateque Medina area), Colombia (United States)

    Branquet, Y.; Cheilletz, A.; Cobbold, P. R.; Baby, P.; Laumonier, B.; Giuliani, G.


    In the Guateque-Medina area, Paleozoic basement and Mesozoic rift basins have been uplifted and exhumed during the Andean orogeny (12 Ma to present). Surface exposures and subsurface data constrain the deformation style and the rift geometry. We have mapped a regional transect and restored a cross section. We have also reconciled existing stratigraphic data, from cordillera, foothills and foreland basin, and have added new data of our own. In Early Cretaceous shales, there is evidence for fault-controlled sedimentation. A brecciated evaporitic layer, which is locally emerald bearing, has acted as a regional detachment. The underlying basement, composed of Paleozoic sediments, crops out as the Quetame Massif. It was uplifted during the Andean orogeny on a series of high-angle reverse faults. The main SE-verging Tesalia fault has resulted from Andean reactivation of an Early Cretaceous normal fault, which bounded a half-rift. A series of NW-verging back-thrusts may have resulted from Andean reactivation of Paleozoic faults. Between the back-thrusts and the Tesalia fault is a basement pop-up. It may be part of a flower structure, because components of right-lateral slip have been identified. These are attributed to eastward subduction of the Nazca plate beneath South America. In general, the style and timing of Andean deformation in the Guateque-Medina area are compatible with the plate tectonic setting of the northern Andes.

  18. Oceanic crustal carbon cycle drives 26-million-year atmospheric carbon dioxide periodicities. (United States)

    Müller, R Dietmar; Dutkiewicz, Adriana


    Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) data for the last 420 million years (My) show long-term fluctuations related to supercontinent cycles as well as shorter cycles at 26 to 32 My whose origin is unknown. Periodicities of 26 to 30 My occur in diverse geological phenomena including mass extinctions, flood basalt volcanism, ocean anoxic events, deposition of massive evaporites, sequence boundaries, and orogenic events and have previously been linked to an extraterrestrial mechanism. The vast oceanic crustal carbon reservoir is an alternative potential driving force of climate fluctuations at these time scales, with hydrothermal crustal carbon uptake occurring mostly in young crust with a strong dependence on ocean bottom water temperature. We combine a global plate model and oceanic paleo-age grids with estimates of paleo-ocean bottom water temperatures to track the evolution of the oceanic crustal carbon reservoir over the past 230 My. We show that seafloor spreading rates as well as the storage, subduction, and emission of oceanic crustal and mantle CO 2 fluctuate with a period of 26 My. A connection with seafloor spreading rates and equivalent cycles in subduction zone rollback suggests that these periodicities are driven by the dynamics of subduction zone migration. The oceanic crust-mantle carbon cycle is thus a previously overlooked mechanism that connects plate tectonic pulsing with fluctuations in atmospheric carbon and surface environments.

  19. Identification and Characterization of Extremophile Microorganisms with Significance to Astrobiology (United States)

    Bej, Asim K.


    It is now well recognized that microorganisms thrive in extreme ecological conditions such as geothermal vents, polar region, acid and alkaline lakes, and the cold pressurized depth of the ocean floor of this planet. Morphological, physiological, biochemical and genetic adaptations to extreme environments by these extremophile microorganisms have generated immense interest amongst astrobiologists who increasingly believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life. The evidence collected by NASA's space probe Galileo suggested the presence of liquid water and volcanic activity on Mars and Jupiter's satellite Europa. Volcanic activity provides some of the heat necessary to keep the water on Europa from freezing that could provide important dissolved chemicals needed by living organisms. The possibility of the existence of hypersaline alkaline lakes and evaporites confined within closed volcanic basins and impact craters on Mars, and a layer of liquid water under the ice on Europa provide sufficient 'raison d'etre' to study microorganisms in similar extreme environments on Earth, which could provide us with a model that would help establish the existence of extraterrestrial life on other planetary bodies. The objectives of the summer research project were as follows: (1) application of molecular approaches to help establish new species of extremophile microorganisms isolated from a hypersaline alkaline lake; and (2) identification of a major cold-shock gene (cspA) homolog from a psychrotolerant microorganism, PmagG1.

  20. Stratigraphy and depositional environments of the Paleogene of the Potwar Plateau, northern Pakistan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ressetar, R.; Parvez, K. (Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (United States)); Gross, M.R. (Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park (United States))


    The Paleogene sequence in the Potwar Plateau of northern Pakistan is dominated by carbonates and shales, representative of the final marine sedimentary episode along the southern Neo-Tethys. Measured sections at 16 locations on the perimeter of the plateau were used to reconstruct the Paleogene depositional environments. The lowest Paleogene deposits comprise a widespread basal transgressive clastic unit (Hangu Formation) overlain by a shallow shelf limestone (Lockhart Formation). Across much of the plateau, the Lockhart was followed by euxinic, deep-water calcareous shale (Patala Formation), which grades southeastward (cratonward) into coal-bearing paralic deposits. The overlying Nammal, Sakesar, and Chor Gali formations record gradual shallowing of the basin, with inner shelf and intertidal carbonates prograding over deep-water limestones. Regression culminated in red bed (Mami Khel Formation) and evaporite deposition. Although a second, limited transgression resulted in renewed limestone deposition (Kohat Formation) in the north and west, the bulk of the Paleogene represents a single transgressive-regressive cycle. This cycle can be correlated with published descriptions of the Paleogene on the northern margin of most of the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent.

  1. Trace elements geochemistry of fractured basement aquifer in southern Malawi: A case of Blantyre rural (United States)

    Mapoma, Harold Wilson Tumwitike; Xie, Xianjun; Nyirenda, Mathews Tananga; Zhang, Liping; Kaonga, Chikumbusko Chiziwa; Mbewe, Rex


    In this study, twenty one (21) trace elements in the basement complex groundwater of Blantyre district, Malawi were analyzed. The majority of the analyzed trace elements in the water were within the standards set by World Health Organization (WHO) and Malawi Standards Board (MSB). But, iron (Fe) (BH16 and 21), manganese (Mn) (BH01) and selenium (Se) (BH02, 13, 18, 19 and 20) were higher than the WHO and MSB standards. Factor analysis (FA) revealed up to five significant factors which accounted for 87.4% of the variance. Factor 1, 2 and 3 suggest evaporite dissolution and silicate weathering processes while the fourth factor may explain carbonate dissolution and pH influence on trace element geochemistry of the studied groundwater samples. According to PHREEQC computed saturation indices, dissolution, precipitation and rock-water-interaction control the levels of trace elements in this aquifer. Elevated concentrations of Fe, Mn and Se in certain boreholes are due to the geology of the aquifer and probable redox status of groundwater. From PHREEQC speciation results, variations in trace element species were observed. Based on this study, boreholes need constant monitoring and assessment for human consumption to avoid health related issues.

  2. Gypsum-permineralized microfossils and their relevance to the search for life on Mars. (United States)

    Schopf, J William; Farmer, Jack D; Foster, Ian S; Kudryavtsev, Anatoliy B; Gallardo, Victor A; Espinoza, Carola


    Orbital and in situ analyses establish that aerially extensive deposits of evaporitic sulfates, including gypsum, are present on the surface of Mars. Although comparable gypsiferous sediments on Earth have been largely ignored by paleontologists, we here report the finding of diverse fossil microscopic organisms permineralized in bottom-nucleated gypsums of seven deposits: two from the Permian (∼260 Ma) of New Mexico, USA; one from the Miocene (∼6 Ma) of Italy; and four from Recent lacustrine and saltern deposits of Australia, Mexico, and Peru. In addition to presenting the first report of the widespread occurrence of microscopic fossils in bottom-nucleated primary gypsum, we show the striking morphological similarity of the majority of the benthic filamentous fossils of these units to the microorganisms of a modern sulfuretum biocoenose. Based on such similarity, in morphology as well as habitat, these findings suggest that anaerobic sulfur-metabolizing microbial assemblages have changed relatively little over hundreds of millions of years. Their discovery as fossilized components of the seven gypsiferous units reported suggests that primary bottom-nucleated gypsum represents a promising target in the search for evidence of past life on Mars. Key Words: Confocal laser scanning microscopy-Gypsum fossils-Mars sample return missions-Raman spectroscopy-Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument-Sulfuretum.

  3. The water content of recurring slope lineae on Mars (United States)

    Edwards, Christopher S.; Piqueux, Sylvain


    Observations of recurring slope lineae (RSL) from the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment have been interpreted as present-day, seasonally variable liquid water flows; however, orbital spectroscopy has not confirmed the presence of liquid H2O, only hydrated salts. Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) temperature data and a numerical heat transfer model definitively constrain the amount of water associated with RSL. Surface temperature differences between RSL-bearing and dry RSL-free terrains are consistent with no water associated with RSL and, based on measurement uncertainties, limit the water content of RSL to at most 0.5–3 wt %. In addition, distinct high thermal inertia regolith signatures expected with crust-forming evaporitic salt deposits from cyclical briny water flows are not observed, indicating low water salinity (if any) and/or low enough volumes to prevent their formation. Alternatively, observed salts may be preexisting in soils at low abundances (i.e., near or below detection limits) and largely immobile. These RSL-rich surfaces experience ~100 K diurnal temperature oscillations, possible freeze/thaw cycles and/or complete evaporation on time scales that challenge their habitability potential. The unique surface temperature measurements provided by THEMIS are consistent with a dry RSL hypothesis or at least significantly limit the water content of Martian RSL.

  4. The Qasr As Sahabi succession and the Neogene evolution of the Sirte Basin (Libya) (United States)

    Carmignani, L.; Giammarino, S.; Giglia, G.; Pertusati, P. C.

    The Neogene succession in Libya is characterized by three main sedimentary cycles: 1) A Middle Miocene cycle, involving the whole coastal area of Libya, composed of platform limestones in Cyrenaica and Tripolitania and of deeper deposits in the central part of the Sirte Basin; 2) A Tortonian-Messinian cycle, composed of evaporitic, lagoonal and shallow oolitic deposits, well documented paleontologically in Sirtica between 30° and 31° lat. N. and above all near Qasr As Sahabi. These deposits are found westwards as far as A1 Khums, where they unconformably lie on the Cretaceous and older rocks. Northwards, they surround the structural high of Cyrenaica to beyond Benghazi. Along the western margin of Cyrenaica they lie on Middle Miocene limestones, and to the N-NW on the Eocene. They are bounded landwards by a scarp of marine erosion ("Upper Cyrenaica Escarpment") which models a system of normal faults; 3) A cycle composed of presumed Pliocene coastal or brackish deposits covering a paleomorphology cut during the Upper Messinian regression. South of Cyrenaica, the Pliocene transgression extends beyond the Upper Miocene coastline as far as the A1 Jaghbub oasis. Seawards, the Pliocene cycle deposits are cut by another scarp ("Lower Cyrenaica Escarpment"). The interval between this scarp and the sea is covered by a further transgressive cycle of Tyrrhenian age.

  5. Mesozoic paleogeography and paleoclimates - A discussion of the diverse greenhouse and hothouse conditions of an alien world (United States)

    Holz, Michael


    The Mesozoic was the time of the break-up of Pangaea, with profound consequences not only for the paleocontinental configuration, but also for paleoclimates and for the evolution of life. Cool greenhouse conditions alternated with warm greenhouse and even hothouse conditions, with global average temperatures around 6-9 °C warmer than the present ones. There are only sparse and controversial evidence for polar ice; meanwhile, extensive evaporitic and desertic deposits are well described. Global sea levels were mainly high, and the content of atmospheric O2 was varying between 15 and 25%. These conditions make the Mesozoic Earth an alien world compared to present-day conditions. Degassing from volcanism linked to the rifting process of Pangaea and methane emissions from reptilian biotas were climate-controlling factors because they enhanced atmospheric CO2 concentrations up to 16 times compared to present-day levels. The continental break-up modified paleopositions and shoreline configurations of the landmasses, generating huge epicontinental seas and altering profoundly the oceanic circulation. The Mesozoic was also a time of important impact events as probable triggers for "impact winters"; and for the Era at least nine huge (diameter > 20 km) impact structures are known. This paper presents an abridged but updated overview of the Mesozoic paleogeographic and paleoclimatic variations, characterizing each period and sub-period in terms of paleoclimatic state and main tectonic and climatic events, and provides a brief geologic, stratigraphic, paleoclimatic and taphonomic characterization of dinosaur occurrences as recorded in the Brazilian continental basins.

  6. Comparison of surface water chemistry and weathering effects of two lake basins in the Changtang Nature Reserve, China. (United States)

    Wang, Rui; Liu, Zhaofei; Jiang, Liguang; Yao, Zhijun; Wang, Junbo; Ju, Jianting


    The geochemistry of natural waters in the Changtang Nature Reserve, northern Tibet, can help us understand the geology of catchments, and provide additional insight in surface processes that influence water chemistry such as rock weathering on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. However, severe natural conditions are responsible for a lack of scientific data for this area. This study represents the first investigation of the chemical composition of surface waters and weathering effects in two lake basins in the reserve (Lake Dogaicoring Qiangco and Lake Longwei Co). The results indicate that total dissolved solids (TDS) in the two lakes are significantly higher than in other gauged lakes on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, reaching 20-40g/L, and that TDS of the tectonic lake (Lake Dogaicoring Qiangco) is significantly higher than that of the barrier lake (Lake Longwei Co). Na(+) and Cl(-) are the dominant ions in the lake waters as well as in the glacier-fed lake inflows, with chemical compositions mainly affected by halite weathering. In contrast, ion contents of inflowing rivers fed by nearby runoff are lower and concentrations of dominant ions are not significant. Evaporite, silicate, and carbonate weathering has relatively equal effects on these rivers. Due to their limited scope, small streams near the lakes are less affected by carbonate than by silicate weathering. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  7. Holocene marine hardground formation in the Arabian Gulf: Shoreline stabilisation, sea level and early diagenesis in the coastal sabkha of Abu Dhabi (United States)

    Paul, Andreas; Lokier, Stephen W.


    This study provides the first comparison between a seaward and a landward section of the same diachronous hardground surface observed in the coastal sabkha of Abu Dhabi. This hardground is described here in terms of its mode of formation, its diagenetic environment and its impact on shoreline stabilisation during transgression. The hardground is exposed in the intertidal zone and buried by a late Holocene prograding succession of carbonates, evaporites and microbial sediments in the supratidal zone. The hardground itself is composed of bioclastic grains, primarily of aragonitic composition, that originate from intertidal depositional environments. Aeolian silt to sand-sized quartz grains are also observed. Lithification occurred through the precipitation of pore-filling aragonite, high-Mg calcite and dolomite cements from sea and interstitial water that was marked by high salinities and temperatures, as confirmed by stable isotope analyses. High-Mg calcite and non-stoichiometric dolomite are also observed as secondary recrystallisation products. The formation of these two mineral phases as recrystallisation products was possibly microbially-mediated. Lithification progressed in two phases, the older phase of which is marked by higher amounts of non-stoichiometric dolomite and high-magnesium calcite as compared to the younger phase. Transgressive reworking of precursor siliciclastic sands was inhibited by the development of transgressive pore-filling gypsum cements in the supratidal zone.


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    Full Text Available Detailed conodont biostratigraphy and lithostratigraphy of the Late Permian and Early Triassic beds were studied at the LukaC section in western Slovenia. The analyzed section is composed of the Bellerophon Formation ("evaporite-dolomite member" and the newly introduced Lukaè Formation ("transitional beds", "streaky limestone member" and "carbonate-clastic beds member". The Permian-Triassic boundary interval is represented by "transitional beds" of carbonate facies deposited in shallow restricted marine conditions. The presence of H. parvus in sample L1 in the "transitional beds" marks the systemic boundary between Permian and Triassic. The studied interval is characterized by a diverse microfauna that contain conodonts, foraminifers, ostracods and gastropods. Six conodont zones have been recognized, in ascending order, the latest Changhsingian (uppermost Permian praeparvus Zone, and the Griesbachian (lowermost Triassic parvus, lobata, staeschei-isarcica, postparvus and anceps zones. This faunal succession represents the first known and the most complete conodont biozonation across the Permian-Triassic interval from the entire Dinaric region. The recognized conodont biozones can be correlated with the biozonation of the Southern Alps and of the GSSP Meishan D section. 

  9. The World Karst Aquifer Mapping project: concept, mapping procedure and map of Europe (United States)

    Chen, Zhao; Auler, Augusto S.; Bakalowicz, Michel; Drew, David; Griger, Franziska; Hartmann, Jens; Jiang, Guanghui; Moosdorf, Nils; Richts, Andrea; Stevanovic, Zoran; Veni, George; Goldscheider, Nico


    Karst aquifers contribute substantially to freshwater supplies in many regions of the world, but are vulnerable to contamination and difficult to manage because of their unique hydrogeological characteristics. Many karst systems are hydraulically connected over wide areas and require transboundary exploration, protection and management. In order to obtain a better global overview of karst aquifers, to create a basis for sustainable international water-resources management, and to increase the awareness in the public and among decision makers, the World Karst Aquifer Mapping (WOKAM) project was established. The goal is to create a world map and database of karst aquifers, as a further development of earlier maps. This paper presents the basic concepts and the detailed mapping procedure, using France as an example to illustrate the step-by-step workflow, which includes generalization, differentiation of continuous and discontinuous carbonate and evaporite rock areas, and the identification of non-exposed karst aquifers. The map also shows selected caves and karst springs, which are collected in an associated global database. The draft karst aquifer map of Europe shows that 21.6% of the European land surface is characterized by the presence of (continuous or discontinuous) carbonate rocks; about 13.8% of the land surface is carbonate rock outcrop.

  10. Petroleum geology of Kela-2, the most productive gas field in China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chengzao, Jia [PetroChina Company Limited, Beijing 100011 (China); Qiming, Li [Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development (RIPED), PetroChina, Beijing 100083 (China)


    The Kela-2 gas field, located in the Kuqa Depression of Tarim Basin, is the most productive gas field in China, based on per unit surface acreage. The gas trap is a subsurface anticline formed along an E-W trending thrust belt in front of the southern Tianshan Mountains. The gas pay zones are located in fine-grained sandstones of a fan delta front facies in the Lower Cretaceous Bashijiqik Formation (K{sub l}bs), and Eogene evaporitic rocks serve as regional cap rocks. The gases were derived primarily from over-mature Jurassic coal measures. Peak gas generation and final shaping of the Kela-2 structure occurred relatively late, in the late Himalayan orogeny (5-0 Ma). Thrust faulting appears to have played a significant role in the hydrocarbon generation, migration, accumulation and preservation in this foreland basin. Detailed delineation of the Kela-2 gas field indicates that high-quality regional cap rocks are essential for the formation of the super-rich, abnormally pressured, giant gas fields, while buried anticlines under the overthrust zone are the favorable gas habitat. Late gas accumulation is considered to be decisive for the conservation of the giant gas fields. (author)

  11. Assessment of the hydrogeochemistry and groundwater quality of the Tarim River Basin in an extreme arid region, NW China. (United States)

    Xiao, Jun; Jin, Zhangdong; Wang, Jin


    The concentrations of the major and trace elements in the groundwater of the Tarim River Basin (TRB), the largest inland river basin of China, were analyzed before and during rainy seasons to determine the hydrogeochemistry and to assess the groundwater quality for irrigation and drinking purposes. The groundwater within the TRB was slightly alkaline and characterized by high ionic concentrations. The groundwater in the northern sub-basin was fresh water with a Ca(2+)-HCO3(-) water type, whereas the groundwater in the southern and central sub-basins was brackish with a Na(+)-Cl(-) water type. Evaporite dissolution and carbonate weathering were the primary and secondary sources of solutes in the groundwater within the basin, whereas silicate weathering played a minor role. The sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), water quality index (WQI), and sodium percentage (%Na) indicated that the groundwater in the northern sub-basin was suitable for irrigation and drinking, but that in the southern and central sub-basins was not suitable. The groundwater quality was slightly better in the wet season than in the dry season. The groundwater could be used for drinking after treatment for B(3+), F(-), and SO4(2-) and for irrigation after control of the sodium and salinity hazards. Considering the high corrosivity ratio of the groundwater in this area, noncorrosive pipes should be used for the groundwater supply. For sustainable development, integrated management of the surface water and the groundwater is needed in the future.

  12. Chemical parameters as natural tracers in hydrogeology: a case study of Louros karst system, Greece (United States)

    Katsanou, K.; Lambrakis, N.; D'Alessandro, W.; Siavalas, G.


    The Louros Basin hosts one of the most important karst systems of Epirus Prefecture (Greece) and plays a key role in supplying three counties with drinking water. Aiming to investigate the origin of groundwater and its flow patterns, a multi-tracer approach was used to describe and evaluate the hydrogeology of the system. Therefore, 271 surface water and groundwater samples were collected and analyzed for physicochemical parameters, major ions, and trace and rare earth elements, as well as stable isotopes (δ18O and δ2H). These data provided meaningful tracing of the water origin, water-rock interaction processes, and relationships among the aquifers. In particular, the elaboration of the major ions supported by the distribution of rare earth elements indicated that there are three aquifers located at different levels hosted in the Senonian and Pantokrator limestone formations. These aquifers are hydraulically interconnected by a cascade and constitute the Louros karst system which is drained by the homonymous river. Hydrochemical and isotopic data revealed that the Louros karst system is isolated from the adjacent northern Ioannina Basin and it is being recharged by precipitation. Higher groundwater salinity, where present, is mainly associated with increased water-rock interaction due to longer and deeper hydrologic flow, favoring the dissolution of evaporitic, carbonate and phosphate minerals.

  13. A bright intra-dune feature on Titan and its implications for sand formation and transport (United States)

    MacKenzie, Shannon; Barnes, Jason W.; Rodriguez, Sebastien; Cornet, Thomas; Brossier, Jeremy; Soderblom, Jason M.; Le Mouélic, Stephane; Sotin, Christophe; Brown, Robert H.; Buratti, Bonnie J.; Clark, Roger Nelson; Nicholson, Philip D.; Baines, Kevin


    Organic sands cover much of Titan’s equatorial belt, gathered into longitudinal dunes about a kilometer wide and hundreds of kilometers long. At the end of the Cassini era, questions of how such a vast volume of saltable material is or was created on Titan remain unanswered. At least two possible mechanisms suggested for forming sand-sized particles involve liquids: (1) evaporite deposition and erosion and (2) flocculation of material within a lake. Transporting sand from the lakes and seas of Titan’s poles to the equatorial belt is not strongly supported by Cassini observations: the equatorial belt sits higher than the poles and no sheets or corridors of travelling sand have been identified. Thus, previous sites of equatorial surface liquids may be of interest for understanding sand formation, such as the suggested paleoseas Tui and Hotei Regio. A newly identified feature in the VIMS data sits within the Fensal dune field but is distinct from the surrounding sand. We investigate this Bright Fensal Feature (BFF) using data from Cassini VIMS and RADAR. Specifically, we find spectral similarities between the BFF and both sand and Hotei Regio. The RADAR cross sectional backscatter is similar to neighboring dark areas, perhaps sand covered interdunes. We use this evidence to constrain the BFF’s formation history and discuss how this intra-dune feature may contribute to the processes of sand transport and supply.

  14. Ore transport and deposition in the Red Sea geothermal system: a geochemical model (United States)

    Shanks, Wayne C.; Bischoff, J.L.


    Thermodynamic calculation of distribution of dissolved aqueous species in the Red Sea geothermal brine provides a model of ore transport and deposition in good agreement with observed accumulations of base metal sulfides, anhydrite, and barite. The Red Sea brine is recirculated seawater that acquires high salinity by low-temperature interaction with Miocene evaporites and is subsequently heated to temperatures in excess of 200??C by interaction with recent rift zone intrusive rocks. At temperatures up to 250??C, NaSO-4 and MgSO04 are the dominant sulfur-bearing species. H2S forms by inorganic sulfate reduction at the higher temperatures but is maintained at a uniform concentration of about 2 ppm by the strength of the sulfate complexes. Chloride complexes solubilize metals at the higher temperatures, and thus sulfide and metals are carried together into the Atlantis II Deep. Below 150??C, the brine becomes supersaturated with respect to chalcopyrite, sphalerite, galena, and iron monosulfide due to chloride-complex dissociation. Sulfide precipitation rates, based on the rate of brine influx, are in good agreement with measured sedimentation rates. Anhydrite precipitates as crystalline fissure infillings from high-temperature inflowing brine. Barite forms from partial oxidation of sulfides at the interface between the lower hot brine and the transitional brine layer. ?? 1977.

  15. Phylogenetic analysis of a microbialite-forming microbial mat from a hypersaline lake of the Kiritimati atoll, Central Pacific. (United States)

    Schneider, Dominik; Arp, Gernot; Reimer, Andreas; Reitner, Joachim; Daniel, Rolf


    On the Kiritimati atoll, several lakes exhibit microbial mat-formation under different hydrochemical conditions. Some of these lakes trigger microbialite formation such as Lake 21, which is an evaporitic, hypersaline lake (salinity of approximately 170‰). Lake 21 is completely covered with a thick multilayered microbial mat. This mat is associated with the formation of decimeter-thick highly porous microbialites, which are composed of aragonite and gypsum crystals. We assessed the bacterial and archaeal community composition and its alteration along the vertical stratification by large-scale analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences of the nine different mat layers. The surface layers are dominated by aerobic, phototrophic, and halotolerant microbes. The bacterial community of these layers harbored Cyanobacteria (Halothece cluster), which were accompanied with known phototrophic members of the Bacteroidetes and Alphaproteobacteria. In deeper anaerobic layers more diverse communities than in the upper layers were present. The deeper layers were dominated by Spirochaetes, sulfate-reducing bacteria (Deltaproteobacteria), Chloroflexi (Anaerolineae and Caldilineae), purple non-sulfur bacteria (Alphaproteobacteria), purple sulfur bacteria (Chromatiales), anaerobic Bacteroidetes (Marinilabiacae), Nitrospirae (OPB95), Planctomycetes and several candidate divisions. The archaeal community, including numerous uncultured taxonomic lineages, generally changed from Euryarchaeota (mainly Halobacteria and Thermoplasmata) to uncultured members of the Thaumarchaeota (mainly Marine Benthic Group B) with increasing depth.

  16. Phylogenetic analysis of a microbialite-forming microbial mat from a hypersaline lake of the Kiritimati atoll, Central Pacific.

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    Dominik Schneider

    Full Text Available On the Kiritimati atoll, several lakes exhibit microbial mat-formation under different hydrochemical conditions. Some of these lakes trigger microbialite formation such as Lake 21, which is an evaporitic, hypersaline lake (salinity of approximately 170‰. Lake 21 is completely covered with a thick multilayered microbial mat. This mat is associated with the formation of decimeter-thick highly porous microbialites, which are composed of aragonite and gypsum crystals. We assessed the bacterial and archaeal community composition and its alteration along the vertical stratification by large-scale analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences of the nine different mat layers. The surface layers are dominated by aerobic, phototrophic, and halotolerant microbes. The bacterial community of these layers harbored Cyanobacteria (Halothece cluster, which were accompanied with known phototrophic members of the Bacteroidetes and Alphaproteobacteria. In deeper anaerobic layers more diverse communities than in the upper layers were present. The deeper layers were dominated by Spirochaetes, sulfate-reducing bacteria (Deltaproteobacteria, Chloroflexi (Anaerolineae and Caldilineae, purple non-sulfur bacteria (Alphaproteobacteria, purple sulfur bacteria (Chromatiales, anaerobic Bacteroidetes (Marinilabiacae, Nitrospirae (OPB95, Planctomycetes and several candidate divisions. The archaeal community, including numerous uncultured taxonomic lineages, generally changed from Euryarchaeota (mainly Halobacteria and Thermoplasmata to uncultured members of the Thaumarchaeota (mainly Marine Benthic Group B with increasing depth.

  17. Foraminiferal assemblages behavior at the Messinian-Pliocene boundary in Eastern Tunisia (United States)

    Gaaloul, Nadia; Rim, Temami; Razgallah, Saloua


    The microfaunal study of several boreholes drilled in Eastern Tunisia (western edge of the Mediterranean pelagian platform) has allowed the characterization of the Miocene-Pliocene boundary which has been previously well studied elsewhere in the Mediterranean basins but is still to be more understood within the Tunisian Mediterranean margin. Analyses of vertical and lateral evolution of benthonic and planktonic foraminifera between five boreholes belonging to the Gulf of Hammamet (Eastern Tunisia) revealed three distinctive palaeo-ecological depositional environments. - During the lower Messinian, benthonic foraminifera are abundant and show a great diversity in genus and species. They indicate marine settings with normal salinity and good oxygenation. Sub-reefal environment characterize this shallow water limestone platform; - The Upper Messinian is characterized by a general extinction of foraminifera (only few euryhalin organisms remain at the base of these series). This event corresponds to the Messinian salinity crisis and to the accumulation of evaporites in the Mediterranean basins. In the offshore of Eastern Tunisia, gypsum and anhydrites are deposited in a lagoonal environment and had a negative effect on the biological life. - During the Pliocene, limestones and clays overlay an erosional surface corresponding to the top of the Messinian deposits. This unconformity indicates the beginning of the Pliocene transgression which has led to a high diversity in planktonic and benthonic foraminifera. This new assemblage indicates open marine conditions.

  18. Conodont color alteration index and upper Paleozoic thermal history of the Amazonas Basin, Brazil (United States)

    Cardoso, Cassiane Negreiros; Sanz-López, Javier; Blanco-Ferrera, Silvia; Lemos, Valesca Brasil; Scomazzon, Ana Karina


    The conodont color alteration index (CAI) was determined in elements from core samples of the Frasnian Barreirinha Formation (one well) and of the Pennsylvanian-Permian Tapajós Group (twenty three wells and one limestone quarry) in the Amazonas Basin. The thermal history of the basin is analyzed using the CAI value distribution represented in maps and stratigraphic sections through correlation schemes, and in conjunction with previously published data. The pattern of palaeotemperatures for CAI values of 1.5-3 is coincident with organic matter maturation under a sedimentary overburden providing diagenetic conditions in the oil/gas window. Locally, conodonts show metamorphism (CAI value of 6-7) in relation to the intrusion of diabase bodies in beds including high geothermal gradient evaporites. Microtextural alteration on the surface conodonts commonly shows several types of overgrowth microtextures developed in diagenetic conditions. Locally, recrystallization in conodonts with a high CAI value is congruent with contact metamorphism in relation to Mesozoic intrusions. The CAI values of 1.5 or 2 observed close to the surface in several areas of the basin may be interpreted in relation to a high thermal palaeogradient derived from the magmatic episode or/and to the local denudation of the upper part of the Paleozoic succession prior to this thermal event.

  19. Preliminary geohydrologic conceptual model of the Los Medanos region near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for the purpose of performance assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brinster, K.F. (Science Applications International Corp., Albuquerque, NM (USA))


    This report describes a geohydrologic conceptual model of the northern Delaware Basin to be used in modeling three-dimensional, regional ground-water flow for assessing the performance of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in the Los Medanos region near Carlsbad, New Mexico. Geochemical and hydrological evidence indicates that flow is transient in the Rustler Formation and the Capitan aquifer in response to changing geologic, hydrologic, and climatic conditions. Before the Pleistocene, ground-water flow in the Rustler Formation was generally eastward, but uneven tilting of the Delaware Basin lowered the regional base level and formed fractures in the evaporitic sequence of rocks approximately parallel to the basin axis. Dissolution along the fractures, coupled with erosion, formed Nash Draw. Also, the drop in base level resulted in an increase in the carrying power of the Pecos River, which began incising the Capitan/aquifer near Carlsbad, New Mexico. Erosion and downcutting released hydraulic pressure that caused a reversal in Rustler ground-water flow direction near the WIPP. Flow in the Rustler west of the WIPP is toward Nash Draw and eventually toward Malaga Bend; flow south of the WIPP is toward Malaga Bend. 126 refs., 70 figs., 18 tabs.

  20. Raman spectroscopy of shocked gypsum from a meteorite impact crater (United States)

    Brolly, Connor; Parnell, John; Bowden, Stephen


    Impact craters and associated hydrothermal systems are regarded as sites within which life could originate on Earth, and on Mars. The Haughton impact crater, one of the most well preserved craters on Earth, is abundant in Ca-sulphates. Selenite, a transparent form of gypsum, has been colonized by viable cyanobacteria. Basement rocks, which have been shocked, are more abundant in endolithic organisms, when compared with un-shocked basement. We infer that selenitic and shocked gypsum are more suitable for microbial colonization and have enhanced habitability. This is analogous to many Martian craters, such as Gale Crater, which has sulphate deposits in a central layered mound, thought to be formed by post-impact hydrothermal springs. In preparation for the 2020 ExoMars mission, experiments were conducted to determine whether Raman spectroscopy can distinguish between gypsum with different degrees of habitability. Ca-sulphates were analysed using Raman spectroscopy and results show no significant statistical difference between gypsum that has experienced shock by meteorite impact and gypsum, which has been dissolved and re-precipitated as an evaporitic crust. Raman spectroscopy is able to distinguish between selenite and unaltered gypsum. This shows that Raman spectroscopy can identify more habitable forms of gypsum, and demonstrates the current capabilities of Raman spectroscopy for the interpretation of gypsum habitability.

  1. New oil source rocks cut in Greek Ionian basin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karakitsios, V. [Univ. of Athens (Greece); Rigakis, N. [Public Petroleum Corp., Athens (Greece)


    The Ionian zone of Northwest Greece (Epirus region) constitutes part of the most external zones of the Hellenides (Paxos zone, Ionian zone, Gavrovo Tripolitza zone). The rocks of the Ionian zone range from Triassic evaporites and associated breccias through a varied series of Jurassic through Upper Eocene carbonates and lesser cherts and shales followed by Oligocene flysch. The surface occurrences of petroleum in the Ionian zone are mainly attributed to Toarcian Lower Posidonia beds source rocks and lesser to late Callovian-Tithonian Upper Posidonia beds and to the Albian-Cenomanian Upper Siliceous zone or Vigla shales of the Vigla limestones. Oil that could not be attributed to the above source rocks is believed to have an origin from Triassic formations that contain potential source rocks in Albania and Italy. However, several samples of the shales of Triassic breccias from outcrops and drillholes were analyzed in the past, but the analytical results were not so promising since their hydrocarbon potential was low. In this article, the authors will present their analytical results of the Ioannina-1 well, where for the first time they identified some very rich source beds in the Triassic breccias formation of Northwest Greece.

  2. Reactive-transport modelling of gypsum dissolution in a coastal karst aquifer in Puglia, southern Italy (United States)

    Campana, Claudia; Fidelibus, Maria Dolores


    The gypsum coastal aquifer of Lesina Marina (Puglia, southern Italy) has been affected by sinkhole formation in recent decades. Previous studies based on geomorphologic and hydrogeological data ascribed the onset of collapse phenomena to the erosion of material that fills palaeo-cavities (suffosion sinkholes). The change in the hydrodynamic conditions of groundwater induced by the excavation of a canal within the evaporite formation nearly 100 years ago was identified as the major factor in triggering the erosion, while the contribution of gypsum dissolution was considered negligible. A combined reactive-transport/density-dependent flow model was applied to the gypsum aquifer to evaluate whether gypsum dissolution rate is a dominant or insignificant factor in recent sinkhole formation under current hydrodynamic conditions. The conceptual model was first defined with a set of assumptions based on field and laboratory data along a two-dimensional transect of the aquifer, and then a density-dependent, tide-influenced flow model was set up and solved using the numerical code SEAWAT. Finally, the resulting transient flow field was used by the reactive multicomponent transport model PHT3D to estimate the gypsum dissolution rate. The validation tests show that the model accurately represents the real system, and the multi-disciplinary approach provides consistent information about the causes and evolution time of dissolution processes. The modelled porosity development rate is too low to represent a significant contribution to the recent sinkhole formation in the Lesina Marina area, although it justifies cavity formation and cavity position over geological time.

  3. Evaluation and mapping of Dead Sea coastal aquifers salinity using Transient Electromagnetic (TEM) resistivity measurements (United States)

    Ezersky, Michael G.; Frumkin, Amos


    Evaporite karst has intensively developed recently along the Dead Sea (DS) coastal area in Israel and Jordan. It takes place in very saline groundwater dissolving buried salt layers, causing collapse of the surface. In this paper, groundwater salinity throughout the DS coastal area is investigated using the Transient Electromagnetic (TEM) method. Twenty-eight TEM soundings along the DS coastal area were carried out close to observation boreholes to calibrate resistivity-salinity relationships. Groundwater electrical conductivity was measured in these boreholes, and its salinity was analyzed at the laboratory by the Geological Survey of Israel (GSI). Quantitative relationships between bulk resistivity (ρx), water resistivity (ρw) and chloride concentration (Ccl) were derived in the resistivity range less than 1.0 Ω·m that enabled to evaluate the salinity of the aquifer in in situ conditions. Average values of the effective porosity of sandy sediments, φe = 0.32, and of silty ones, φe = 0.44, were used to generate the corresponding Archie equations. The study has shown that a DS aquifer with bulk resistivity in the range of 0.55-1.0 Ω·m contains in pores brine with 50-110 gchloride/l of (22-50% of that in saturated conditions, respectively), i.e. it keeps the potential to dissolve up to 114-174 g/l of salt.

  4. Hydrogeology of the lacustrine system of the eastern margin of the Salar the Atacama (Chile); Hidrogeologia del sistema lagunar del margen este del Salar de Atacama (Chile)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Salas, J.; Guimera, J.; Cornella, O.; Aravena, R.; Guzman, E.; Tore, C.; von Igel, W.; Moreno, R.


    A hydrogeological conceptual model of the Eastern margin of the Salar de Atacama (Chile) is proposed taking into account climatic, geological, geomorphological, piezometric, chemical and isotopic data. The study establishes the processes that explain the hydrochemical evolution of waters from salty groundwater in the alluvial aquifer located in eastern part of basin until brines at the saline aquifer of the Salar. The main processes associated with this hydrochemical evolution are evaporation and mixing, but water-crust interaction in the discharge areas of the alluvial aquifer associated with the saline wedge also modifies groundwater composition, and plays a role in the dynamics of the evaporitic crusts in the Salar. The existence of low permeability materials near the surface explains the existence of the permanent surface water bodies in the study area. Based on the data collected in the study three different mechanisms are proposed regarding the main sources of water to the lagoons: (1) discharge of saline groundwater from the detrital and volcanic aquifers of the E margin, (2) discharge of surface waters associated to the N area (Burro Muerto channel), and (3) a combination of both previous mechanisms. (Author).

  5. Sedimentation during halokinesis: Permo-Triassic reservoirs of the Saigak Field, Precaspian Basin, Kazakhstan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barde, J.-P. [Shell Temir Petroleum Development BV (Unknown); Chamberlain, P.; Harwijanto, J. [Shell International Exploration and Production, Rijswijk (Netherlands); Galavazi, M.; Belt, F. v.d. [PanTerra Geoconsultants BV (Unknown); Marsky, J. [Veba Oil and Gas GmbH (Unknown)


    Permo-Triassic reservoirs of the Saigak Field, in the eastern part of the Precaspian Basin of Kazakhstan, produced oil at cumulative rates exceeding 3600 BOPD. This confirms the attractiveness of the post-salt play in this part of the basin. Core studies show that cross-bedded sandstones in braided fluvial channels, alluvial and delta plain deposits are the best reservoirs. Integration of topographic and geomorphological features with satellite and seismic data led to the identification of inter-dome depressions with present-day active subsidence and sedimentation. These depressions are analogues to Permo-Triassic mini-basins. In the wells, reservoirs deteriorate quickly as soon as depositional environments become evaporitic. Seismic inversion was applied on a small 3D data-set covering the Saigak Field. The reduction of porosity with depth correlates well with increasing acoustic impedance values. In the inverted volume, reservoirs were characterized in terms of porosity and connected bodies, an essential input into static and dynamic reservoir modelling. (Author)

  6. The spectral nature of various Titan surface units: implications on the composition (United States)

    Solomonidou, A.


    We investigate both the surface and the atmospheric contributions on Titan from Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) spectro-imaging near-infrared data by use of a radiative transfer code [1-3]. We focus here on the geological and albedo major units identified in [4-7]: mountains, plains, labyrinths, maculae, impact craters, dune fields, alluvial fans, and possible cryovolcanic and/or evaporite features. We find that, for some of the regions classified as the same geomorphological unit in SAR, there are significantly differences in spectral responses (albedo) from VIMS, depending on location. Conversely, some regions classified from SAR as different geomorphological units show very similar spectral responses in VIMS. The surface albedo differences and similarities among the various units constrain the implications for the geological processes that govern Titan's surface (i.e. aeolian, fluvial, sedimentary, lacustrine etc). Hence, we are able to report the differences and similarities among the various regions, monitor their temporal evolution, and provide implications on their chemical composition, which lead us to constrain specific processes of origin.

  7. Structural evolution of Cenozoic basins in northeastern Tunisia, in response to sinistral strike-slip movement on the El Alia-Teboursouk Fault (United States)

    Bejaoui, Hamida; Aïfa, Tahar; Melki, Fetheddine; Zargouni, Fouad


    This paper resolves the structural complexity of Cenozoic sedimentary basins in northeastern Tunisia. These basins trend NE-SW to ∼ E-W, and are bordered by old fracture networks. Detailed descriptions of the structural features in outcrop and in subsurface data suggest that the El Alia-Teboursouk Fault zone in the Bizerte area evolved through a series of tectonic events. Cross sections, lithostratigraphic correlations, and interpretation of seismic profiles through the basins show evidence for: (i) a Triassic until Jurassic-Early Cretaceous rifting phase that induced lateral variations of facies and strata thicknesses; (ii) a set of faults oriented NE-SW, NW-SE, N-S, and E-W that guided sediment accumulation in pull-apart basins, which were subject to compressive and transpressive deformation during Eocene (Lutetian-Priabonian), Miocene (Tortonian), and Pliocene-Quaternary; and (iii) NNW-SSE to NS contractional events that occurred during the Late Pliocene. Part of the latest phase has been the formation of different synsedimentary folded structures with significant subsidence inversion. Such events have been responsible for the reactivation of inherited faults, and the intrusion of Triassic evaporites, ensuring the role of a slip layer. The combined effects of the different paleoconstraints and halokinetic movements are at the origin of the evolution of these pull-apart basins. The subsurface data suggest that an important fault displacement occurred during the Mesozoic-Cenozoic. The patterns of sediment accumulation in the different basins reflect a high activity of deep ancient faults.

  8. Sources and distribution of organic matter along the Ring of Cenotes, Yucatan, Mexico: sterol markers and statistical approaches. (United States)

    Derrien, Morgane; Cabrera, Flor Arcega; Tavera, Nadia Libertad Velazquez; Kantún Manzano, Cristian A; Vizcaino, Santiago Capella


    The Yucatan Peninsula is a large low lying platform of limestone, dolomite and evaporite deposits, forming an extensive and mature karst aquifer with many sinkholes locally called cenotes. In Yucatan, the only source of drinking water is groundwater and its quality could be impaired by: (i) infiltration of contaminants and (ii) saltwater intrusion. To investigate the sources of organic matter in this aquifer, sediment samples (46) were collected from cenotes and analysed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Sterol analysis, coupled with principal component analysis (PCA), allowed us to distinguish three sources of natural organic matter (e.g. marine, autotrophic and terrigenous) and to detect an anthropogenic input (e.g. fecal contamination). Good consistency was observed between the source assignment and the land use context (forest, agricultural, rural or urban areas) and the season, except for some of the samples where a direct correlation could not be made. The latter cases are most likely a result of the karstic character of the system. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Atmosphere-ocean-lithosphere interactions during the Great Oxidation Event: insights from zircon δ18O (United States)

    Spencer, C. J.; Partin, C. A.; Kirkland, C.; Shiels, C.; Raub, T. D.; Kinny, P.


    The Great Oxidation Event (GOE) records a precipitous atmospheric oxygen rise, perhaps by as much as three to four orders of magnitude within a few million years. The timescale of the GOE is primarily constrained by the rapid loss of mass-independently fractionated sulfur isotopes. The drastic surface changes associated with the GOE are reflected by the appearance of marine sulfate and manganese deposits, as well as increased redox-sensitive trace metal abundances in banded iron formations and shale. Each of these manifestations is recorded at the atmosphere-lithosphere or atmosphere-ocean interface. However, how the GOE affected the lithosphere beyond the atmosphere interface has received little attention to date. We present zircon δ18O data from Paleoproterozoic sedimentary successions in Western Australia and Canada that display a step-change from the isotopically distinct reservoir with high δ18O that was incorporated into subduction zone magmas. One likely candidate is marine sulfate evaporite deposits, which appear with the GOE. The incorporation of this enriched δ18O reservoir would have facilitated the step change seen in the zircon δ18O record. This signal may also be present to a much lower degree associated with the "whiffs" of atmospheric oxygen prior to the GOE.

  10. Salt deposits in Los Medanos area, Eddy and Lea counties, New Mexico (United States)

    Jones, C.L.; with sections on Ground water hydrology, Cooley; and Surficial Geology, Bachman


    The salt deposits of Los Medanos area, in Eddy and Lea Counties, southeastern New Mexico, are being considered for possible use as a receptacle for radioactive wastes in a pilot-plant repository. The salt deposits of the area. are in three evaporite formations: the Castile, Salado, and Rustler Formations, in ascending order. The three formations are dominantly anhydrite and rock salt, but some gypsum, potassium ores, carbonate rock, and fine-grained clastic rocks are present. They have combined thicknesses of slightly more than 4,000 feet, of which roughly one-half belongs to the Salado. Both the Castile and the Rustler are-richer in anhydrite-and poorer in rock salt-than the Salado, and they provide this salt-rich formation with considerable Protection from any fluids which might be present in underlying or overlying rocks. The Salado Formation contains many thick seams of rock salt at moderate depths below the surface. The rock salt has a substantial cover of well-consolidated rocks, and it is very little deformed structurally. Certain geological details essential for Waste-storage purposes are unknown or poorly known, and additional study involving drilling is required to identify seams of rock salt suitable for storage purposes and to establish critical details of their chemistry, stratigraphy, and structure.

  11. Hypocentre estimation of induced earthquakes in Groningen (United States)

    Spetzler, Jesper; Dost, Bernard


    Induced earthquakes due to gas production have taken place in the province of Groningen in the northeast of The Netherlands since 1986. In the first years of seismicity, a sparse seismological network with large station distances from the seismogenic area in Groningen was used. The location of induced earthquakes was limited by the few and wide spread stations. Recently, the station network has been extended significantly and the location of induced earthquakes in Groningen has become routine work. Except for the depth estimation of the events. In the hypocentre method used for source location by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), the depth of the induced earthquakes is by default set to 3 km which is the average depth of the gas-reservoir. Alternatively, a differential traveltime for P-waves approach for source location is applied on recorded data from the extended network. The epicentre and depth of 87 induced earthquakes from 2014 to July 2016 have been estimated. The newly estimated epicentres are close to the induced earthquake locations from the current method applied by the KNMI. It is observed that most induced earthquakes take place at reservoir level. Several events in the same magnitude order are found near a brittle anhydrite layer in the overburden of mainly rock salt evaporites.

  12. Paleozoic stratigraphy and petroleum reservoir potential in the Hudson Bay Basin, Northern Canada; re-evaluation of offshore well data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hu, Kezhen; Dietrich, James; Dewing, Keith [Geological Survey of Canada, 3303 33St. NW, Calgary, AB, T2L 2A7 (Canada)], email:; Zhang, Shunxin [Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office, PO Box 2319, 626 Tumit Plaza, Iqaluit, NU, X0A 0H0 (Canada); Asselin, Esther (Geological Survey of Canada (Canada))


    The Paleozoic Hudson Bay Basin underlies Hudson Bay and neighbouring land areas in northern Manitoba, Ontario and southern Nunavut. Upper Ordovician to Devonian strata, unconformably overlain by erosional remnants of Mesozoic strata, are part of the sedimentary succession. New stratigraphic correlations for the five offshore wells drilled in the Hudson Bay Basin give an understanding of basin depositional and erosional features, which include a major unconformity in Lower Devonian strata and a Lower Devonian evaporite section whose thickness is highly variable. Petrophysical analyses of the five wells, combined with core data, give valuable information on lithology and porosity, permeability, and water saturation in Paleozoic strata. The petrophysical data shows that many limestone, dolomite and sandstone units are sufficiently porous and permeable to form good quality reservoirs, and possible hydrocarbon-bearing zones are identified in some intervals. This new stratigraphic and reservoir framework will provide a basis for future studies on the Hudson Bay basin and the surrounding Hudson platform as a possible site for petroleum reservoirs.

  13. Sedimentology and paleoecology of an Eocene Oligocene alluvial lacustrine arid system, Southern Mexico (United States)

    Beraldi-Campesi, Hugo; Cevallos-Ferriz, Sergio R. S.; Centeno-García, Elena; Arenas-Abad, Concepción; Fernández, Luis Pedro


    A depositional model of the Eocene-Oligocene Coatzingo Formation in Tepexi de Rodríguez (Puebla, Mexico) is proposed, based on facies analysis of one of the best-preserved sections, the Axamilpa Section. The sedimentary evolution is interpreted as the retrogradation of an alluvial system, followed by the progressive expansion of an alkaline lake system, with deltaic, palustrine, and evaporitic environments. The analysis suggests a change towards more arid conditions with time. Fossils from this region, such as fossil tracks of artiodactyls, aquatic birds and cat-like mammals, suggest that these animals traversed the area, ostracods populated the lake waters, and plants grew on incipient soils and riparian environments many times throughout the history of the basin. The inferred habitat for some fossil plants coincides with the sedimentological interpretation of an arid to semiarid climate for that epoch. This combined sedimentological-paleontological study of the Axamilpa Section provides an environmental context in which fossils can be placed and brings into attention important biotic episodes, like bird and camelid migrations or the origin of endemic but extinct plants in this area.

  14. Arsenic, barium, strontium and uranium geochemistry and their utility as tracers to characterize groundwaters from the Espadán-Calderona Triassic Domain, Spain. (United States)

    Giménez-Forcada, Elena; Vega-Alegre, Marisol


    A set of analytical data from the Espadán-Calderona Triassic Domain aquifers was processed using hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis (HCA) and principal component analysis (PCA), to achieve a quantitative and independent approach to investigate the characteristics of groundwater composition and possible differences between groundwater flows from Triassic aquifers from the Espadán-Calderona Triassic Domain (Spain). Mineralization in the Triassic series has led to the presence of several metals and metalloids in groundwater, including As, Mn, Fe and U. These are associated with fresher bicarbonate groundwaters, characterized by lower Sr/Ba ratios. Levels containing sulfate evaporitic salt, which are interbedded through the Triassic series, seem to exert a strong influence on the chemistry of several groundwaters, characterized by calcium sulfate facies with high Sr concentration and high Sr/Ba ratios. The application of multivariate statistical techniques to the interpretation of analytical results allows the differentiation of groundwater types occurring in the Triassic aquifers and identification of the role of a number of minor or trace elements and their ratios that can be treated as hydrogeochemical tracers. With them it was possible to correlate the different recharge waters with the tectonic morphology of the Espadán-Calderona Triassic Domain. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Origin of the Zálesí U-Ni-Co-As-Ag/Bi deposit, Bohemian Massif, Czech Republic: fluid inclusion and stable isotope constraints (United States)

    Dolníček, Zdeněk; Fojt, Bohuslav; Prochaska, Walter; Kučera, Jan; Sulovský, Petr


    The Zálesí vein-type deposit is hosted by Early Paleozoic high-grade metamorphic rocks on the northern margin of the Bohemian Massif. The mineralization is composed of three main stages: uraninite, arsenide, and sulfide. The mineral assemblages formed at low temperatures (~80 to 130°C, locally even lower) and low pressures (mean ocean water (SMOW)] with meteoric waters ( δ 18O around -4‰ SMOW). The fluid is characterized by highly variable halogen ratios (molar Br/Cl = 0.8 × 10-3 to 5.3 × 10-3; molar I/Cl = 5.7 × 10-6 to 891 × 10-6) indicating a dominantly external origin for the brines, i.e., from evaporated seawater, which mixed with iodine-enriched halite dissolution brine. The cationic composition of these fluids indicates extensive interaction of the initial brines with their country rocks, likely associated with leaching of sulfur, carbon, and metals. The brines possibly originated from Permian-Triassic evaporites in the neighboring Polish Basin, infiltrated into the basement during post-Variscan extension and were finally expelled along faults giving rise to the vein-type mineralization. Cenozoic reactivation by low-salinity, low- δ 18O (around -10‰ SMOW) fluids of mainly meteoric origin resulted in partial replacement of primary uraninite by coffinite-like mineral aggregates.

  16. Structural styles in the Sureste Basins, Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia-Molina, G. [Petroleos Mexicanos (Mexico); Bally, A.W. [Rice Univ., Houston, TX (United States)


    The Yucatan Platform bisects the NW-SE Sierra de Chiapas fold belt of SE Mexico at right angle. The outcropping Sierra de Chiapas involves Mesozoic platform carbonates, but its northwestern subsurface continuation involves mostly Mesozoic basinal and slope facies sediments in the Villahermosa folds and their offshore continuation, the Sonda de Campeche folds. The main decollement level for the folds is a middle Jurassic evaporites sequence. The pre-salt basement of the area is poorly defined but estimated to dip from about a depth of 6 Km to the north to 13 km in the south. The fold belt was formed during upper Miocene time and is characterized by bivergent NW-SE striking folds. The amount of shortening is estimated to be in the order of 45 km to 65 km. In the onshore and offshore subsurface the folded belt is orthogonally superposed by a late Neogene growth fault system which soles out near the base of the Neogene. This growth fault system developed on the continental slope and intercepted salt diapirs that probably emanated from the core of deep-seated folds. Much of the salt accumulated farther north in the large allochthonous mass of the Campeche salt domes. (author). 23 refs., 2 figs

  17. Understanding the emergence of life on Earth and beyond (United States)

    del Gaudio, R.


    In the context of the emergence of Life on Earth it has been showed that in suitable environments, components typical of both extraterrestrial (iperstenic chondrites and siderites) [1] and terrestrial minerals and rocks containing iron (magnetite and olivine), in spite of extreme sterilization procedures, may catalyze inorganic and organic reactions leading to self-assembly metallorganic entities having a complex and composite chemical structure able to perform several catalytic activities typical of modern biology [2], [3]. In light of evidence accumulated during several years on viable microorganisms - including bacteria, archaea and fungi - found in mineral-associated environments, such as different kind of sediments and rocks (among which evaporites) as well as deep drillings and space vacuum exposure experiments, the aim of this work is to present and discuss the results of past [4] recent [1], [2], [5], and ongoing (molecular and catalytic) studies supporting the multiple root genesis hypothesis (MuRoGe) already proposed [4] in order to approach the problem of the origin of life. According to this hyphothesis, taking into account energetic, evolutionary, pre-biometabolic and environmental aspects, emergence of life on Earth accomplished through multiple origins, in different times, environments and selective contexts in whichusing terrestrial and extraterrestrial materialcooperative/ competitive, synergistic, interactive processes, life may be appeared or will emerge and survived or will survive to possible "mass extintion" due to cosmic impacts.

  18. Astrobiological significance of the sabkha life and environments of southern Tunisia (United States)

    Stivaletta, Nunzia; Barbieri, Roberto; Picard, Christine; Bosco, Marco


    In high-salinity and water-scarce environments, such as in hot and dry deserts, species develop adaptive strategies that are necessary for living in such harsh conditions. Continental ephemeral salt lakes (sabkhas) with periodic flooding from subsurface groundwater followed by high salt concentrations, such as the ones of the northern Africa Chotts, rank among the geological settings wherein the combined effect of salt concentration and fluctuation of water availability make the environment unstable and can thereafter lead to extreme changes. The present study investigates the continental sabkha environments of southern Tunisia, in which ecological niches (i.e. water and salt precipitates, including halite, gypsum, and dolomite) host microbial life. Halophilic microorganisms can be trapped in the extensive saline crusts of halite and gypsum, which can be regarded as the first step of their delivery to the fossil record. The study of halophiles can provide clues for the understanding of life strategies in extreme terrestrial environments, such as sabkhas, which are potential good terrestrial analogs for evaporite-bearing Martian deposits.

  19. Regional Mapping and Spectral Analysis of Mounds in Acidalia Planitia, Mars (United States)

    Amador, E. S.; Allen, Carlton; Oehler, D. Z.


    Acidalia Planitia is a approx.3000 km diameter planum located in the northern plains of Mars. It is believed to be a sedimentary basin containing an accumulation of sediments brought by Hesperian outflow channels that drained the Highlands. A large number of high-albedo mounds have been identified across this basin [1-2] and understanding the process that formed them should help us understand the history of this region. Farrand et al. [2] showed that the mounds are dark in THEMIS (Thermal Emission Imaging System) nighttime IR (infrared) image data. This implies that the mounds have a lower thermal inertia than the surrounding plains (Fig. 1), suggesting that the material of the mounds is fine-grained or unconsolidated. Farrand et al. [2] also reviewed potential analogs for the mounds and concluded that a combination of mud volcanoes with evaporites around geysers or springs is most consistent with all the data. We have built on this work by creating regional maps of the features and analyzing CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars) data to see if there are mineralogical differences between the mounds and surrounding plains.

  20. Application of the European water framework directive in a Western Mediterranean basin (Málaga, Spain) (United States)

    Carrasco, F.; Sánchez, D.; Vadillo, I.; Andreo, B.; Martínez, C.; Fernández, L.


    The water framework directive (WFD) is applied within the Guadalhorce river basin, a Western Mediterranean basin in the Málaga province (South Spain). Criteria defining different surface and groundwater bodies are described. The basic hydrographic network is constituted of low-mountain and low-altitude Mediterranean mineralized rivers. Heavily modified surface water bodies correspond (1) to areas where dams regulate the main watercourses, (2) to areas downstream of reservoirs, where river flow is reduced, and (3) to the coastal sector of the river where artificial channelling has caused morphological variations. Groundwater bodies are related to carbonate and porous aquifers and, locally, to aquifers influenced by dissolution of evaporites. The main impacts to water bodies are irrigated lands and livestock farming. There are also point sources of pollution, such as wastewater, landfills, golf courses, industrial zones, quarries and petrol stations. In addition, groundwater is frequently pumped for human supply and irrigation. Qualitative status of groundwater bodies was done by chemical analysis of samples from a monitoring network and the quantitative status by examining variations in piezometric levels. Both revealed the existence of water bodies at risk of not meeting the environmental objectives of the WFD. The main indicators of pollution are nitrates related to agricultural activities, and total organic carbon (TOC), PO{4/3-} and NH{4/+} in relation to wastewater.

  1. Natural and anthropogenic hazards in karst areas of Albania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Parise


    Full Text Available In Albania, about one quarter of the country is occupied by outcroppings of soluble rocks; thus, karst represents an important and typical natural environment. Today karst areas are seriously threatened by a number of hazards, of both natural and anthropogenic origin. Many problems are related to agricultural practices: the use of heavy machinery, ever-increasing in recent years, results at many sites in destruction of the original karst landscapes. Use of pesticides and herbicides, in addition, causes the loss of karst ecosystems of great biological relevance, as has been observed in the Dumre district, where about 80 lakes of karst origin are present in the evaporites of Permian-Triassic age. Agricultural practice performed on slopes with medium to high gradient is a further factor which greatly predispose the slopes to erosion. The cave heritage of Albania (estimated so far in about 1000 caves is at risk because of the uncontrolled quarrying activities which determine the total or partial destruction of karst caves, including many of naturalistic, archaeological and speleological interest. Many caves have also become sites of illegal disposal of solid and liquid wastes, which causes pollution of the karst ecosystems and of the aquifer therein present, with heavy negative consequences on the quality of water. Even though most of the cases here mentioned are related to anthropogenic activities, the natural hazards, such as subsidence phenomena, floods, and the development of sinkholes, have not to be disregarded.

  2. A Little Vacation on Mars: Mars Simulation Microbial Challenge Experiments (United States)

    Boston, P.; Todd, P.; Van De Camp, J.; Northup, D.; Spilde, M.


    Communities of microbial organisms isolated from a variety of extreme environments were subjected to 1 to 5 weeks of simulated Martian environmental conditions using the Mars Environment Simulation Chamber at the Techshot, Inc. facility in Greenville, Indiana. The goal of the overall experiment program was to assess survival of test Earth organisms under Mars full spectrum sunlight, low-latitude daily temperature profile and various Mars-atmosphere pressures (~50 mbar to 500 mbar, 100% CO2) and low moisture content. Organisms surviving after 5 weeks at 100 mbar included those from gypsum surface fracture communities in a Permian aged evaporite basin, desert varnish on andesite lavas around a manganese mine, and iron and manganese oxidizing organisms isolated from two caves in Mew Mexico. Phylogenetic DNA analysis revealed strains of cyanobacteria, bacterial genera (present in all surviving communities) Asticacaulis, Achromobacter, Comamonas, Pantoea, Verrucomicrobium, Bacillus, Gemmatimonas, Actinomyces, and others. At least one microcolonial fungal strain from a desert varnish community and at least one strain from Utah survived simulations. Strains related to the unusual cave bacterial group Bacteroidetes are present in survivor communities that resist isolation into pure culture implying that their consortial relationships may be critical to their survival.

  3. Engineering aspects of the salt diapirs; Aspectos de engenharia do diapirismo de sal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borges, Ricardo Garske [Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (PETROBRAS/CENPES), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Centro de Pesquisas e Desenvolvimento


    From the viewpoint of drilling and well bore integrity, salt presents new significant challenges of geomechanical nature. Saline rocks have a characteristic feature of deforming slowly over time, phenomenon known as creep. Salt bodies affect present geomechanical environment by change of the local stress state. This is due mainly by the fact that salt is not able to withstand deviatoric stresses. In particular, changes in stresses can happen in the vicinity of salt bodies which are of enough magnitude to affect the fracture gradient and well bore stability, the salt-sediment interface region being the one which concentrates the majority of drilling difficulties. During the drilling of an evaporitic section in an oil well, the accumulated strain over a time period can be enough to restrain the passing of the drilling column and even stuck it in an irretrievable way. After the well has been cased, the salt creep can manifest undesirably causing, in some situations, constraints to passing tools along the casing or even causing its rupture by collapse. In order to address this issue, this work seeks to assess how saline structures affect the present geomechanics environment through changes in the local state of stresses, in addition to the consequences to well bore drilling arising from this modified stress state inside and close to the salt. A historic summary is also presented concerning operational problems in well bore drilling in regions influenced by salt movement. (author)

  4. Hypersaline groundwater genesis assessment through a multidisciplinary approach: the case of Pozzo del Sale Spring (southern Italy) (United States)

    Celico, Fulvio; Capuano, Paolo; de Felice, Vincenzo; Naclerio, Gino


    A tool, based on a multidisciplinary field investigation approach for studying the characteristics of a hypersaline spring, was developed and its effectiveness tested on a spring in southern Italy; a preliminary model of the aquifer system at medium and local scale was derived. Hydrologic measurements, vertical electric soundings, and chemical and isotopic (δ18O, δ2H, 3H) analyses were undertaken, along with microbiological analyses and species identification. These demonstrate the coexistence of hypersaline and fresh water, generating a significant diversification of the groundwater hydrochemical signature. The isotopic signature shows that both types of water have a meteoric origin. Microbial contamination of fecal origin indicates the mixing of hyper- and low- saline water related to local infiltration. The hypersaline groundwater flows in confined horizons within a sequence that is mainly of fractured clays. These horizons are probably concentrated where well-developed fracture network and dissolution openings within evaporitic rocks enhance fluid flow. In a wider context, this study determines that microbiological pollution of saline groundwater may not be detected if using nonhalophilic bacterial indicators such as fecal coliforms. Fecal enterococci are better indicators, due to their higher halotolerance.

  5. Raft tectonics in northern Campos Basin; Tectonica de jangada (raft tectonics) na area norte da Bacia de Campos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Castro, Marilia R. de [Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense (UENF), Campos dos Goytacases, RJ (Brazil)]|[PETROBRAS, Macae, RJ (Brazil). Unidade de Negocio da Bacia de Campos; Fugita, Adhemar M. [Universidade do Estado, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Programa de Recursos Humanos da ANP


    In the northern area of Campos Basin salt gliding/spreading processes promoted the break-up and transport of Cretaceous and Tertiary rocks overlying the evaporites. This process is known as raft tectonics, and it represents the most extreme form of thin-skinned extension above the salt decollement surface. Three distinct geotectonic domains were recognized that formed in response to the raft tectonics. The first one, confined to the shallower shelf portion of the basin, is characterized by minor extension (pre-raft domain), probably because of small salt thickness and low gradient. In the second domain (or disorganized rafts domain), located in distal platformal and slope areas, seismic sections show the occurrence of blocks or rafts with angular shapes, sometimes imbricated and frequently discontinuous. In the third domain, or domain of organized rafts, located in bacinal region, seismic sections show a more continuous raft pattern, often folded because of salt compression in the distal portions of the basin. The main purposes of this work is to characterize these three tectonic domains distinguished by raft tectonics, as well as their importance in hydrocarbon accumulations in calcarenites. (author)

  6. Tectonic-stratigraphic evolution of Espirito Santo Basin - Brazil; Evolucao tectono-estratigrafica da Bacia do Espirito Santo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silva, Eric Zagotto; Fernandes, Flavio L.; Lobato, Gustavo; Ferreira Neto, Walter Dias [Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), RJ (Brazil). Coordenacao dos Programas de Pos-graduacao de Engenharia (COPPE). Lab. de Modelagem de Bacias (LAB2M); Petersohn, Eliane [Agencia Nacional do Petroleo, Gas Natural e Biocombustiveis (ANP), Brasilia, DF (Brazil)


    This paper documents the analysis of seismic data of the Espirito Santo basin obtained during the project realized through partnership between COPPE/UFRJ/Lab2M with the Agencia Nacional do Petroleo, Gas Natural e Biocombustiveis (ANP) during 2006 and 2007. The major objective of the seismic data interpretation in the project was to define the main structural and stratigraphic features in order to build a sedimentation model and a tectonic-stratigraphic evolution model of the Espirito Santo basin. Thus, the sedimentary package has been divided into eight genetic units (UN), grouped into five third order stratigraphic sequences, namely: UN-B, represented by siliciclastics rocks of the rift stage and evaporitic sag-rift stage, deposited during the Aptian; UN-C, which represents the carbonatic rocks deposited in a marine environment, and siliciclastics rocks located in the proximal portions during the Albian; and UN-D, represented by sediments, composed mainly by pelites, deposited in between the Cenomanian and Recent, and includes the Eocene volcanic event, which one changed the sedimentation pattern of the basin. (author)

  7. Tectonic-stratigraphic evolution of Cumuruxatiba Basin - Brazil; Evolucao tectono-estratigrafica da Bacia de Cumuruxatiba

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lobato, Gustavo; Fernandes, Flavio L.; Silva, Eric Zagotto; Ferreira Neto, Walter Dias [Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), RJ (Brazil). Coordenacao dos Programas de Pos-graduacao de Engenharia (COPPE). Lab. de Modelagem Multidisciplinar de Bacias Sedimentares; Ribeiro, Juliana [Agencia Nacional do Petroleo, Gas Natural e Biocombustiveis (ANP), Brasilia, DF (Brazil)


    In recent years, the exploratory interest on Cumuruxatiba Basin has been inconstant, with modest discoveries of oil. Aiming to deepen the geological knowledge of the basin and in order to attract the interest of oil companies, the ANP (National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels) signed contract with COPPE/UFRJ for carrying out an analysis basin project. The project was developed by the Basin Analysis Multidisciplinary Modeling Laboratory (Lab2M/UFRJ) in the period 2006/2007, and was with the main objective outline the main structural and seismo-stratigraphic features of the basin, and in an integrated and multidisciplinary way, build a model of its sedimentation and tectono-stratigraphic evolution. This paper presents the results of the regional seismic mapping, aided by well and potential methods data. The stratigraphic succession the basin has been divided into genetic units (UN-B, UN-C e UN-D) corresponding to second order depositional sequences, they are: UN-B, corresponding by a rift and sag-rift siliciclastic deposits, plus the Aptian evaporitic deposits; UN-C, characterized by carbonatic deposits, and shelf related sediments; and UN-D, corresponding by a final transgressive (siliciclastic) - regressive (mix) cycle, between Cenomanian and actual days. (author)

  8. Salinity stratification of the Mediterranean Sea during the Messinian crisis: A first model analysis (United States)

    Simon, Dirk; Meijer, Paul Th.


    In the late Miocene, a thick and complex sequence of evaporites was deposited in the Mediterranean Sea during an interruption of normal marine sedimentation known as the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Because the related deposits are mostly hidden from scrutiny in the deep basin, correlation between onshore and offshore sediments is difficult, hampering the development of a comprehensive stratigraphic model. Since the various facies correspond to different salinities of the basin waters, it would help to have physics-based understanding of the spatial distribution of salt concentration. Here, we focus on modelling salinity as a function of depth, i.e., on the stratification of the water column. A box model is set up that includes a simple representation of a haline overturning circulation and of mixing. It is forced by Atlantic exchange and evaporative loss and is used to systematically explore the degree of stratification that results under a wide range of combinations of parameter values. The model demonstrates counterintuitive behaviour close to the saturation of halite. For parameter values that may well be realistic for the Messinian, we show that a significantly stratified Mediterranean water column can be established. In this case, Atlantic connectivity is limited but may be closer to modern magnitudes than previously thought. In addition, a slowing of Mediterranean overturning and a larger deep-water formation region (both in comparison to the present day) are required. Under these conditions, we would expect a longer duration of halite deposition than currently considered in the MSC stratigraphic consensus model.

  9. The US Geological Survey, digital spectral reflectance library: version 1: 0.2 to 3.0 microns (United States)

    Clark, Roger N.; Swayze, Gregg A.; King, Trude V. V.; Gallagher, Andrea J.; Calvin, Wendy M.


    We have developed a digital reflectance spectral library, with management and spectral analysis software. The library includes 500 spectra of 447 samples (some samples include a series of grain sizes) measured from approximately 0.2 to 3.0 microns. The spectral resolution (Full Width Half Maximum) of the reflectance data is less than or equal to 4 nm in the visible (0.2-0.8 microns) and less than or equal 10 nm in the NIR (0.8-2.35 microns). All spectra were corrected to absolute reflectance using an NBS Halon standard. Library management software lets users search on parameters (e.g. chemical formulae, chemical analyses, purity of samples, mineral groups, etc.) as well as spectral features. Minerals from sulfide, oxide, hydroxide, halide, carbonate, nitrate, borate, phosphate, and silicate groups are represented. X-ray and chemical analyses are tabulated for many of the entries, and all samples have been evaluated for spectral purity. The library also contains end and intermediate members for the olivine, garnet, scapolite, montmorillonite, muscovite, jarosite, and alunite solid-solution series. We have included representative spectra of H2O ice, kerogen, ammonium-bearing minerals, rare-earth oxides, desert varnish coatings, kaolinite crystallinity series, kaolinite-smectite series, zeolite series, and an extensive evaporite series. Because of the importance of vegetation to climate-change studies we have include 17 spectra of tree leaves, bushes, and grasses.

  10. Rapid subsidence in damaging sinkholes: Measurement by high-precision leveling and the role of salt dissolution (United States)

    Desir, G.; Gutiérrez, F.; Merino, J.; Carbonel, D.; Benito-Calvo, A.; Guerrero, J.; Fabregat, I.


    Investigations dealing with subsidence monitoring in active sinkholes are very scarce, especially when compared with other ground instability phenomena like landslides. This is largely related to the catastrophic behaviour that typifies most sinkholes in carbonate karst areas. Active subsidence in five sinkholes up to ca. 500 m across has been quantitatively characterised by means of high-precision differential leveling. The sinkholes occur on poorly indurated alluvium underlain by salt-bearing evaporites and cause severe damage on various human structures. The leveling data have provided accurate information on multiple features of the subsidence phenomena with practical implications: (1) precise location of the vaguely-defined edges of the subsidence zones and their spatial relationships with surveyed surface deformation features; (2) spatial deformation patterns and relative contribution of subsidence mechanisms (sagging versus collapse); (3) accurate subsidence rates and their spatial variability with maximum and mean vertical displacement rates ranging from 1.0 to 11.8 cm/yr and 1.9 to 26.1 cm/yr, respectively; (4) identification of sinkholes that experience continuous subsidence at constant rates or with significant temporal changes; and (5) rates of volumetric surface changes as an approximation to rates of dissolution-induced volumetric depletion in the subsurface, reaching as much as 10,900 m3/yr in the largest sinkhole. The high subsidence rates as well as the annual volumetric changes are attributed to rapid dissolution of high-solubility salts.

  11. Eolian Dune, interdune, sand sheet, and Siliciclastic Sabkha sediments of an offshore prograding Sand Sea, Dhahran Area, Saudi Arabia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fryberger, S.G.; Al-Sari, A.M.; Clisham, T.J.


    An offshore prograding sand sea exists along portions of the Arabian Gulf coastline near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. In this region, sediments of eolian dune, interdune, sand sheet, and siliciclastic sabkha intercalate with marine deposits. This depositional setting is characterized by strong offshore winds which supply abundant sand to the coastline, and cause at present time the outbuilding of the dune system. This quartz-detrital dominant setting contrasts markedly with the carbonate dominant setting resulting from onshore winds in the Trucial Coast area to the south. The broad intercalation of eolian and marine deposits which results creates ideal potential for subregional stratigraphic petroleum traps, due to pinch-out of porous and permeable dune sands into impermeable marine mudstones. Within the eolian system itself are potential reservoir rocks, sources, (organic-rich sabkha and interdune deposits), and seals (zones of early cementation in all deposits). Early cementation is very common in all facies of the eolian sand sea. The early cementation occurs owing to (1) soil formation, (2) deposition of pore-filling gypsiferous cements from saturated solutions near water table, and (3) addition of sand-size windblown evaporitic material to sands downwind of sabkhas.

  12. Three-dimensional modeling of an aeolian dune/interdune system: Applications to hydrocarbon production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pugh, J.M.; Glennie, K.W.; Williams, B.P.J. (Univ. of Aberdeen, Aberdeen (United Kingdom))


    The Al Liwa region of the northeast Rub Al Khali, United Arab Emirates, comprises compound crescentic draa and subcircular inland sabkhas that are flanked to their north by a sand sea of smaller dunes extending almost to the coast of the Arabian Gulf. This controlled the supply of sand from the north and influenced water-table positions within interdune areas. The draa, up to 170 m high, comprise both fine and coarse sands with a strong carbonate component, and are migrating very slowly to the south-southeast. The evaporite-encrusted interdune sabkhas often are underlain by foreset dune sands that also indicate transport to the south-southeast. The northern fringe of smaller dunes migrates southward more rapidly than the draa, but their northern supply of sand now has been cut off by flooding of the Gulf, initiating the deflation of coastal areas down to the water table. A deep-penetrating radar survey, coupled with large-scale trenching, provides a three-dimensional model of dune/interdune systems. This fieldwork aids a clearer understanding of dune/interdune heterogeneities and interconnectedness, which in turn is providing more realistic reservoir models for interwell simulation studies within the Permian Rotliegende gas fields of northwest Europe.

  13. Eolian dune, interdune, sand sheet, and siliciclastic Sabkha sediments of an offshore prograding Sand Sea, Dhahran area, Saudi Arabia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fryberger, S.G.; Al-Sari, A.M.; Clisham, T.J.


    An offshore prograding sand sea exists along portions of the Arabian Gulf coastline near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. In this region, sediments of eolian dune, interdune, sand sheet, and siliciclastic sabkha intercalate with marine deposits. This depositional setting is characterized by strong offshore winds which supply abundant sand to the coastline, and cause at present time the outbuilding of the dune system. This quartz-detrital dominant setting contrasts markedly with the carbonate dominant setting resulting from onshore winds in the Trucial Coast area to the south. The broad intercalation of eolian and marine deposits which results creates ideal potential for subregional stratigraphic petroleum traps, due to pinch-out of porous and permeable dune sands into impermeable marine mudstones. Within the eolian system itself are potential reservoir rocks (dunes), sources (organic-rich sabkha and interdune deposits), and seals (zones of early cementation in all deposits). Early cementation is very common in all facies of the eolian sand sea. The early cementation occurs owing to (1) soil formation, (2) deposition of pore-filling gypsiferous cements from saturated solutions near water table, and (3) addition of sand-size windblown evaporitic material to sands downwind of sabkhas.

  14. Magmatic pulse driven by sea-level changes associated with the Messinian salinity crisis (United States)

    Sternai, Pietro; Caricchi, Luca; Garcia-Castellanos, Daniel; Jolivet, Laurent; Sheldrake, Tom E.; Castelltort, Sébastien


    Between 5 and 6 million years ago, during the so-called Messinian salinity crisis, the Mediterranean basin became a giant salt repository. The possibility of abrupt and kilometre-scale sea-level changes during this extreme event is debated. Messinian evaporites could signify either deep- or shallow-marine deposits, and ubiquitous erosional surfaces could indicate either subaerial or submarine features. Significant and fast reductions in sea level unload the lithosphere, which can increase the production and eruption of magma. Here we calculate variations in surface load associated with the Messinian salinity crisis and compile the available time constraints for pan-Mediterranean magmatism. We show that scenarios involving a kilometre-scale drawdown of sea level imply a phase of net overall lithospheric unloading at a time that appears synchronous with a magmatic pulse from the pan-Mediterranean igneous provinces. We verify the viability of a mechanistic link between unloading and magmatism using numerical modelling of decompression partial mantle melting and dyke formation in response to surface load variations. We conclude that the Mediterranean magmatic record provides an independent validation of the controversial kilometre-scale evaporative drawdown and sheds new light on the sensitivity of magmatic systems to the surface forcing.

  15. Ancient microbes from halite fluid inclusions: optimized surface sterilization and DNA extraction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krithivasan Sankaranarayanan

    Full Text Available Fluid inclusions in evaporite minerals (halite, gypsum, etc. potentially preserve genetic records of microbial diversity and changing environmental conditions of Earth's hydrosphere for nearly one billion years. Here we describe a robust protocol for surface sterilization and retrieval of DNA from fluid inclusions in halite that, unlike previously published methods, guarantees removal of potentially contaminating surface-bound DNA. The protocol involves microscopic visualization of cell structures, deliberate surface contamination followed by surface sterilization with acid and bleach washes, and DNA extraction using Amicon centrifugal filters. Methods were verified on halite crystals of four different ages from Saline Valley, California (modern, 36 ka, 64 ka, and 150 ka, with retrieval of algal and archaeal DNA, and characterization of the algal community using ITS1 sequences. The protocol we developed opens up new avenues for study of ancient microbial ecosystems in fluid inclusions, understanding microbial evolution across geological time, and investigating the antiquity of life on earth and other parts of the solar system.

  16. Raman spectroscopy as a potentialmethod for the detection of extremely halophilic archaea embedded in halite in terrestrial and possibly extraterrestrial samples. (United States)

    Fendrihan, Sergiu; Musso, Maurizio; Stan-Lotter, Helga


    Evidence for the widespread occurrence of extraterrestrial halite, particularly on Mars, has led to speculations on the possibility of halophilic microbial forms of life; these ideas have been strengthened by reports of viable haloarchaea from sediments of geological age (millions of years). Raman spectroscopy, being a sensitive detection method for future astrobiological investigations onsite, has been used in the current study for the detection of nine different extremely halophilic archaeal strains which had been embedded in laboratory-made halite crystals in order to simulate evaporitic conditions. The cells accumulated preferentially in tiny fluid inclusions, in simulation of the precipitation of salt in natural brines. FT-Raman spectroscopy using laser excitation at 1064 nm and dispersive micro Raman spectroscopy at 514.5 nm were applied. The spectra showed prominent peaks at 1507, 1152 and 1002 cm(-1) which are attributed to haloarchaeal C(50) carotenoid compounds (mainly bacterioruberins). Their intensity varied from strain to strain at 1064-nm laser excitation. Other distinguishable features were peaks due to peptide bonds (amide I, amide III) and to nucleic acids. No evidence for fatty acids was detected, consistent with their general absence in all archaea.These results contribute to a growing database on Raman spectra of terrestrial microorganisms from hypersaline environments and highlight the influence of the different macromolecular composition of diverse strains on these spectra.

  17. Conodonts, stratigraphy, and relative sea-level changes of the tribes hill formation (lower ordovician, east-central New York) (United States)

    Landing, E.D.; Westrop, S.R.; Knox, L.A.


    Tremadocian onlap is recorded by the Tribes Hill Formation. The formation is a lower Lower Ordovician (upper conodont Fauna B Interval(?)- Rossodus manitouensis Zone) depositional sequence that unconformably overlies the Upper Cambrian Little Falls Formation. Depositional environments and stratigraphy indicate that the Tribes Hill was deposited on a wave-, not tide-, dominated shelf and that a uniform, 'layer-cake' stratigraphy is present. The deepening-shoaling sequence of the Tribes Hill includes the: 1) Sprakers Member (new; peritidal carbonate and overlying tempestite limestone and shale); 2) Van Wie Member (new; subtidal shale and limestone); 3) Wolf Hollow Member (revised; massive carbonates with thrombolitic cap); and 4) Canyon Road Member (new; glauconitic limestone and overlying evaporitic dolostone). The shoaling half-cycle of the Tribes Hill is older than a shoaling event in western Newfoundland, and suggests epeirogenic factors in earliest Ordovician sea-level change in east Laurentia. Conodont and trilobite biofacies track lithofacies, and Rossodus manitouensis Zone conodonts and Bellefontia Biofacies trilobites appear in the distal, middle Tribes Hill Formation. Twenty-four conodont species are illustrated. Ansella? protoserrata new species, lapetognathus sprakersi new species, Leukorhinion ambonodes new genus and species, and Laurentoscandodus new genus are described.

  18. Hydrogeochemical processes in the Plio-Quaternary Remila aquifer (Khenchela, Algeria) (United States)

    Aouidane, Laiche; Belhamra, Mohamed


    The Remila Plain is a synclinal structure in northeast Algeria, situated within a semi-arid climate zone and composed of Mio-Pliocene-Quaternary deposits. Within the syncline, the Plio-Quaternary aquifer is the main source of drinking water for cattle and for agricultural irrigation water. This work aims to investigate the origin of groundwater mineralization and to identify the primary hydrogeochemical processes controlling groundwater evolution in the Remila aquifer. A total of 86 water samples from boreholes were analyzed for major, minor and stable isotopes (18O, 2H) over three seasons: first during low water levels in 2013, second during high water levels in 2014 and third for stable isotopes during low water levels in 2015. The analysis showed that the aquifer is controlled by five principal geochemical processes: (I) the dissolution of evaporite rocks, (II) cation exchange and reverse exchange reactions, (III) congruent dissolution of carbonates (calcite, dolomite) coupled with the dissolution of gypsum and calcite precipitation, (IV) sulfate reduction under anaerobic conditions, and (V) saltwater intrusion in the northeastern Sabkha plains. The 18O and deuterium concentrations in groundwater are very low, indicating that the aquifer is recharged by evaporated rainfall originating from the north slope of the Aurès Mountains which confirms that the aquifer is recharged in the southern part of the plain.

  19. Paleozoic paleogeographic and depositional developments on the central proto-Pacific margin of Gondwana: Their importance to hydrocarbon accumulation (United States)

    Gohrbandt, K. H. A.


    During the Paleozoic Era, the western portion of the Gondwana continent between the equator and latitude 27°S of present-day South America bordered the proto-Pacific Ocean as a predominantly convergent margin. Following the Middle Cambrian accretion of the Arequipa-Belen-Antofalla Terrane, an epicontinental sea with communication to the proto-Pacific Ocean established itself along the length of the western margin of Gondwana during Late Cambrian and Early Ordovician time. The emergence of a proto-Cordillera led to significant separation of the epicontinental sea from the proto-Pacific Ocean during Silurian and Devonian times. Gradual erosion of that proto-Cordillera during Carboniferous and Early Permian time once again facilitated widespread transgression of the proto-Pacific Ocean into the epicontinental domain. At the end of the Early Permian, the sea retreated from Gondwana and a proto-Cordillera was re-established. The proto-Cordillera and the craton of Gondwana controlled sediment type and distribution in the epicontinental sea. Deposition occurred in five tectono-sedimentary cycles, which were separated by orogenic pulses that resulted in regional erosion of the previously deposited section. Oil and gas have been produced from the Paleozoic epicontinental sediments of Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, and Brazil, in an area in which exploration efforts are ongoing. Sandstone reservoirs and argillaceous source rocks of commercial importance formed during the episodes of sedimentation, but carbonates do not contribute to commercial hydrocarbon generation and accumulation. Cap rocks are provided by shales or evaporites.

  20. Chronology of sand ridges and the Late Quaternary evolution of the Etosha Pan, Namibia (United States)

    Hipondoka, M. H. T.; Mauz, B.; Kempf, J.; Packman, S.; Chiverrell, R. C.; Bloemendal, J.


    Etosha Pan, situated at the southern border of tropical Africa, is a vast endorheic plain in Namibia's semi-arid north. The most recent studies agree that the pan was the floor of a former lake with varying water levels. Here we explored this idea further by investigating the link between lake-level change and records of late Pleistocene and Holocene climate change. The varying lake levels were inferred through sediment analysis and optical dating of sand deposits that form ridges parallel to the current shore along the northern and western margins of the pan. Our results support the view that the sand ridges are shoreline deposits of an evaporitic lake. The ridges result from the interplay between intermittent river discharge and riverine sediment supply from the north, prevailing north-easterly wind and shore-parallel waves. Therefore they are a proxy for former levels of a perennial lake. We infer higher levels during the late Pleistocene and a drastic drop shortly after 10 ka. Since around 8 ka Etosha Pan was covered by a shallow water body. This lake water-level reconstruction is not in line with the histories of ITCZ migration and strength of Benguela current upwelling. We confirm that the linkages between the evolution of the Etosha Pan and the climate mechanisms driving hydrological changes in subtropical southwest Africa are poorly resolved and need further investigation.

  1. Mineral Composition and Abundance of the Rocks and Soils at Gusev and Meridiani from the Mars Exploration Rover Mini-TES Instruments (United States)

    Christensen, P. R.; Wyatt, M. B.; Glotch, T. D.; Rogers, A. D.; Anwar, S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bandfield, J. L.; Blaney, D. L.; Budney, C.; Calvin, W. M.


    The Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) has provided remote measurements of mineralogy, thermophysical properties, and atmospheric temperature profile and composition of the outcrops, rocks, spherules, and soils surrounding the Spirit and Opportunity Rovers. The mineralogy of volcanic rocks provides insights into the composition of the source regions and the nature of martian igneous processes. Carbonates, sulfates, evaporites, and oxides provide information on the role of water in the surface evolution. Oxides, such as crystalline hematite, provide insight into aqueous weathering processes, as would the occurrence of clay minerals and other weathering products. Diurnal temperature measurements can be used to determine particle size and search for the effects of sub-surface layering, which in turn provide clues to the origin of surficial materials through rock disintegration, aeolian transport, atmospheric fallout, or induration. In addition to studying the surface properties, Mini-TES spectra have also been used to determine the temperature profile in the lower boundary layer, providing evidence for convective activity, and have determined the seasonal trends in atmospheric temperature and dust and cloud opacity.

  2. Igneous rocks of alpine age associated with Keuper material in the Iberian Mountains, near Teruel (Spain

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    Sánchez Cela, V.


    Full Text Available In the present work, some rocks of igneous facies associated to Keuper materials, are studied. These rocks, previously referred to as ophites, consist in fact of plutonic rocks, compositionally ranging from syenites to monzogabbros. Field, petrographic and geochemical data appear to indicate that these igneous rocks facies were a consequence of metasomatic transformation processes that took place between allocthonous silica-alkaline elements and suitable wall-rocks, constituted, in this case, of evaporitic marls of Keuper facies.

    Se describen algunos caracteres geológicos, petrográficos y geoquímicos de unas rocas ígneas, que en pequeños afloramientos aparecen asociadas a materiales del Keuper. Estas rocas, que estaban citadas como ofitas, corresponden principalmente a facies granudas entre sienitas y monzogabros. El ambiente de los afloramientos, relaciones de contacto, caracteres petrográficos y químicos, parecen indicar que las rocas ígneas fueron el resultado de procesos de metasomatismo originados por fluidos sílico-alcalinos que transformaron los materiales encajantes margoevaporíticos del Keuper.

  3. Geochemical variations in aeolian mineral particles from the Sahara-Sahel Dust Corridor. (United States)

    Moreno, Teresa; Querol, Xavier; Castillo, Sonia; Alastuey, Andrés; Cuevas, Emilio; Herrmann, Ludger; Mounkaila, Mohammed; Elvira, Josep; Gibbons, Wes


    The Sahara-Sahel Dust Corridor runs from Chad to Mauritania and expels huge amounts of mineral aerosols into the Atlantic Ocean. Data on samples collected from Algeria, Chad, Niger, and Western Sahara illustrate how corridor dust mineralogy and chemistry relate to geological source and weathering/transport history. Dusts sourced directly from igneous and metamorphic massifs are geochemically immature, retaining soluble cations (e.g., K, Na, Rb, Sr) and accessory minerals containing HFSE (e.g., Zr, Hf, U, Th) and REE. In contrast, silicate dust chemistry in desert basins (e.g., Bodélé Depression) is influenced by a longer history of transport, physical winnowing (e.g., loss of Zr, Hf, Th), chemical leaching (e.g., loss of Na, K, Rb), and mixing with intrabasinal materials such as diatoms and evaporitic salts. Mineral aerosols blown along the corridor by the winter Harmattan winds mix these basinal and basement materials. Dusts blown into the corridor from sub-Saharan Africa during the summer monsoon source from deeply chemically weathered terrains and are therefore likely to be more kaolinitic and stripped of mobile elements (e.g., Na, K, Mg, Ca, LILE), but retain immobile and resistant elements (e.g., Zr, Hf, REE). Finally, dusts blown southwestwards into the corridor from along the Atlantic Coastal Basin will be enriched in carbonate from Mesozoic-Cenozoic marine limestones, depleted in Th, Nb, and Ta, and locally contaminated by uranium-bearing phosphate deposits.

  4. GEMAS: Geochemical distribution of iodine in European agricultural soil (United States)

    Birke, Manfred; Reimann, Clemens; Ladenberger, Anna; Négrel, Philippe; Rauch, Uwe; Demetriades, Alecos; Korte, Frank; Dinelli, Enrico


    Iodine concentrations are reported for the Galicia and France, where the organic matter content in the soil is generally high. The continuous supply of I from sea spray represents a potential source for high and elevated I concentrations. In the coastal zones of SE Spain, SE Ukraine and SW Croatia the I concentration in Ap samples is usually high. Along the eastern Adriatic coast as well as in South-East Ukraine and in the Crimea the elevated and anomalous I concentrations correspond well with the distribution of terra rossa soils developed on karst and organic-rich soils (black soil). In SE Spain the I enriched soils are most likely related to the occurrence of evaporites. The comparison of I background values (medians) based on the parent materials demonstrates a higher I content in soils over limestone and shale. Iodine-low soil areas (< 1.5 mg I/kg) correspond well with sandy deposits (East Germany, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia), sedimentary rocks (central Iberian Peninsula) and glacial and aeolian deposits (NW Ukraine).

  5. Soft-sediment deformation related to syntectonic intraformational unconformity in the early Palaeocene alluvial-fan deposits of Kuşcular Formation in the Elazığ sector of Tauride foreland, eastern Turkey (United States)

    Koç Taşgın, Calibe


    The Kuşçular Formation was deposited in the early Palaeocene in a tectonically-controlled foreland basin in front of the southwards-advancing nappes of the Tauride orogen in eastern Turkey. This lithostratigraphic unit consists of alluvial-fan deposits, including distal mudflat-playa facies association. The proximal to middle fan deposits are composed of clastic sediments, whereas the distal deposits represent both clastic and evaporitic sedimentation. Compressional synsedimentary deformation caused development of an intraformational unconformity in the distal fan deposits of the Kuşçular Formation. Slump features and overturned beds were formed as a result of the oversteepening and recumbent folding of deposits due to the orogen thrust-wedge movement. Load casts, flame structures, intrusion features, sand dykes, interpenetrative cusps and synsedimentary faults were formed as a result of sediment liquefaction and remobilization. It is suggested that such levels of soft-sediment deformation in foreland terrestrial molasse deposits should be carefully studied as they may be related to 'hidden' unconformities and represent an important record of syndepositional tectonic and seismic activity in the basin.

  6. Mineralogical insights for very high temperature conditions during Cretaceous mantle exhumation at the northern Iberian passive margin: the sapphirine-bearing supradetachment deposits of the North Pyrenean Zone in the Lherz area (United States)

    Uzel, Jessica; Lagabrielle, Yves; Fourcade, Serge; Chopin, Christian; Asti, Riccardo


    these detrital elements can be identified in the Aulus Basin, apart from the protolith of the sapphirine-bearing rocks which remains enigmatic. Microprobe analyses allowed an estimate of the average composition of this protolith. We found that the best candidate is a mix of evaporitic clays and dolomite, typical of the Keuper-Rhetian sediments, that evolved under the HT-LP conditions of the Pyrenean metamorphism. The presence of inclusions with evaporitic affinity (Cl-apatite and anhydrite) in the sapphirine and kornerupine crystals, revealed by electron microscopy and Raman analyses, strongly supports this hypothesis. In addition, earlier observations of anhydrite enclosed in metamorphic enstatite strengthen this interpretation (Foucard, 1997). Accordingly, we propose that the sapphirine-bearing rocks and associated sedimentary rocks originated from the transformation of sediments of Keuper-Rhetian age through cataclasis and metasomatism during the Cretaceous metamorphic event coeval with mantle exhumation. This complete transformation occurred along the extensional detachment fault which was progressively exposing the lherzolites to the seafloor. The cataclastic debris were abandoned on the unroofed detachment surface and rapidly reworked through sedimentary processes.

  7. Tectono-stratigraphic evolution of the northern margin of the Amu Darya basin in Uzbekistan (Bukhara-Khiva and South-West Gissar regions) (United States)

    Mordvintsev, Dmitriy; Brunet, Marie-Françoise; Barrier, Eric; Auxiètre, Jean-Luc; Blanpied, Christian; Munsch, Hermann; Sidorova, Irina


    The main purpose of this work is the reconstruction of the geological, tectonic and stratigraphic evolution of the northern margin of the Amu Darya basin in Uzbekistan, especially during the Mesozoic time. The area considered is running from the Bukhara-Khiva region in the North-West (studied by subsurface data) to the mountains of South-Western Gissar in the South-East. To reach this objective we aim at studying and comparing these areas. The Bukhara-Khiva area consists of two NW-elongated steps - Bukhara and Chardzhou, divided by a main fault-flexural zone, called Uchbash-Karshi flexure-fault zone. Eight geological-geophysical sections have been reconstructed in the Bukhara-Khiva area by using seismic, well and map data. Six of them, roughly N-S trending, are almost perpendicular to the trend of the steps, while the two others, running along the Bukhara and Chardzhou steps are NW-oriented. All of these sections show the lateral distributions, thickness variations and unconformities between the main stratigraphic horizons. These horizons are the tops of: 1. the pre-Jurassic formations (Paleozoic - Permo-Triassic), 2. the Lower-Middle Jurassic clastics, 3. the Middle-Upper Jurassic carbonates, 4. the Upper Jurassic evaporites, 5. the Lower Cretaceous and 6. the Upper Cretaceous beds. The Bukhara step constitutes the northern part of the area. It is characterized by very thin Jurassic deposits (sometimes missing as the evaporites) no more than 300 m thick. The distribution of the different Jurassic formations is intermitted; the most extended one is the carbonate layer. Most of the Jurassic sediments are concentrated in the Chardzhou step, the southern part of the investigated area, where their thickness reaches more than 2 km. All formations are well-developed and rather thick in comparison with the Bukhara step. The Jurassic beds display different morphological-structural features. In the Bukhara step most of the surfaces exhibit a very rough relief with abundant

  8. Origin and permeability of deep ocean salts (United States)

    Hovland, M.; Rueslåtten, H.


    Large, buried salt bodies occur in numerous offshore rift-related sedimentary basins, worldwide. For most practical purposes, the conventional evaporite (solar evaporation of seawater) theory is adequate for explaining these occurrences. However, a new model for their formation has now been published (Hovland et al., 2006; 2007, 2008). This model relies on the properties of supercritical water, a fluid which does not dissolve salt (within specific temperature and pressure ranges). The model predicts that some of the large volumes of salt occurring underground in the Red Sea and also in the Mediterranean Sea, formed by forced hydrothermal circulation of seawater down to depths where it became superctical (i.e., temperatures above 405°C, and pressures above 300 bars). Thus, salt precipitated under-ground and filled up cracks and crevices and also formed massive accumulations, which partly flowed upwards as dense, hot brines, precipitating more solid salts upon cooling. In addition, Holness and Lewis (1997) have shown experimentally that salt bodies subjected to high pressures and elevated temperatures, acquire a permeability comparable to sand. This is because the crystalline structure of salt (halite) attains dihedral angles between salt crystals less than 60° at higher temperatures and pressures, allowing water to form continuous strings around all salt crystals. This allows hot dense brines to migrate through the salt. Thus, the salt may act as conduits for flow of brines and salt slurries from previously accumulated salt in the subsurface. If these brines reach the sea floor, they can also form brine-pools and layered salt bodies on the sea floor. An IODP Pre-proposal (No. 741-pre) is now actively promoting drilling some targets in order of checking out this new theory against the conventional evaporite model. It is hoped that European scientists will take up this question and actively promote drilling into salt bodies, for example in the Red Sea (The

  9. Diagenesis, provenance and reservoir quality of Triassic TAGI sandstones from Ourhoud field, Berkine (Ghadames) Basin, Algeria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rossi, C.; Arribas, J.; Tortosa, A. [Universidad Complutense de Madrid, (Spain). Departamento de Petrologia y Geoquimica; Kalin, O. [Universidad Complutense, Madrid (Spain). Departamento de Paleontologia


    The Triassic TAGI (Trias Argilo-Greseux Inferieur) fluvial sandstones are the main oil reservoirs in the Berkine Basin, Algeria. Nonetheless, their provenance and diagenesis, and their impact on reservoir quality, are virtually unknown. Samples from the Ourhoud field, representing the Lower, Middle and Upper TAGI subunits, were studied using a combination of petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical techniques. The Lower TAGI sandstones have an average framework composition of Q{sub 98.3}F{sub 0.6}R{sub 1.1} and 95% of the quartz grains are monocrystalline. By contrast, the Middle-Upper TAGI sandstones have an average framework composition of Q{sub 88.3}F{sub 9.8}R{sub 1.9} and 79% of the quartz grains are monocrystalline. The Lower TAGI quartz arenites derived from Paleozoic siliclastic rocks, whereas the Middle-Upper TAGI subarkoses originated mainly from metamorphic terrains. This change in provenance is a potential criterion for correlation within the TAGI. Also, this change has contributed to the significantly different diagenetic paths followed by the Lower TAGI quartz arenites and the Middle-Upper TAGI subarkoses. Grain-coating illitic clays are abundant in the Lower TAGI, where they exert a critical control on reservoir quality. These clays are interpreted as pedogenic and/or infiltrated in origin and to have had, in part, smectitic precursors. Shallow burial Fe-dolomite cementation was favored in the downthrown block of the field-bounding fault, where it contributed to the poor reservoir quality. Magnesite-siderite cements are multiphase. The earliest generation is composed of Fe-rich magnesite that precipitated during shallow burial from hypersaline fluids with high Mg/Ca ratios, probably refluxed residual brines associated with the Liassic evaporites. Later magnesite-siderite generations precipitated during deeper burial from waters with progressively higher Fe/Mg ratios. Authigenic vermicular kaolin largely consists of dickite that replaced previously

  10. Proceedings of the Astrobiology Science Conference 2010. Evolution and Life: Surviving Catastrophes and Extremes on Earth and Beyond (United States)


    Mars?; Titan Versus Europa - Potential for Astrobiology; Habitability Potential of Mars; Biosignatures: Tools and Development I; Origins of Molecular Asymmetry, Homochirality, and Life Detection; Deserts and Evaporite Basins and Associated Microbialite Systems; Ancient Life and Synthetic Biology: Crossroad of the Past and Future; Biosignatures: Tools and Development II; Free Oxygen: Proxies, Causes, and Consequences; Life in Modern Microbialite Systems - Function and Adaptation; Hydrothermal Systems and Organosynthesis Processes: Origin and Evolution of Life; Where Should We Go on Mars to Seek Signs of Life?; Search for Intelligent Life I. Innovative SETI Observing Programs and Future Directions; Integrating Astrobiology Research Across and Beyond the Community; Education in Astrobiology in K-12; Search for Intelligent Life II. Global Engagement and Interstellar Message Construction; Poster sessions included: Extraterrestrial Molecular Evolution and Pre-Biological Chemistry; Prebiotic Evolution: From Chemistry to Life; RNA World; Terrestrial Evolution: Implications for the Past, Present, and Future of Life on Earth; Hydrothermal Systems and Organosynthesis Processes: Origin and Evolution of Life; Virology and Astrobiology; Horizontal Genetic Transfer and Properties of Ancestral Organisms; Life in Volcanic Environments: On Earth and Beyond; Impact Events and Evolution; Evolution of Advanced Life; Evolution of Intelligent Life; Education in Astrobiology in K-12; Origins of Molecular Asymmetry, Homochirality, and Life Detection; Astrobiology and Interdisciplinary Communication; Diversity in Astrobiology Research and Education; Integrating Astrobiology Research Across and Beyond the Community; Policy and Societal Issues: Dealing with Potential Bumps in the Astrobiology Road Ahead; Results from ASTEP and Other Astrobiology Field Campaigns; Energy Flow in Microbial Ecosystems; Psychrophiles and Polar Environments; Deserts and Evaporite Basins and Associated Microbialite

  11. Messinian Salinity Crisis - DREAM (Deep-sea Record of Mediterranean Messinian events) drilling projects (United States)

    Lofi, Johanna; Camerlenghi, Angelo


    About 6 My ago the Mediterranean Sea was transformed into a giant saline basin. This event, commonly referred to as the Messinian salinity crisis (MSC), changed the chemistry of the global ocean and had a permanent impact on both the terrestrial and marine ecosystems of a huge area surrounding the Mediterranean area. The first fascinating MSC scenario was proposed following DSDP Leg XIII in 1970 and envisaged an almost desiccated deep Mediterranean basin with a dramatic ~1,500 m drop of sea level, the incision of deep canyons by rivers on the continental margins, and a final catastrophic flooding event when the connections between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic were re-established ~5.33 My ago. In spite of 40 years of multi-disciplinary research conducted on the MSC, modalities, timing, causes, chronology and consequence at local and planetary scale are still not yet fully understood, and the MSC event remains one of the longest-living controversies in Earth Science. Key factor for the controversy is the lack of a complete record of the MSC preserved in the deepest Mediterranean basins. Anywhere else, the MSC mostly generated a sedimentary/time lag corresponding to a widespread erosion surface. Correlations with the offshore depositional units are thus complex, preventing the construction of a coherent scenario linking the outcropping MSC evaporites, the erosion on the margins, and the deposition of clastics and evaporites in the abyssal plains. Recent activity by various research groups in order to identify locations for multiple-site drilling (including riser-drilling) in the Mediterranean Sea that would contribute to solve the open questions still existing about the MSC has culminated in two DREAM Magellan+ Workshops held in 2013 and 2014. A strategy and work plan have been established in order to submit an IODP Multi-phase Drilling Project("Uncovering A Salt Giant")including several site-specific drilling proposals addressing different scientific

  12. On the origin of salt in the Caspian Sea (United States)

    Esin, Nikolay; Esin, Nikolay V.; Yanko-Hombach, Valentina


    salt turned into a evaporites. A similar phenomenon occurred in the Mediterranean Sea at the beginning of the Messinian Salinity Crisis (Yesin (Esin), 1987). Thus there was the accumulation of salt in the Caspian Sea and in the lakes of Elton and Baskunchak. Later the continental salt (with continental runoff) accumulated in the Caspian Sea. And same time there was a gradual periodically washout of salt. In the periods of melting of the continental glaciations the level of the Caspian Sea rose and there was the salt outflow in the Black Sea, and then into the Mediterranean Sea. References 1. Svitoch, A.A. Bol'shoi Kaspii: stroenie i istoriia razvitiia [The Great Caspian Sea: Structure and History]. Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet imeni M.V. Lomonosova [MSU], Moscow, - 2014, - 271 p. (In Russian) 2. Yesin (Esin) N.V., Dmitriyev V.A. On the possible mechanism of formation of the Messinian evaporites in the Mediterranean Sea // International Geology Review. USA. - DOI:10.1080/00206818709466143. - 1987, - pp. 258-263.

  13. Geología de tos diapiros triásicos en el noreste de la provincia de Murcia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mancheño Jiménez, M. A.


    Full Text Available Main stratigraphic characteristics of triassic diapires: Jumilla, La Celia, Yecla and La Rosa, their tectonics and their environements are studied; all of them are situated in the Northeast Prebetic of Murcia province.
    Stratigraphically, three stretches are estimated: a detrital-argillaceous-dolomitic one with ocher-yellowish colours in its base, another gypseous-argillaceous intermediate one with vivid red colours and a third one, in the top, with well stratiphied grey scarfed gypsum and some interpolations of dolomites and black clays. Salt ls under the basal stretch and it's developed in most of the up to here studied diapires. As a whole, it's an evaporitic basin in a central position where saline and penesaline litotopes, with tendency to euxinic ones, have been identified. Moreover, we emphasize the existence of volcanic rocks of a lamproitic type which are inserted in the just described materials.
    From a structural point of view, all these diapires are injected with faults of a regional character; inside them a radial and occasionally concentric fracturation is observed. The "mis en place" of these autcroppings is connected with the main alpine folding stage, Nevertheless, the alocinetic effects work almost to this day providing a neotectonic connected to diapirism which has been displayed on folds , faults and peripheric grooves of materials belonging to Pliocene and Quaternary; in these last ones, old lakes formed where turbidites associated to evaporites settled.

    RESUMEN Se estudian las principales características estratigráficas de los diapiros triásicos de Jumilla, La Celia, Yecla y La Rosa, así como las tectónicas de los mismos y la de sus alrededores; todos ellos situados en el Prebético del noreste de la provincia de Murcia.
    Estratigráficamente so aprecian tres tramos: uno detrítico-arcilloso-dolomítico, de colores ocre-amarillentos en la base, otro intermedio yesífero-arcilloso de colores rojos

  14. Drilling below the salt in the Western Mediterranean Sea : the GOLD-1 (Gulf of Lion Drilling) Project. (United States)

    Rabineau, Marina; Aslanian, Daniel; Gorini, Christian; Alain, Karine; Participants, International


    ultimately on sedimentation in the deep basin. For the Miocene and older sediments the drilling, will yield information about the nature, paleoenvironments and age of deposits enabling an astronomically-tuned Neogene time scale to be refined for the period of Aquitanian through Langhian interval. 3) The Messinian extreme event represents a unique sedimentological, hydrological, oceanographic, biological and probably climatological crisis in Earth history. It is a unique case to study the impact of sea-level drop (more than 1000 m, one order of magnitude greater than Late Quaternary glaciations) on sedimentary river behavior, deltaic and evaporitic deposition and ensuing biotic crisis. Deep drilling with the R/V Chikyu is the only way to go through the complete series of evaporites in the Provence Basin, sample the initiation and evolution of the crises, the first deposits related to the lowering of sea-level on the one hand and to the salinity crisis on the other. 4) Finally, this drilling will represent the first opportunity to study the composition and functioning (metabolic processes and products, regulation of populations, etc.) of the microbial communities (bacteria, Archaea, viruses, fungi and protists) from the deep biosphere of the Mediterranean Sea. An additional and linked MSP GOLD-2 project has the objectives of recovering a unique global Pliocene records preserved on the shelf (Rabineau et al., this congress, session CL 1.6) We invite all interested scientists to join us in planning and promoting this drilling project. We are proposing an IODP Magellan workshop in Banyuls in October 2010 to bring together all interested scientists and stake-holders around these proposals and other drilling projects in the Mediterranean Sea (e.g. ICDP). Please contat us at the earliest opportunity.

  15. La serie Triasica de Los Pastores (Algeciras

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    Valenzuela, J. M.


    Full Text Available Seven superimposed lithostratigraphic units have been distinguished in the Upper Trias of Los Pastores (Algeciras. The four lower units (1 to 4 show clayey-sandy-evaporitic Keuper facies. Pollen associations obtained from dark pelitic levels, and bivalves sampled from carbonate intercalations within these four lower units allow to date them as Carnian. These lower units can be correlated with the K1 to K3 units of the Keuper of the Subbetic and of other regions of the Iberian Peninsula. Concerning the three higher units, the unit 6 is pelitic-carbonatic and evaporitic and it also bears Carnian pollen associations. The units 5 and 7, however, are carbonatic and show clearly marine facies and organisms (Involutinidae and dasycladacean algae of the same type than those shown by the Upper Triassic of Alpine Facies of the Internal Zones of the Chain (Alpujarrides and Rondaides. The Trias of Los Pastores belongs to an arid ecuatorial phytogeographical province, whose the vegetation was dominated by xerophytic elements. It was deposited in a wide coastal flat with marginal terrigenuos influence and close to a carbonate platform, in peritidal and shallow marine depositional environments, very sensitive to sea-level fluctuations. The marine carbonate intercalations bear low-diversity, dwarf and opportunistic marine faunal associations, typical of shallow, restricted, unstable and ecologicaUy inmature environments, as it has been confirmed independently by facies analysis.En el Trías de superior de Los Pastores (Algeciras se han podido diferenciar siete unidades litoestratigráficas superpuestas. Las unidades inferiores (1 a 4 muestran facies arcilloso- arenoso-evaporíticas de tipo Keuper. De ellas se han obtenido asociaciones del Carniense, de polen, procedentes de niveles pelíticos oscuros, y de bivalvos, procedentes de intercalaciones carbonatadas. Estas unidades inferiores se pueden correlacionar con las unidades K1 a K3 del Keuper del Subbético y

  16. Estudio geoquímico de los yesos miocenos de la zona este de la cuenca de Madrid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fort, R.


    Full Text Available Some different types of gypsum deposits may be recognized within the Evaporite Facies of the Madrid Basin (Brea de Tajo-Drieves-Almoguera region. Trace elements analysis of these gypsum deposits allow to conclude that fractionation processes took place during their diagenetic evolution. From the set of trace elements that were analyzed, strontium and magnesium are the best to discriminate among diagenetic stages of formation of the evaporite facies, taking in mind these elements show distribution coefficients lesser than the unit (D<1. Thus, the different types of primary gypsum that we have observed possess Sr and Mg mean values of about 3270 p.p.m. and 1100 p.p.m., respectively, whereas secondary gypsum deposits display Sr mean values of 760 p.p.m. and Mg mean values of 410 p.p.m. The remainder elements do not show a so clear tendency, owing to either distribution coefficients near to the unit (K, Li, Fe, Na or to extremely low contents (Mn, Ba.
    From the results of the present study, geochemical behavior of some trace elements, mainly strontium and magnesium, must be considered a good criterion to indicate the diagenetic stage of formation of the gypsum deposits. Probably, ít may be applied to other comparative studies in definite geological settings.

    En las facies evaporíticas de la Cuenca de Madrid (región Brea del Tajo-Driebes-Almoguera aparecen diferentes tipos de yeso, cuyo contenido en elementos traza ponen de manifiesto la existencia de procesos de fraccionamiento durante la evolución diagenética. De los diferentes elementos traza analizados el estroncio y el magnesio son los que mejor reflejan el estadio diagenético de formación al presentar coeficientes de distribución inferiores a la unidad (D<1. De esta forma , los yesos primarios poseen contenidos medios de 3.270 ppm de Sr y 1.100 ppm de Mg, mientras que los secundarios poseen valores medios de 760 ppm y 410 ppm, respectivamente. El resto de los elementos

  17. The GOLD IODP Project: Global Climate Changes, Extreme Events, Margins formation and the Limits of Life in the Gulf of Lion (United States)

    Rabineau, M.


    Miocene and older sediments the drilling combined to seismic reflexion data, will give the nature, the paleoenvironments and dating of deposits enabling early history of margin formation and subsidence understanding and an Astronomically Tuned Neogene Time Scale to be established. 4) The messinian extreme event represents a unique sedimentological, hydrological, oceanographic, biological and climatological crisis in earth history. It is a unique case to study and quantify the impact of an outstanding sea-level drop (more than 1500 m, one order of magnitude greater than Late Quaternary glaciations) on sedimentary river behavior, deltaic and evaporitic deposition. Furthermore, the amount of messinian deposits reaches more than 3000 m. Such important erosion and sedimentation must provide crucial information on margin vertical dynamic. So far, DSDP and IODP drillings have reached the upper part of the evaporites only, the beginning of the crisis is still a matter of intense debate and conjectures. We invite all interested participants to join this drilling project and let you know that we have proposed an IODP Magellan Workshop in Banyuls in early March 2010.

  18. Tracing Sources Of Nitrate And Sulfate In The Bow River, Alberta Canada, Using Isotope Techniques (United States)

    Chao, J.; Mayer, B.; Ryan, C.


    between +17 and +20‰ indicating that sulfate is mainly derived from dissolution of evaporite minerals in the headwaters. Downstream of Lake Louise, sulfate concentrations increased with decreasing δ34S- SO4 values. The Bow River downstream of Calgary showed δ34S-SO4 values between +7 and -1‰ whereas tributaries in the irrigation districts had δ34S-SO4 values between +1 and -13‰. These are isotopic values typically found in sulfate derived from oxidation of reduced sulfur species. The sulfur isotope values of the wastewater effluent discharged at Calgary were between -2 and +6‰. The trend of increasing sulfate concentrations with flow distance accompanied by decreasing δ34S-SO4 values suggests there is a mixture of sulfate sources from dissolution of sulfate minerals in the headwaters, municipal effluent in Calgary, and oxidation of pyrite or other reduced sulfur species in the irrigation districts. The result suggests that Bow River in the irrigation districts is affected by sulfate sources from the oxidation of reduced sulfur and the wastewater effluent in Calgary. In Calgary above the wastewater treatment plant, sulfate mainly comes from dissolution of evaporite in the Rock Mountains. We conclude that isotopic techniques can enhance the understanding of the sources and the transport of nitrate and sulfate in the Bow River.

  19. Las aguas termales de Fitero (Navarra y Arnedillo (Rioja. II. Análisis comparativo de la aplicación de técnicas geotermométricas químicas a aguas relacionadas con reservorios carbonatado-evaporíticos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guaras, B.


    Full Text Available We have checked the geothermometrical technics for Fitero and Amedillo thermal waters. Both of them belong to low enthalpy systems and are associated to carbonatic-evaporitic reservoirs, where the basic asumption of equilibrium for most geothermometers is doubtful. So, Na-K, Na-K-Ca and Na-K-Ca-Mg geothermometers can't be applied because of their supposed equilibrium fails at depth. Some calibrates appear to be in good agreement with other geothermometers (e.g. silica-quartz but this can be explained by an unsuitable relation between their basic equilibrium assumption and the waters used for calibrate them. The specific geothermometers calcite-dolomite and anhydrite-fluorite (Marini et al., 1986 developped for carbonatic-evaporitic environments are very influenced by reequilibration processes such as mixture phenomena and water-rock reactions during the rising of waters, and they must be handled with care. The good agreement between silica-quartz, K-Mg and Na-Li geothermomethers suggest the existence of a possible equilibrium between argillaceous minerals at depth.Los resultados obtenidos mediante la aplicación de las técnicas geotermométricas más usuales se han contrastado para el caso de las aguas termales de Fitero y Amedillo, sistemas ambos de baja entalpía y relacionados en profundidad con materiales carbonatado-evaporíticos. El supuesto de equilibrio básico para la aplicación de los geotermómetros presenta distintas dificultades en este tipo de sistemas, y así se tiene que los geotermómetros Na-K, Na-K-Ca y NaK- Ca-Mg proporcionan resultados poco fiables debido a la ausencia de los equilibrios apropiados en profundidad. La aparente coherencia de resultados de algunos de los calibrados de estos geotermómetros puede explicarse por la falta de consistencia existente entre los principios teóricos y las aguas utilizadas en la operación de calibrado. La utilización de los geotermómetros calcita-dolomita y anhidrita

  20. Geologic and hydrologic characterization and evaluation of the Basin and Range Province relative to the disposal of high-level radioactive waste: Part II, Geologic and hydrologic characterization (United States)

    Sargent, Kenneth A.; Bedinger, M.S.


    The geology and hydrology of the Basin and Range Province of the western conterminous United States are characterized in a series of data sets depicted in maps compiled for evaluation of prospective areas for further study of geohydrologic environments for isolation of high-level radioactive waste. The data sets include: (1) Average precipitation and evaporation; (2) surface distribution of selected rock types; (3) tectonic conditions; and (4) surface- and ground -water hydrology and Pleistocene lakes and marshes.Rocks mapped for consideration as potential host media for the isolation of high-level radioactive waste are widespread and include argillaceous rocks, granitic rocks, tuffaceous rocks, mafic extrusive rocks, evaporites, and laharic breccias. The unsaturated zone, where probably as thick as 150 meters (500 feet), was mapped for consideration as an environment for isolation of high-level waste. Unsaturated rocks of various lithologic types are widespread in the Province.Tectonic stability in the Quaternary Period is considered the key to assessing the probability of future tectonism with regard to high-level radioactive waste disposal. Tectonic conditions are characterized on the basis of the seismic record, heat-flow measurements, the occurrence of Quaternary faults, vertical crustal movement, and volcanic features. Tectonic activity, as indicated by seismicity, is greatest in areas bordering the western margin of the Province in Nevada and southern California, the eastern margin of the Province bordering the Wasatch Mountains in Utah and in parts of the Rio Grande valley. Late Cenozoic volcanic activity is widespread, being greatest bordering the Sierra Nevada in California and Oregon, and bordering the Wasatch Mountains in southern Utah and Idaho.he arid to semiarid climate of the Province results in few perennial streams and lakes. A large part of the surface drainage is interior and the many closed basins commonly are occupied by playas or dry lake

  1. Mixing from below in hydrothermal ore deposits (United States)

    Bons, Paul D.; Gomez-Rivas, Enrique; Markl, Gregor; Walter, Bejamin


    Unconformity-related hydrothermal ore deposits typically show indications of mixing of two end-member fluids: (a) hot, deep, rock-buffered basement brines and (b) colder fluids derived from the surface or overlying sediments. The hydromechanics of bringing these fluids together from above and below remain unclear. Classical percolative Darcy-flow models are inconsistent with (1) fluid overpressure indicated by fracturing and brecciation, (2) fast fluid flow indicated by thermal disequilibrium, and (3) strong fluid composition variations on the mm-scale, indicated by fluid inclusion analyses (Bons et al. 2012; Fusswinkel et al. 2013). We propose that fluids first descend, sucked down by desiccation reactions in exhumed basement. Oldest fluids reach greatest depths, where long residence times and elevated temperatures allow them the extensively equilibrate with their host rock, reach high salinity and scavenge metals, if present. Youngest fluids can only penetrate to shallower depths and can (partially) retain signatures from their origin, for example high Cl/Br ratios from the dissolution of evaporitic halite horizons. When fluids are released from all levels of the crustal column, these fluids mix during rapid ascent to form hydrothermal ore deposits. Mixing from below provides a viable hydromechanical mechanism to explain the common phenomenon of mixed shallow and deep fluids in hydrothermal ore deposits. Bons, P.D., Elburg, M.A., Gomez-Rivas, E. 2012. A review of the formation of tectonic veins and their microstructures. J. Struct. Geol. doi:10.1016/j.jsg.2012.07.005 Fusswinkel, T., Wagner, T., Wälle, M., Wenzel, T., Heinrich, C.A., Markl, M. 2013. Fluid mixing forms basement-hosted Pb-Zn deposits: Insight from metal and halogen geochemistry of individual fluid inclusions. Geology. doi:10.1130/G34092.1

  2. Overpressure generation and episodic dewatering in the Delaware basin, western Texas: The dual nature of a fault zone (United States)

    Hansom, J.; Lee, M.; Wolf, L. W.; Kosuwan, T.


    mineralization and alteration of evaporitic strata in the Permian Basin.

  3. Non-Vegetated Playa Morphodynamics Using Multi-Temporal Landsat Imagery in a Semi-Arid Endorheic Basin: Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiaguang Li


    Full Text Available Playas in endorheic basins are of environmental value and highly scientific because of their natural habitats of a wide variety of species and indicators for climatic changes and tectonic activities within continents. Remote sensing, due to its capability of acquiring repetitive data with synoptic coverage, provides a unique tool to monitor and collect spatial information about playas. Most studies have concentrated on evaporite mineral distribution using remote sensing techniques but research about grain size distribution and geomorphologic changes in playas has been rarely reported. We analysed playa morphodynamics using Landsat time series data in a semi-arid endorheic basin, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. The spectral libraries explaining the relationship between surface reflectance and surficial materials are extracted from the Landsat image on 11 November 2012, the collected samples in the area and the precipitation data. Such spectral libraries are then applied to the classification of the other Landsat images from 1985–2011 using maximum likelihood classifier. Four types of surficial materials on the playa are identified: salty surface, silt-rich surface, clay-rich surface and pure salt. The silt-rich surface is related to crevasse splays and river banks while the clay-rich surface is associated with floodplain and channel depressions. The classification results show that the silt-rich surface tends to have a positive relationship with annual precipitation, whereas the salty surface negatively correlates with annual precipitation and there is no correlation between clay-rich surface and annual precipitation. Salty surfaces seem to consist primarily of clay due to their similar characteristics in response to precipitation changes. The classification results also show the development of a crevasse splay and avulsions. The results demonstrate the potential of Landsat imagery to determine the grain size and sedimentary facies distribution on

  4. Density-dependent groundwater flow and dissolution potential along a salt diapir in the Transylvanian Basin, Romania (United States)

    Zechner, Eric; Danchiv, Alex; Dresmann, Horst; Mocuţa, Marius; Huggenberger, Peter; Scheidler, Stefan; Wiesmeier, Stefan; Popa, Iulian; Zlibut, Alexandru; Zamfirescu, Florian


    Salt diapirs and the surrounding sediments are often involved in a variety of human activities, such as salt mining, exploration and storage of hydrocarbons, and also storage of radioactive waste material. The presence of highly soluble evaporitic rocks, a complex tectonic setting related to salt diapirsm, and human activities can lead to significant environmental problems, e.g. land subsidence, sinkhole development, salt cavern collapse, and contamination of water resources with brines. In the Transylvanian town of Ocna Mures. rock salt of a near-surface diapir has been explored since the Roman ages in open excavations, and up to the 20th century in galleries and with solution mining. Most recently, in 2010 a sudden collapse in the adjacent Quaternary unconsolidated sediments led to the formation of a 70-90m wide salt lake with a max. depth of 23m. Over the last 3 years a Romanian-Swiss research project has led to the development of 3D geological and hydrogeological information systems in order to improve knowledge on possible hazards related to uncontrolled salt dissolution. One aspect which has been investigated is the possibility of density-driven flow along permeable subvertical zones next to the salt dome, and the potential for subsaturated groundwater to dissolve the upper sides of the diapir. Structural 3D models of the salt diapir, the adjacent basin sediments, and the mining galleries, led to the development of 2D numerical vertical density-dependent models of flow and transport along the diapir. Results show that (1) increased rock permeability due to diapirsm, regional tectonic thrusting and previous dissolution, and (2) more permeable sandstone layers within the adjacent basin sediments may lead to freshwater intrusion towards the top of the diapir, and, therefore, to increased potential for salt dissolution.

  5. Mineralogical influences on porosity-depth trends of shelf deposits (Miocene-Pleistocene) along the northwest shelf of Australia (IODP Expedition 356) (United States)

    Knierzinger, Wolfgang; Lee, Eun Young; Wagreich, Michael


    Porosity in sediments is influenced by various factors such as mineralogical composition, burial depth, connate fluids, and stratigraphic layering. This work focuses on processes underlying porosity anomalies in carbonate shelf deposits along the northwest shelf of Australia by using different techniques (polarization microscopy, electron microscopy, XRD, XRF). IODP expedition 356 recovered cored seven sites (U1458-U1464), covering a latitudinal range of 29°S-18°S on the northwest shelf. Strong negative deviations from general porosity-depth trends for these carbonate rich sediments are clear for samples with higher contents of dolomite, calcium sulfates, and non-skeletal calcite. No significant influence of aragonite on porosity values has yet been detected. However, it is likely that the occurrence of high amounts of aragonite is a crucial element with regard to porosity values in these carbonate rich deposits, since elongated aragonite needles commonly enhance interparticle porosity. Further insight might be gained through the application of electron microscopy. In general, sediments in the northern part of the study area (Sites U1462, U1463, U1464) tend to show slightly higher porosity values compared to sediments form the south (Sites U1459, U1460). This may reflect the influence of calcium sulfate, because mineralogical analyses show, calcium sulfate is relatively rare at the southern sites, whereas higher amounts of calcium sulfates occur in the north. The lack of detrital particles in calcium sulfate components indicates an evaporitic origin. Deposits at Site U 1461 differ from other analyzed sediments insofar as higher amounts of feldspars and micas are apparent. *This research is conducted within the frame of the 'International Ocean Discovery Program', funded by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Korea.

  6. Krypton-81 in groundwater of the Culebra Dolomite near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, New Mexico. (United States)

    Sturchio, Neil C; Kuhlman, Kristopher L; Yokochi, Reika; Probst, Peter C; Jiang, Wei; Lu, Zheng-Tian; Mueller, Peter; Yang, Guo-Min


    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico is the first geologic repository for disposal of transuranic nuclear waste from defense-related programs of the US Department of Energy. It is constructed within halite beds of the Permian-age Salado Formation. The Culebra Dolomite, confined within Rustler Formation evaporites overlying the Salado Formation, is a potential pathway for radionuclide transport from the repository to the accessible environment in the human-disturbed repository scenario. Although extensive subsurface characterization and numerical flow modeling of groundwater has been done in the vicinity of the WIPP, few studies have used natural isotopic tracers to validate the flow models and to better understand solute transport at this site. The advent of Atom-Trap Trace Analysis (ATTA) has enabled routine measurement of cosmogenic (81)Kr (half-life 229,000 yr), a near-ideal tracer for long-term groundwater transport. We measured (81)Kr in saline groundwater sampled from two Culebra Dolomite monitoring wells near the WIPP site, and compared (81)Kr model ages with reverse particle-tracking results of well-calibrated flow models. The (81)Kr model ages are ~130,000 and ~330,000 yr for high-transmissivity and low-transmissivity portions of the formation, respectively. Compared with flow model results which indicate a relatively young mean hydraulic age (~32,000 yr), the (81)Kr model ages imply substantial physical attenuation of conservative solutes in the Culebra Dolomite and provide limits on the effective diffusivity of contaminants into the confining aquitards. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Fabric Preserving and Fabric Destroying Dolomitization: A case of Seawater Dolomitization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alham Jassim Al-Langawi


    temperature and mixing probably with evaporitic brines. The only fluid capable of early dolomitization in the case of the Oman Mountains dolomites was warm seawater from the Tethys Ocean which was circulating in the subsurface.   KEYWORDS:

  8. Coupling Landscape Evolution with Active Salt Deformation in the Needles District, Utah (United States)

    Kravitz, K.; Upton, P.; Tucker, G. E.; Mueller, K. J.; Roy, S. G.


    Active salt systems are commonly driven by variations in thickness of overlying units that drive salt from areas of high to low pressure. This often takes the form of differential loading from sedimentation, such as along passive margins, but some systems are driven primarily by differential unloading from erosion, a driving force that changes spatially and temporally on a scale of tens of meters. The Grabens within the Needles District, Canyonlands National Park is an active salt system driven by incision of the Colorado River and its tributaries into an evaporite sequence. We used numerical models to 1) investigate the scale and patterns of salt flow in relation to current topography in the region, and 2) explore feedbacks between salt deformation and erosion. Models exploring feedbacks between salt flow and current topography indicate that the rate of salt flow into the River canyon depends strongly on canyon width. Experiments with a three-dimensional geomechanical model demonstrate the rate of salt flow into the Colorado River canyon is dependent on canyon width, and predict areas of diapirism associated with tributary junctions. Salt also responds to variations in topography on a scale of tens of meters when the overburden is weak, influencing salt flow toward tributaries beneath individual grabens. Fully coupled models, in which erosion patterns both drive and are influenced by flow in a simple 2D viscous salt horizon, suggest that landscape evolution can be strongly influenced by shallow salt tectonics. Models testing salt deformation and erosion use the pressure gradient induced by an eroding landscape to calculate salt flux. Initially, headward erosion in side tributaries is faster above salt, but over time, salt flow into the canyon and side tributaries slows headward erosion, and the rate of canyon widening increases. As seen from the topographic models, canyon widening induces higher rates of salt flow into the canyon, creating a strong feedback

  9. Geologic investigation of the Virgin River Valley salt deposits, Clark County, southeastern Nevada, to investigate their suitability for possible storage of radioactive waste material as of September 1977

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    The results from a geologic investigation of the Virgin River Valley salt deposits, Clark County, southeastern Nevada, to examine their suitability for further study and consideration in connection with the possible storage of radioactive waste material are given. The results indicate that (1) approximately one-half of the salt body underlies the Overton Arm of Lake Mead and that the dry land portion of the salt body that has a thickness of 1,000 feet or more covers an area of about four and one-half square miles; (2) current tectonic activity in the area of the salt deposits is believed to be confined to seismic events associated with crustal adjustments following the filling of Lake Mead; (3) detailed information on the hydrology of the salt deposit area is not available at present but it is reported that a groundwater study by the U.S. Geological Survey is now in progress; (4) there is no evidence of exploitable minerals in the salt deposit area other than evaporites such as salt, gypsum, and possibly sand and gravel; (5) the salt deposit area is located inside the Lake Mead Recreation Area, outlined on the accompanying Location Plat, and several Federal, State, and Local agencies share regulatory responsibilities for the activities in the area; (6) other salt deposit areas of Arizona and Nevada, such as the Detrital Valley, Red Lake Dome, Luke Dome, and Mormon Mesa area, and several playa lake areas of central Nevada may merit further study; and (7) additional information, as outlined, is needed to more thoroughly evaluate the salt deposits of the Virgin River Valley and other areas referred to above.

  10. Experimental Simulation of Shock Reequilibration of Fluid Inclusions During Meteorite Impact (United States)

    Madden, M. E. Elwood; Hoerz, R. J.; Bodnar, R. J.


    Fluid inclusions are microscopic volumes of fluid trapped within minerals as they precipitate. Fluid inclusions are common in terrestrial minerals formed under a wide array of geological settings from surface evaporite deposits to kimberlite pipes. While fluid inclusions in terrestrial rocks are the rule rather than the exception, only few fluid inclusion-bearing meteorites have been documented. The rarity of fluid inclusions in meteoritic material may be explained in two ways. First, it may reflect the absence of fluids (water?) on meteorite parent bodies. Alternatively, fluids may have been present when the rock formed, but any fluid inclusions originally trapped on the parent body were destroyed by the extreme P-T conditions meteorites often experience during impact events. Distinguishing between these two possibilities can provide significant constraints on the likelihood of life on the parent body. Just as textures, structures, and compositions of mineral phases can be significantly altered by shock metamorphism upon hypervelocity impact, fluid inclusions contained within component minerals may be altered or destroyed due to the high pressures, temperatures, and strain rates associated with impact events. Reequilibration may occur when external pressure-temperature conditions differ significantly from internal fluid isochoric conditions, and result in changes in fluid inclusion properties and/or textures. Shock metamorphism and fluid inclusion reequilibration can affect both the impacted target material and the meteoritic projectile. By examining the effects of shock deformation on fluid inclusion properties and textures we may be able to better constrain the pressure-temperature path experienced by shocked materials and also gain a clearer understanding of why fluid inclusions are rarely found in meteoritic samples.

  11. Fábricas diagenéticas asociadas al paleokarst del techo de la Unidad Intermedia del Mioceno de la cuenca de Madrid

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    Calvo, J. P.


    Full Text Available Carbonates and evaporites from the top of the Miocene Intermediate Unit of the Madrid Basin have set as host-rock for early karstification phenomena. The development of these karstic processes imply an important change in the depositional evolution of the basin. In these materials, complex diagenetic fabrics formed as a result of shallow meteoric diagenetic processes have been recognized, being dedolomitization and calcitization of gypsums the main diagenetic processes that affected the top of the Miocene Intermediate Unit. The high variability of diagenetic fabrics is thought to be mainly influenced by the original composition of sediments, the activity of microorganisms and the chemistry of diagenetic waters.Los materiales carbonáticos y evaporíticos del techo de la Unidad Intermedia del Mioceno de la Cuenca de Madrid han actuado como soporte de fenómenos de karstificación temprana, cuyo desarrollo ha supuesto un cambio significativo en la evolución del relleno de la cuenca. Dentro de estos materiales se han reconocido carbonatos con fábricas diagenéticas complejas resultado de procesos de diagénesis meteórica superficial. Los procesos predominantes en la evolución diagenética del encajante de la paleokarstificación del techo de la Unidad Intermedia son la dedolomitización y la calcitización/pseudomorfización de yesos. Factores como la composición original del sedimento, la influencia de microorganismos y la hidroquímica de los fluidos diagenéticos han determinado la gran variabilidad de las fábricas diagenéticas reconocidas.

  12. Petroleum geology and total petroleum systems of the Widyan Basin and Interior Platform of Saudi Arabia and Iraq (United States)

    Fox, James E.; Ahlbrandt, Thomas S.


    Two total petroleum systems are associated with the Widyan Basin - Interior Platform Province in northern Saudi Arabia and western Iraq. In the Paleozoic Qusaiba/Akkas/Abba/ Mudawwara Total Petroleum System, which consists of one assessment unit - the Horst/Graben-Related Oil and Gas Assessment Unit - high-gravity, low-sulfur crude oil, as well as natural gas, occurs in horst/graben-related traps that formed prior to, during, and after Hercynian deformation (Carboniferous). The source of oil and gas is from organic-rich marine shale at the base of the Silurian sedimentary sequence (Qusaiba, Akkas, Mudawwara, and Abba Formations) that was deposited under dysoxic to anoxic conditions in an intra-shelf basin located north of the Central Arabian Arch. Onset of oil generation in Iraq began about 250 million years ago (Ma) and in eastern Saudi Arabia about 160 Ma, reaching peak generation, expulsion, migration, and entrapment during the Jurassic Period. In Saudi Arabia, petroleum migrated into fluvial and eolian quartzose sandstones of the Carboniferous-Early Permian Unayzah Formation that overlies the Hercynian unconformity, filling in rifts and half-grabens to thicknesses ranging to more than 400 meters. Combined stratigraphic-structural traps exist where the Unayzah Formation is the reservoir, as is the case in central Saudi Arabia. Oil and gas are sealed in those reservoirs by overlying tight carbonate- evaporite strata, and by subunconformity pinchouts of Pre-Unayzah clastic reservoir units against impermeable facies. In Iraq, reservoirs are sandstones of the Ordovician Upper Khabour and Silurian Akkas Formations. Over most of the Southwestern Desert of Iraq, Lower Silurian shale is a seal for hydrocarbons in the underlying Ordovician Khabour Formation.

  13. The boron isotope geochemistry of tourmaline-rich alteration in the IOCG systems of northern Chile: implications for a magmatic-hydrothermal origin (United States)

    Tornos, Fernando; Wiedenbeck, Michael; Velasco, Francisco


    Hydrothermal tourmaline is common in the iron oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) deposits of the Coastal Cordillera of Chile where it occurs as large crystals in the groundmass of magmatic-hydrothermal breccias, such as in the Silvita or Tropezón ore bodies, or as small grains in replacive bodies or breccia cement in the ore-bearing andesite, as seen at the Candelaria or Carola deposits. Tourmaline shows strong chemical zoning and has a composition of schorl-dravite with significant povondraite and uvite components. The observed boron isotope composition is fairly variable, between -10.4‰ and +6.0‰ with no major differences among the different deposits, suggesting a common genetic mechanism. The δ11B values are significantly lower than those of seawater or marine evaporites and very similar to those of younger porphyry copper deposits and volcanic rocks in the region, indicating that the boron has a common, likely magmatic, origin. The predominant boron source was ultimately dewatering of the subducting slab with a significant contribution derived from the overlying continental basement. The range of δ11B values is between those of the porphyry copper deposits and the porphyry tin deposits of the Andes, suggesting that the IOCG mineralization might be genetically related to fluids having more crustal contamination than the porphyry copper deposits; such an interpretation is at odds with current models that propose that the Andean IOCG deposits are related to juvenile melts or to the circulation of basinal brines. Furthermore, the obtained δ11B data are markedly different from those of the tourmaline in the Carajás IOCG district (Brazil), suggesting that IOCGs do not form by a unique mechanism involving only one type of fluids.

  14. Mid- Atlantic Gas Hydrate, Heat Flow, and Basin Analysis: Implications to Hydrocarbon Production in the Carolina Trough (United States)

    Phrampus, B. J.


    The new Mid- and South Atlantic Planning Areas for oil and gas leasing is proposed to open in 2021. This region lacks in contemporary geologic and geophysical petroleum data and has no conventional wells drilled within the proposed leasing area. As such, addressing the hydrocarbon potential of this region is particularly difficult. Here, we use new and legacy multi-channel seismic data with heat flow observations, ocean temperature measurements, and new seismic interpretations of gas hydrate deposits to determine basin-wide heat flow along the Mid- Atlantic. These data reveal a conductive heat flow regime along the continental margin with a lack of fluid flow that is consistent with sea floor spreading rates and cooling oceanic crust. We then use these observations in combination with basal heat flow models and sedimentation records to determine the thermal history of a cross section of the Carolina Trough. These models reveal varying depth of potential hydrocarbon production that begin at ~ 2000 mbsf and extend down to depths greater than 7000 mbsf across the Carolina Trough. These potentially productive depths correspond to varying stratal ages, but all models contain the Late Jurassic, which is a potential analog to the U.S. Gulf Coast's Smackover Formation. Additionally, the timing of hydrocarbon generation reveal that Early through Middle Jurassic evaporite deposits and Late Jurassic tight limestones should have been in place before the Early Jurassic source rocks reached a depth of burial sufficiently deep for the production of hydrocarbons. These potential seals may trap significant quantities of hydrocarbons with in the Jurassic layers, resulting in significant hydrocarbon potential within the Carolina Trough.

  15. CO 2 breakthrough—Caprock sealing efficiency and integrity for carbon geological storage

    KAUST Repository

    Espinoza, D. Nicolas


    Small pores in high specific surface clay-rich caprocks give rise to high capillary entry pressures and high viscous drag that hinder the migration of buoyant carbon dioxide CO2. We measured the breakthrough pressure and ensuing CO2 permeability through sediment plugs prepared with sand, silt, kaolinite and smectite, and monitored their volumetric deformation using high-pressure oedometer cells. The data show water expulsion and volumetric contraction prior to CO2 breakthrough, followed by preferential CO2 flow thereafter. Our experimental results and data gathered from previous studies highlight the inverse relationship between breakthrough pressure and pore size, as anticipated by Laplace’s equation. In terms of macro-scale parameters, the breakthrough pressure increases as the sediment specific surface increases and the porosity decreases. The breakthrough pressure is usually lower than the values predicted with average pore size estimations; it can reach ∼6.2MPa in argillaceous formations, and 11.2MPa in evaporites. The CO2 permeability after breakthrough is significantly lower than the absolute permeability, but it may increase in time due to water displacement and desiccation. Leakage will be advection-controlled once percolation takes place at most storage sites currently being considered. Diffusive and advective CO2 leaks through non-fractured caprocks will be minor and will not compromise the storage capacity at CO2 injection sites. The “sealing number” and the “stability number” combine the initial fluid pressure, the buoyant pressure caused by the CO2 plume, the capillary breakthrough pressure of the caprock, and the stress conditions at the reservoir depth; these two numbers provide a rapid assessment of potential storage sites. Unexpected CO2 migration patterns emerge due to the inherent spatial variability and structural discontinuities in geological formations; sites with redundant seal layers should be sought for the safe and long

  16. Origin of salt giants in abyssal serpentinite systems (United States)

    Scribano, Vittorio; Carbone, Serafina; Manuella, Fabio C.; Hovland, Martin; Rueslåtten, Håkon; Johnsen, Hans-K.


    Worldwide marine salt deposits ranging over the entire geological record are generally considered climate-related evaporites, derived from the precipitation of salts (mainly chlorides and sulfates) from saturated solutions driven by solar evaporation of seawater. This explanation may be realistic for a salt thickness ≤100 m, being therefore inadequate for thicker (>1 km) deposits. Moreover, sub-seafloor salt deposits in deep marine basins are difficult to reconcile with a surface evaporation model. Marine geology reports on abyssal serpentinite systems provide an alternative explanation for some salt deposits. Seawater-driven serpentinization consumes water and increases the salinity of the associated aqueous brines. Brines can be trapped in fractures and cavities in serpentinites and the surrounding `country' rocks. Successive thermal dehydration of buried serpentinites can mobilize and accumulate the brines, forming highly saline hydrothermal solutions. These can migrate upwards and erupt onto the seafloor as saline geysers, which may form salt-saturated water pools, as are currently observed in numerous deeps in the Red Sea and elsewhere. The drainage of deep-seated saline brines to seafloor may be a long-lasting, effective process, mainly occurring in areas characterized by strong tectonic stresses and/or igneous intrusions. Alternatively, brines could be slowly expelled from fractured serpentinites by buoyancy gradients and, hence, separated salts/brines could intrude vertically into surrounding rocks, forming salt diapirs. Serpentinization is an ubiquitous, exothermic, long-lasting process which can modify large volumes of oceanic lithosphere over geological times. Therefore, buried salt deposits in many areas of the world can be reasonably related to serpentinites.

  17. Reconstructing the internal structure and long-term evolution of hazardous sinkholes combining trenching, electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) and ground penetrating radar (GPR) (United States)

    Fabregat, Ivan; Gutiérrez, Francisco; Roqué, Carles; Comas, Xavier; Zarroca, Mario; Carbonel, Domingo; Guerrero, Jesús; Linares, Rogelio


    The approaches aimed at characterising specific damaging sinkholes have received limited attention compared with other ground instability phenomena (e.g. landslides). Moreover, the practicality of the trenching technique in combination with numerical dating and retro-deformation analysis for sinkhole site-investigations has been barely explored. This work illustrates the advantages of combining geomorphic mapping, electrical resistivity imaging (ERI), ground penetrating radar (GPR) and trenching for sinkhole characterisation and shows how the trenching technique contributes to fill significant gaps that neither geomorphic nor geophysical methods can address. Two large sinkholes (> 200 m long) related to the interstratal karstification of evaporites and generated by contrasting subsidence mechanisms (sagging, collapse) were investigated in the Fluvia Valley, NE Spain. Although GPR data may provide high resolution information on subsidence-related stratigraphic and structural features at shallow depth, the profiles acquired in the investigated sites with 100 MHz shielded and 40 MHz unshielded antennae provided limited insight into the internal geometry of the sinkholes due to reduced signal penetration related to the presence of conductive clayey material. The ERI sections satisfactorily imaged the general geometry of the sagging and collapse subsidence structures up to depths higher than 100 m and clearly captured the basal contact of the low-resistivity sinkhole fill in the sections with adequate layout and resolution. The trenches, despite their limited depth (ca. 5 m) allowed us to obtain valuable objective information on several key aspects of the subsidence phenomenon: (1) mechanisms (deformation style) and kinematics (progressive versus episodic); (2) limits of ground deformation; (3) temporal evolution (expansion versus contraction); (4) chronology and timing of most recent deformation phase; (5) rates of subsidence and sedimentation; and (6) the role played

  18. Diversity of Microfossils and Preservation of Thermally Altered Stromatolites from Anomalous Precambrian Paleoenvironments (United States)

    Osterhout, Jeffrey Thomas

    Studies of Precambrian life on Earth have been dominated by those of shallow marine deposits, and in order to gain a more complete picture of life's early evolution it is important to consider a wider range of inhabited environments, including deep marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Evidence for early microbial life comes primarily from fossil microorganisms (microfossils), microbial sedimentary structures (e.g., stromatolites), and sedimentary organic matter (e.g., kerogen). The diversity and preservation of these different forms of fossil evidence introduces several challenges to their interpretation, requiring thorough analysis for accurately determining their biological origins. Investigating the paleobiology, organic geochemistry, and thermal maturity of such deposits provides a holistic approach to exploring the Precambrian biosphere in unfamiliar paleoenvironments. This thesis presents two studies of unique Precambrian ecosystems: a diverse microfossil assemblage from a 2.52-billion-year-old (Ga) deep marine deposit, and thermally altered stromatolites from a 1.4-billion-year-old evaporitic lacustrine deposit. Black cherts from the upper Gamohaan Formation (2.52 Ga) contain a consortium of organic-walled large and small coccoids, tubular filaments, and mat-like biofilm structures. Geochemical analyses of stromatolitic chert-carbonate from the Middlebrun Bay Member (1.4 Ga) in contact with a mafic sill show a trend in organic carbon isotopes relative to thermal maturity that is contrary to theoretical predictions. Findings from these studies reveal, for the first time, microfossil evidence of a diverse microbial community in the open Archean ocean prior to the Great Oxidation Event (GOE) 2.4 billion years ago, and provide insight on the relationship between thermal maturity and organic carbon isotopes within a set of terrestrial stromatolites. Together, these studies help capture the enigmatic nature of the Precambrian fossil record and expand our full

  19. Geological structure and mineral resources of Algeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduard Dobra


    Full Text Available The hydrocarbon System Ourd Mya is located in the Sahara Basin. It is one of the producing basins in Algeria. The stratigraphic section consists of Paleozoic and Mesosoic, it is about 5000 m thick. In the eastern part, the basin is limited by the Hassi-Messaoud high zone which is a giant oil field produced from the Cambrian sands. The western part is limited by Hassi R`mel which is one of the biggest gas field in the world, it is produced from the triassic sands. The Mesozoic section lays on the lower Devonian and in the eastern part, on the Cambrian. The main source rock is Silurian shale with an average thickness of 50 m and a total organic matter of 6 % (14 % in some cases. Results of maturation modeling indicate that the lower Silurian source is in the oil window. The Ordovician shales are also a source rock but in a second order. Clastic reservoirs are in the Triassic sequence which is mainly fluvial deposit with complex alluvial channels, it is the main target in the basin. Clastic reservoirs within the lower Devonian section have a good hydrocarbon potential in the east of the basin through a southwest-northeast orientation. The late Triassic-Early Jurassic evaporites overlie the Triassic clastic interval and extend over the entire Oued Mya Basin. This is considered as a super-seal evaporate package, which consists predominantly of anhydrite and halite. For Paleozoic targets, a large number of potential seals exist within the stratigraphic column.This paper describe the main geological structure and mineral resources of Algeria.

  20. Source of boron in the Palokas gold deposit, northern Finland: evidence from boron isotopes and major element composition of tourmaline (United States)

    Ranta, Jukka-Pekka; Hanski, Eero; Cook, Nick; Lahaye, Yann


    The recently discovered Palokas gold deposit is part of the larger Rompas-Rajapalot gold-mineralized system located in the Paleoproterozoic Peräpohja Belt, northern Finland. Tourmaline is an important gangue mineral in the Palokas gold mineralization. It occurs as tourmalinite veins and as tourmaline crystals in sulfide-rich metasomatized gold-bearing rocks. In order to understand the origin of tourmaline in the gold-mineralized rocks, we have investigated the major element chemistry and boron isotope composition of tourmaline from three areas: (1) the Palokas gold mineralization, (2) a pegmatitic tourmaline granite, and (3) the evaporitic Petäjäskoski Formation. Based on textural evidence, tourmaline in gold mineralization is divided into two different types. Type 1 is located within the host rock and is cut by rock-forming anthophyllite crystals. Type 2 occurs in late veins and/or breccia zones consisting of approximately 80% tourmaline and 20% sulfides, commonly adjacent to quartz veins. All the studied tourmaline samples belong to the alkali-group tourmaline and can be classified as dravite and schorl. The δ11B values of the three localities lie in the same range, from 0 to -4‰. Tourmaline from the Au mineralization and from the Petäjäskoski Formation has similar compositional trends. Mg is the major substituent for Al; inferred low Fe3+/Fe2+ ratios and Na values (age of molybdenite related to the tourmaline-sulfide-quartz veins, we propose that the tourmaline-forming process is a result of a single magmatic-hydrothermal event related to the extensive granite magmatism at around 1.79-1.77 Ga. Tourmaline was crystallized throughout the hydrothermal process, which resulted in the paragenetic variation between type 1 and type 2. The close association of tourmaline and gold suggests that the gold precipitated from the same boron-rich source as tourmaline.

  1. Multi-proxy paleoenvironmental reconstruction of saline lake carbonates: Paleoclimatic and paleogeographic implications (Priabonian-Rupelian, Issirac Basin, SE France) (United States)

    Lettéron, Alexandre; Fournier, François; Hamon, Youri; Villier, Loïc; Margerel, Jean-Pierre; Bouche, Alexandre; Feist, Monique; Joseph, Philippe


    A 200-m thick carbonate succession has been deposited in shallow-water, saline lake environments during the Priabonian-Rupelian in the Issirac Basin (South-East France). The palaeoenvironmental and palaeogeographic significance of such saline lake carbonates has been characterized on the basis of a multi-proxy analysis including 1) depositional and diagenetic features, 2) biological components (molluscs, ostracods, benthic foraminifers, characean) and 3) carbon, oxygen and strontium stable isotopes. Biological associations are indicative of dominantly shallow (cycles of lake transgression, corresponding to the three main sedimentary units (U1, U2 and U3). Relative lake-level, degree of connectivity with surrounding lakes and climate (dry versus humid) are the three key factors controlling the water composition, carbonate production and depositional environments in the Issirac lake. Although the ASCI (Alès-Issirac-Saint-Chaptes) lacustrine system likely represents an athalassic (inland) lake system evolving through times, the stable isotope composition (C, O and Sr) of carbonates strongly suggests the occurrence of transient connections of the ASCI lake water with water bodies influenced by seawater and/or fed with sulfates deriving from Triassic evaporites. The Issirac Basin may be therefore interpreted as a sill area connecting the ASCI lacustrine system with the Rhône valley (Mormoiron and Valence) saline lake systems during maximum flooding periods. Finally, changes in depositional features, biota and stable isotope composition of carbonates in unit U3 suggest a transition from relatively dry to more humid climate during the uppermost Priabonian or earliest Rupelian.

  2. Geophysical and Seawater intrusion models to distinguish Modern and Palaeo salinity in the Central Godvari Delta, Andhra Pradesh, India (United States)

    Lagudu, S.; Nandan, M. J.; Durgaprasad, M.; Gurunadha Rao, V. V. S.


    Central Godavari Delta is located in the East coast of Andhra Pradesh along Bay of Bengal. Ample surface water is made available for irrigation and aqua culture through well distributed canals drawn from Godavari River since last 150 years. Groundwater in the area is highly saline though the groundwater levels are very shallow ranging from 1 to 3 m below ground level. Integrated Electrical Resistivity Tomograms (ERT), hydrochemical (pH, TDS, Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, F-, Cl-, SO42-, NO3-, HCO3- and CO3-), isotopic (Br- and δ18O ) and density dependant solute tranport (SEAWAT) modelling studies have been carried out for four years (2006, 2007, 2014 and 2015) to identify the salinity sources and to understand the possible extent of seawater intrusion. The integration of all these data sets revealed that coarse grained sands exhibits resistivity of 4-20 Ωm forming the surface layer, clay layer exhibits soils saturated with sea water. Clay with fine sand occurs as the third layer with a resistivity of 1- 4 Ωm. The different mixing models ((TDS vs. (Na2++ K+) and (Ca2++Mg2+), (Na+-Cl- ) vs. Ca2++Mg2+-HCO3--SO42-)) and ionic ratios ( Na2+/Cl-, SO42-/Cl-, Mg2+/Ca2+, Mg2+/Cl- and Cl-/Br) and δ18O does not reflect any modern seawater signatures. These models indicated that salinity in the shallow wells is due to dissolution of evaporitic minerals and ion exchange processes. In the pumping wells the salinity is due to upconing of entrapped sea water that belongs to Palaeo origin and wells located near the coast and mudflats is due to physical mixing of marine water. The estimated regional groundwater balance using SEAWAT model indicate significant amount of submarine groundwater discharge as outfall to the Bay of Bengal. Assuming observed hydrological conditions, no considerable advance in seawater intrusion would be expected into the delta region.

  3. Sedimentological evaluation of general circulation model simulations for the ?greenhouse? Earth: Cretaceous and Jurassic case studies (United States)

    Price, G. D.; Sellwood, B. W.; Valdes, P. J.


    Conceptual climate models, based on the workings of the present-day climate system, provided a first-order approach to ancient climate systems. They are potentially very subjective in character. Their main drawback was that they involved the relocation of continents beneath a stable atmospheric circulation modelled upon that of the present. General circulation models (GCMs) use the laws of physics and an understanding of past geography to simulate climatic responses. They are objective in character. However, they require super computers to handle vast numbers of calculations. Nonetheless it is now possible to compare results from different GCMs for a range of times and over a wide range of parameterisations. GCMs are currently producing simulated climate predictions which compare favourably with the distributions of climatically sensitive facies (e.g. coals, evaporites and palaeosols). They have been used effectively in the prediction of oceanic upwelling sites and the distribution of petroleum source-rocks and phosphorites. Parameterisation is the main weakness in GCMs (e.g. sea-surface temperature, orography, cloud behaviour). Sensitivity experiments can be run on GCMs which simulate the effects of Milankovitch forcing and thus provide insights into possible patterns of climate change both globally and locally (i.e. provide predictions that can be evaluated against the rock record). Future use of GCMs could be in the forward modelling of sequence stratigraphic evolution and in the prediction of the diagenetic characteristics of reservoir units in frontier exploration areas. The sedimentary record provides the only way that GCMs may themselves be evaluated and this is important because these same GCMs are being used currently to predict possible changes in future climate.

  4. Composition of fluid inclusions in Permian salt beds, Palo Duro Basin, Texas, U.S.A. (United States)

    Roedder, E.; d'Angelo, W. M.; Dorrzapf, A.F.; Aruscavage, P. J.


    Several methods have been developed and used to extract and chemically analyze the two major types of fluid inclusions in bedded salt from the Palo Duro Basin, Texas. Data on the ratio K: Ca: Mg were obtained on a few of the clouds of tiny inclusions in "chevron" salt, representing the brines from which the salt originally crystallized. Much more complete quantitative data (Na, K, Ca, Mg, Sr, Cl, SO4 and Br) were obtained on ??? 120 individual "large" (mostly ???500 ??m on an edge, i.e., ??? ??? 1.6 ?? 10-4 g) inclusions in recrystallized salt. These latter fluids have a wide range of compositions, even in a given piece of core, indicating that fluids of grossly different composition were present in these salt beds during the several (?) stages of recrystallization. The analytical results indicating very large inter-and intra-sample chemical variation verify the conclusion reached earlier, from petrography and microthermometry, that the inclusion fluids in salt and their solutes are generally polygenetic. The diversity in composition stems from the combination of a variety of sources for the fluids (Permian sea, meteoric, and groundwater, as well as later migrating ground-, formation, or meteoric waters of unknown age), and a variety of subsequent geochemical processes of dissolution, precipitation and rock-water interaction. The compositional data are frequently ambiguous but do provide constraints and may eventually yield a coherent history of the events that produced these beds. Such an understanding of the past history of the evaporite sequence of the Palo Duro Basin should help in predicting the future role of the fluids in the salt if a nuclear waste repository is sited there. ?? 1987.

  5. The first occurrence in the fossil record of an aquatic avian twig-nest with Phoenicopteriformes eggs: evolutionary implications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerald Grellet-Tinner

    the Phoenicopteriformes evolutionary lineage. Our results demonstrate that the nesting paleoenvironments of flamingos were closely linked to the unique ecology of this locality, which is a direct result of special climatic (high evaporitic regime and geological (fault system conditions.

  6. The first occurrence in the fossil record of an aquatic avian twig-nest with Phoenicopteriformes eggs: evolutionary implications. (United States)

    Grellet-Tinner, Gerald; Murelaga, Xabier; Larrasoaña, Juan C; Silveira, Luis F; Olivares, Maitane; Ortega, Luis A; Trimby, Patrick W; Pascual, Ana


    paleoenvironments of flamingos were closely linked to the unique ecology of this locality, which is a direct result of special climatic (high evaporitic regime) and geological (fault system) conditions.

  7. Contrasting pattern of hydrological changes during the past two millennia from central and northern India: Regional climate difference or anthropogenic impact? (United States)

    Mishra, Praveen K.; Prasad, Sushma; Marwan, Norbert; Anoop, A.; Krishnan, R.; Gaye, Birgit; Basavaiah, N.; Stebich, Martina; Menzel, Philip; Riedel, Nils


    High resolution reconstructions of the India Summer Monsoon (ISM) are essential to identify regionally different patterns of climate change and refine predictive models. We find opposing trends of hydrological proxies between northern (Sahiya cave stalagmite) and central India (Lonar Lake) between 100 and 1300 CE with the strongest anti-correlation between 810 and 1300 CE. The apparently contradictory data raise the question if these are related to widely different regional precipitation patterns or reflect human influence in/around the Lonar Lake. By comparing multiproxy data with historical records, we demonstrate that only the organic proxies in the Lonar Lake show evidence of anthropogenic impact. However, evaporite data (mineralogy and δ18O) are indicative of precipitation/evaporation (P/E) into the Lonar Lake. Back-trajectories of air-mass circulation over northern and central India show that the relative contribution of the Bay of Bengal (BoB) branch of the ISM is crucial for determining the δ18O of carbonate proxies only in north India, whereas central India is affected significantly by the Arabian Sea (AS) branch of the ISM. We conclude that the δ18O of evaporative carbonates in the Lonar Lake reflects P/E and, in the interval under consideration, is not influenced by source water changes. The opposing trend between central and northern India can be explained by (i) persistent multidecadal droughts over central India between 810 and 1300 CE that provided an effective mechanism for strengthening sub-tropical westerly winds resulting in enhancement of wintertime (non-monsoonal) rainfall over northern parts of the Indian subcontinent, and/or (ii) increased moisture influx to northern India from the depleted BoB source waters.

  8. Tectono-climatic implications of Eocene Paratethys regression in the Tajik basin of central Asia (United States)

    Carrapa, Barbara; DeCelles, Peter G.; Wang, Xin; Clementz, Mark T.; Mancin, Nicoletta; Stoica, Marius; Kraatz, Brian; Meng, Jin; Abdulov, Sherzod; Chen, Fahu


    Plate tectonics and eustatic sea-level changes have fundamental effects on paleoenvironmental conditions and bio-ecological changes. The Paratethys Sea was a large marine seaway that connected the Mediterranean Neotethys Ocean with Central Asia during early Cenozoic time. Withdrawal of the Paratethys from central Asia impacted the distribution and composition of terrestrial faunas in the region and has been largely associated with changes in global sea level and climate such as cooling associated with the Eocene/Oligocene transition (EOT). Whereas the regression has been dated in the Tarim basin (China), the pattern and timing of regression in the Tajik basin, 400 km to the west, remain unresolved, precluding a test of current paleogeographic models. Here we date the Paratethys regression in Tajikistan at ca. 39 million years ago (Ma), which is several million years older than the EOT (at ca. 34 Ma) marking the greenhouse to icehouse climate transition of the Cenozoic. Our data also show a restricted, evaporitic marine environment since the middle-late Eocene and establishment of desert like environments after ca. 39 Ma. The overall stratigraphic record from the Tajik basin and southern Tien Shan points to deposition in a foreland basin setting by ca. 40 Ma in response to active tectonic growth of the Pamir-Tibet Mountains at the same time. Combined with the northwestward younging trend of the regression in the region, the Tajik basin record is consistent with northward growth of the Pamir and suggests significant tectonic control on Paratethys regression and paleoenvironmental changes in Central Asia.

  9. Bioturbation in Supratidal Carbonates: Georadar Characterization of the Patterns and Structure of Decapod Burrows (United States)

    Kopcznski, Karen

    of subsurface visualization can be readily extended to other mesoscale biogenic structures in evaporite and siliciclastic media.

  10. Preliminary Map of Potentially Karstic Carbonate Rocks in the Central and Southern Appalachian States (United States)

    Weary, David J.


    Karst is a landscape produced by dissolution of rocks and the development of integrated subterranean drainages dominated by the flow of ground water in solutionally enlarged conduits. Karst landscapes typically include cave entrances, sinkholes, blind valleys, losing streams, springs, and large and small-scale solution features on bedrock surfaces. Water-bearing rocks beneath the surface containing solutionally enlarged pores, fractures, or conduits are referred to as karst aquifers. About 40 percent of all ground water extracted in the United States comes from karst aquifers (Karst Waters Institute). Karst means many things to many people. To most cavers and many speleologists, karst means areas containing caves. To engineers, home builders, local governments, and insurance companies, karst is exemplified by the occurrence of sinkholes and subsidence hazard. To hydrologists, well drillers, and environmental consultants, the focus on karst may be more limited to karst aquifers and springs. Precise figures are not available, but ground collapses in karst areas in the United States require hundreds of millions of dollars in repair and mitigation costs each year. Most karst in the United States is formed in either carbonate or evaporite rocks. This map depicts only areas of carbonate rock outcrop, the chief host for karst formation in the eastern United States. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI), the National Speleological Society (NSS), and various State geological surveys, is working on a new national karst map that will delineate areas of karst and karst-like features nationwide. This product attempts to identify potentially karstic areas of the Appalachian states as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), with the addition of the state of Delaware. This map is labeled preliminary because there is an expectation that it will be revised and updated as part of a new national

  11. Reconstruction of the Exhumed Mantle Across the North Iberian Margin by Crustal-Scale 3-D Gravity Inversion and Geological Cross Section (United States)

    Pedrera, A.; García-Senz, J.; Ayala, C.; Ruiz-Constán, A.; Rodríguez-Fernández, L. R.; Robador, A.; González Menéndez, L.


    Recent models support the view that the Pyrenees were formed after the inversion of a previously highly extended continental crust that included exhumed upper mantle rocks. Mantle rocks remain near to the surface after compression and mountain building, covered by the latest Cretaceous to Paleogene sequences. 3-D lithospheric-scale gravity inversion demands the presence of a high-density mantle body placed within the crust in order to justify the observed anomalies. Exhumed mantle, having 50 km of maximum width, continuously extends beneath the Basque-Cantabrian Basin and along the northern side of the Pyrenees. The association of this body with rift, postrift, and inversion structural geometries is tested in a balanced cross section across the Basque-Cantabrian Basin that incorporates a major south-dipping ramp-flat-ramp extensional detachment active between Valanginian and early Cenomanian times. Results indicate that horizontal extension progressed 48 km at variable strain rates that increased from 1 to 4 mm/yr in middle Albian times. Low-strength Triassic Keuper evaporites and mudstones above the basement favor the decoupling of the cover with formation of minibasins, expulsion rollovers, and diapirs. The inversion of the extensional system is accommodated by doubly verging basement thrusts due to the reactivation of the former basin bounding faults in Eocene-Oligocene times. Total shortening is estimated in 34 km and produced the partial subduction of the continental lithosphere beneath the two sides of the exhumed mantle. Obtained results help to pinpoint the original architecture of the North Iberian Margin and the evolution of the hyperextended aborted intracontinental basins.

  12. Spectral and stratigraphic mapping of hydrated minerals associated with interior layered deposits near the southern wall of Melas Chasma, Mars (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Goudge, Timothy A.; Catalano, Jeffrey G.; Wang, Alian


    Orbital remote sensing data acquired from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) onboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), in conjunction with other datasets, are used to perform detailed spectral and stratigraphic analyses over a portion of south Melas Chasma, Mars. The Discrete Ordinate Radiative Transfer (DISORT) model is used to retrieve atmospherically corrected single scattering albedos from CRISM I/F data for mineral identification. A sequence of interbedded poly- and monohydrated sulfates associated with interior layered deposits (ILDs) is identified and mapped. Analyses from laboratory experiments and spectral unmixing of CRISM hyperspectral data support the hypothesis of precipitation and dehydration of multiple inputs of complex Mg-Ca-Fe-SO4-Cl brines. In this scenario, the early precipitated Mg sulfates could dehydrate into monohydrated sulfate due to catalytic effects, and the later-precipitated Mg sulfates from the late-stage "clean" brine could terminate their dehydration at mid-degree of hydration to form a polyhydrated sulfate layer due to depletion of the catalytic species (e.g., Ca, Fe, and Cl). Distinct jarosite-bearing units are identified stratigraphically above the hydrated sulfate deposits. These are hypothesized to have formed either by oxidation of a fluid containing Fe(II) and SO4, or by leaching of soluble phases from precursor intermixed jarosite-Mg sulfate units that may have formed during the later stages of deposition of the hydrated sulfate sequence. Results from stratigraphic analysis of the ILDs show that the layers have a consistent northward dip towards the interior of the Melas Chasma basin, a mean dip angle of ∼6°, and neighboring strata that are approximately parallel. These strata are interpreted as initially sub-horizontal layers of a subaqueous, sedimentary evaporite deposits that underwent post-depositional tilting from slumping into the Melas Chasma basin. The interbedded hydrated sulfate


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronaldo Mello Pereira


    Full Text Available This work focuses on Neoproterozoic supracrustal rocks related to Andrelandia megasequence, which are superimposed on the basis represented by neoarchean granulites and palaeoproterozoic ortogneiss, in order to define palaeoenvironments of deposition of metasedimentary rocks and typological model of zinc mineralization of Rio Claro, Rio de Janeiro State, SE of Brazil. Three stratigraphic units in the area were considered for the studies: Valadão, São Roque and Lidice. Valadão unit was divided into three subunits: psamitic, psamitic / pelitic and pelitic. On the whole, it represents a turbiditic sequence influenced by underwater hydrothermal exhalations that led to the formation of quartzite with magnetite, considered as banded iron formations. São Roque Unit is composed of four subunits (São Roque I, II, III and IV and presents a typical pattern of deposition of low energy environments, in marine deep basins. Gondite, coticules levels and (Mn-almandine present in the local gneiss mark the manganese exalative contribution in that unit. Lídice unit has different sedimentation palaeoenvironments and is subdivided into Lídice I, II and III. Lídice subunits I and II exhibit quartzite interleaved with pelitic rocks and graphite gneiss, suggesting deposition in deeper environments of the basin, probably related to turbidity currents. In Lídice III subunit, more carbonated and with more quartz, limestone quartzite stand out, which enclose mineralized zones, reflecting depositional environment in shallow platform, possibly involving evaporitic environment, sabkha type. Sulfite mineralization of Rio Claro, associated with platformal rocks intensely metamorphosed and deformed, as well as its local geological context, features similarities with sedimentary exhalative deposits (SEDEX Zn-Pb-Ag model, Shuswap and Monashee type, present in Monashee and Shuswap Complexes of British Columbia in Canada.

  14. Prokaryotic diversity pattern in high-altitude ecosystems of the Chilean Altiplano (United States)

    Demergasso, Cecilia; Dorador, Cristina; Meneses, Daniela; Blamey, Jenny; Cabrol, Nathalie; Escudero, Lorena; Chong, Guillermo


    The Chilean Altiplano is the westernmost part of a large volcanic-sedimentary plateau in the central Andes. High solar irradiance and rapid increase of temperature have contributed to make it a hot spot of global climatic change. In this study, we describe microbial diversity in the summit lake of the Simba volcano (5,870 m) and the evaporitic basins of Salar de Aguas Calientes (4,200 m) and Laguna Lejía (4,325 m) using both culture and culture-independent methods. The results obtained were analyzed together with available information from related environments to describe the traits of the microbial community driven by main environmental factors. Isolated cultures exhibit high resistance to all three types of UV radiation, further supporting the adaptation of microorganisms to the high altitude environment. The microbial community structures at Salar de Aguas Calientes and Laguna Lejía are similar to those from other saline systems and cold environments where Bacteroidetes is the major bacterial group. The abundance of sequences related to alphaproteobacteria and methanogenic populations likely reflects the importance of aerobic anoxigenic phothosynthesis and the cycling of one-carbon compounds in the high altitude lake ecosystems. Geochemistry and microbial communities at Simba as well as those reported in the Licancabur summit lake provide evidence for sulfur-rich environments but under different conditions. Those differences between neighboring mountain lake ecosystems highlight the effect of volcanic activity on microbial communities. The hypothetical ecosystem model described in this work provides a clue to follow the microbial community responses to geophysical environment coupled with rapid climate change.

  15. Hydrocarbons on the Roof of the World (Invited) (United States)

    Tapponnier, P.


    Progress in understanding the dynamics of modern, active tectonic processes has transformed the interpretation of regional deformation regimes, leading to conceptual changes concerning the tectonic evolution of basins. Improved tectonic insight suggests that there may be a lot more hydrocarbon resources to be found, particularly in places that have generally been deemed unworthy of a second look, or hopeless. One example is that of high orogenic plateaus. While usually set in the heart of mountainous regions, such plateaus are now best understood as mosaics of internally drained basins rather than as stacked packages of coalescent mountain ranges. The high, flat and smooth morphology results from dynamic surface processes involving erosion, sediment transport and deposition by large rivers that interact with tectonically rising mountain rims along which the crust thickens. This creates 'cold' basins of a novel type, best represented within the Tibet plateau and north of it. Specifically, the Qaidam and Tibet basins are akin to 'bathtubs' that filled rapidly with great thicknesses of Tertiary clastic sediments because of internal drainage. The distal clastics are chiefly composed of sandstones/silstones with interbedded evaporites that provide adequate reservoirs and seals. In the central part of the Tibet plateau, such deposits cover Tertiary lacustrine and Mesozoic marine limestones and shales that likely form good source rocks. The fact that hydrocarbon plays exist in this vast area has already been confirmed by local shows in the Eocene Lumpola basin. Hence, although the inference might sound counter intuitive, there may be much greater potential for finding oil and gas in the highest plains of the roof of the world than elsewhere in west-central China.

  16. Trace Metal Source Terms in Carbon Sequestration Environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karamalidis, Athanasios K; Torres, Sharon G; Hakala, J Alexandra; Shao, Hongbo; Cantrell, Kirk J; Carroll, Susan


    Carbon dioxide sequestration in deep saline and depleted oil geologic formations is feasible and promising, however, possible CO₂ or CO₂-saturated brine leakage to overlying aquifers may pose environmental and health impacts. The purpose of this study was to experimentally define trace metal source terms from the reaction of supercritical CO₂, storage reservoir brines, reservoir and cap rocks. Storage reservoir source terms for trace metals are needed to evaluate the impact of brines leaking into overlying drinking water aquifers. The trace metal release was measured from sandstones, shales, carbonates, evaporites, basalts and cements from the Frio, In Salah, Illinois Basin – Decatur, Lower Tuscaloosa, Weyburn-Midale, Bass Islands and Grand Ronde carbon sequestration geologic formations. Trace metal dissolution is tracked by measuring solution concentrations over time under conditions (e.g. pressures, temperatures, and initial brine compositions) specific to the sequestration projects. Existing metrics for Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for drinking water as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) were used to categorize the relative significance of metal concentration changes in storage environments due to the presence of CO₂. Results indicate that Cr and Pb released from sandstone reservoir and shale cap rock exceed the MCLs by an order of magnitude while Cd and Cu were at or below drinking water thresholds. In carbonate reservoirs As exceeds the MCLs by an order of magnitude, while Cd, Cu, and Pb were at or below drinking water standards. Results from this study can be used as a reasonable estimate of the reservoir and caprock source term to further evaluate the impact of leakage on groundwater quality.

  17. Reconsolidated Salt as a Geotechnical Barrier

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hansen, Francis D. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Gadbury, Casey [USDOE Carlsbad Field Office, NM (United States)


    Salt as a geologic medium has several attributes favorable to long-term isolation of waste placed in mined openings. Salt formations are largely impermeable and induced fractures heal as stress returns to equilibrium. Permanent isolation also depends upon the ability to construct geotechnical barriers that achieve nearly the same high-performance characteristics attributed to the native salt formation. Salt repository seal concepts often include elements of reconstituted granular salt. As a specific case in point, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant recently received regulatory approval to change the disposal panel closure design from an engineered barrier constructed of a salt-based concrete to one that employs simple run-of-mine salt and temporary bulkheads for isolation from ventilation. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is a radioactive waste disposal repository for defense-related transuranic elements mined from the Permian evaporite salt beds in southeast New Mexico. Its approved shaft seal design incorporates barrier components comprising salt-based concrete, bentonite, and substantial depths of crushed salt compacted to enhance reconsolidation. This paper will focus on crushed salt behavior when applied as drift closures to isolate disposal rooms during operations. Scientific aspects of salt reconsolidation have been studied extensively. The technical basis for geotechnical barrier performance has been strengthened by recent experimental findings and analogue comparisons. The panel closure change was accompanied by recognition that granular salt will return to a physical state similar to the halite surrounding it. Use of run-of-mine salt ensures physical and chemical compatibility with the repository environment and simplifies ongoing disposal operations. Our current knowledge and expected outcome of research can be assimilated with lessons learned to put forward designs and operational concepts for the next generation of salt repositories. Mined salt

  18. Significant alteration of Critical Zone processes in urban watersheds: shifting from a transport-limited to a weathering-limited regime (United States)

    Moore, J.; Bird, D. L.; Dobbis, S. K.; Woodward, G.


    Urban areas and associated impervious surface cover (ISC) are among the fastest growing land use types. Rapid growth of urban lands has significant implications for geochemical cycling and solute sources to streams, estuaries, and coastal waters. However, little work has been done to investigate the impacts of urbanization on Critical Processes, including on the export of solutes from urban watersheds. Despite observed elevated solute concentrations in urban streams in some previous studies, neither solute sources nor total solute fluxes have been quantified due to mixed bedrock geology, lack of a forested reference watershed, or the presence of point sources that confounded separation of anthropologic and natural sources. We investigated the geochemical signal of the urban built environment (e.g., roads, parking lots, buildings) in a set of five USGS-gaged watersheds across a rural (forested) to urban gradient in the Maryland Piedmont. These watersheds have ISC ranging from 0 to 25%, no point sources, and similar felsic bedrock chemistry. Weathering from the urban built environment and ISC produces dramatically higher solute concentrations in urban watersheds than in the forested watershed. Higher solute concentrations result in chemical weathering fluxes from urban watersheds that are 11-13 times higher than the forested watershed and are similar to fluxes from mountainous, weathering-limited watersheds rather than fluxes from transport-limited, dilute streams like the forested watershed. Weathering of concrete in urban watersheds produces geochemistry similar to weathering-limited watersheds with high concentrations of Ca2+, Mg2+, and DIC, which is similar to stream chemistry due to carbonate weathering. Road salt dissolution results in high Na+ and Cl- concentrations similar to evaporite weathering. Quantifying processes causing elevated solute fluxes from urban areas is essential to understanding cycling of Ca2+, Mg2+, and DIC in urban streams and in

  19. Evolution of the Toarcian (Early Jurassic) carbon-cycle and global climatic controls on local sedimentary processes (Cardigan Bay Basin, UK) (United States)

    Xu, Weimu; Ruhl, Micha; Jenkyns, Hugh C.; Leng, Melanie J.; Huggett, Jennifer M.; Minisini, Daniel; Ullmann, Clemens V.; Riding, James B.; Weijers, Johan W. H.; Storm, Marisa S.; Percival, Lawrence M. E.; Tosca, Nicholas J.; Idiz, Erdem F.; Tegelaar, Erik W.; Hesselbo, Stephen P.


    The late Early Jurassic Toarcian Stage represents the warmest interval of the Jurassic Period, with an abrupt rise in global temperatures of up to ∼7 °C in mid-latitudes at the onset of the early Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (T-OAE; ∼183 Ma). The T-OAE, which has been extensively studied in marine and continental successions from both hemispheres, was marked by the widespread expansion of anoxic and euxinic waters, geographically extensive deposition of organic-rich black shales, and climatic and environmental perturbations. Climatic and environmental processes following the T-OAE are, however, poorly known, largely due to a lack of study of stratigraphically well-constrained and complete sedimentary archives. Here, we present integrated geochemical and physical proxy data (high-resolution carbon-isotope data (δ13 C), bulk and molecular organic geochemistry, inorganic petrology, mineral characterisation, and major- and trace-element concentrations) from the biostratigraphically complete and expanded entire Toarcian succession in the Llanbedr (Mochras Farm) Borehole, Cardigan Bay Basin, Wales, UK. With these data, we (1) construct the first high-resolution biostratigraphically calibrated chemostratigraphic reference record for nearly the complete Toarcian Stage, (2) establish palaeoceanographic and depositional conditions in the Cardigan Bay Basin, (3) show that the T-OAE in the hemipelagic Cardigan Bay Basin was marked by the occurrence of gravity-flow deposits that were likely linked to globally enhanced sediment fluxes to continental margins and deeper marine (shelf) basins, and (4) explore how early Toarcian (tenuicostatum and serpentinum zones) siderite formation in the Cardigan Bay Basin may have been linked to low global oceanic sulphate concentrations and elevated supply of iron (Fe) from the hinterland, in response to climatically induced changes in hydrological cycling, global weathering rates and large-scale sulphide and evaporite deposition.

  20. Role of the Alboran Sea volcanic arc choking the Mediterranean to the Messinian salinity crisis and foundering biota diversification in North Africa and Southeast Iberia (United States)

    Booth-Rea, Guillermo; Ranero, Cesar R.; Grevemer, Ingo


    The Mediterranean Sea desiccated ~5.96 million years ago when it became isolated from the world oceans during the Messinian salinity crisis. This event permitted the exchange of terrestrial biota between Africa and Iberia contributing to the present rich biodiversity of the Mediterranean region. The cause chocking the Mediterranean has been proposed to be tectonic uplift and dynamic topography but the driving mechanism still remains debated. We present a new wide-angle seismic profile that provides a detailed image of the thickness and seismic velocity distribution of the crust in the eastern Alboran basin. The velocity model shows a characteristic structure of a subduction-related volcanic arc with a high-velocity lower crust and a 16-18 km total-thickness igneous crust that magmatic accreted mostly between ~10-6 Ma across the eastern Alboran basin. Estimation of the isostatically corrected depth of the arc crust taking into account the original thermal structure and sediment-loading subsidence since 6 Ma places a large area of the eastern Alboran basin above sea level at the time. This estimation is supported by geophysical data showing subaereal erosional unconformities for that time. This model may explain several up-to-now-disputed features of the Messinian salinity crisis, including: the progressive isolation of the Mediterranean since 7.1 Ma with the disappearance of open marine taxa, the existence of evaporites mostly to the east of the volcanic arc, the evidence that the Gibraltar straits were not a land bridge offered by continuous Messinian open marine sediments at ODP site 976 in the western Alboran basin, the importance of southeastern Iberia and North Africa as centres of biota diversification since before the salinity crisis, and patterns of speciation irradiating from SE Iberia and the eastern Rif in some taxons.

  1. Microbial colonization of Ca-sulfate crusts in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert: implications for the search for life on Mars. (United States)

    Wierzchos, J; Cámara, B; de Los Ríos, A; Davila, A F; Sánchez Almazo, I M; Artieda, O; Wierzchos, K; Gómez-Silva, B; McKay, C; Ascaso, C


    The scarcity of liquid water in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert makes this region one of the most challenging environments for life on Earth. The low numbers of microbial cells in the soils suggest that within the Atacama Desert lies the dry limit for life on our planet. Here, we show that the Ca-sulfate crusts of this hyperarid core are the habitats of lithobiontic micro-organisms. This microporous, translucent substrate is colonized by epilithic lichens, as well as endolithic free-living algae, fungal hyphae, cyanobacteria and non photosynthetic bacteria. We also report a novel type of endolithic community, "hypoendoliths", colonizing the undermost layer of the crusts. The colonization of gypsum crusts within the hyperarid core appears to be controlled by the moisture regime. Our data shows that the threshold for colonization is crossed within the dry core, with abundant colonization in gypsum crusts at one study site, while crusts at a drier site are virtually devoid of life. We show that the cumulative time in 1 year of relative humidity (RH) above 60% is the best parameter to explain the difference in colonization between both sites. This is supported by controlled humidity experiments, where we show that colonies of endolithic cyanobacteria in the Ca-sulfate crust undergo imbibition process at RH >60%. Assuming that life once arose on Mars, it is conceivable that Martian micro-organisms sought refuge in similar isolated evaporite microenvironments during their last struggle for life as their planet turned arid. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  2. Petroleum geology of northern central America

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bishop, W.F.


    Major reserves of oil exist in the Reforma area of Tabasco and Chiapas states and the Campeche Shelf of SE Mexico in high-energy, bank-edge, reef-derived or reef-associated carbonate rocks, ranging in age from Late Jurassic to earliest Late Cretaceous. It is the conclusion of this study that the Reforma reservoir facies does not extend into West Guatemala. However, there the potential for major reserves in bank and lagoonal carbonates of similar age is considered excellent. A variety of structures, mostly resulting from salt tectonics, is present. Known reservoir rocks include fractured carbonates with secondary porosity resulting from solution and dolomitization, and limestones with primary intergranular porosity. An indigenous source is likely for the large quantities of oil which have been tested at Rubelsanto. Seals in the form of thick intervals of Cretaceous anhydrite and, in places, of Tertiary fine-grained clastics, are abundant. The area E of Rubelsanto may have considered merit, particularly if detailed structural analysis indicates that similar salt-tectonic features are present. The less deeply-buried areas of Cretaceous carbonates are not highly regarded because: (1) salt is absent; (2) temperatures sufficient for maturation of hydrocarbons may be lacking; and (3) a considerable number of dry holes with no significant shows have been drilled. North Guatemala is somewhat attractive, because the proper combination of unmetamorphosed Paleozoic organic shale on basement highs, well-developed Todos Santos sandstone reservoirs, and the overlying thick evaporite seal could trap sizable hydrocarbon accumulations. However, as degree of metamorphism decreases, presumably basinward, distance from source terrain for detritus increases and reservoirs may be inadequate. 13 figures, 1 table.

  3. Geochemistry and depositional environments of Paleocene-Eocene phosphorites: Metlaoui Group, Tunisia (United States)

    Garnit, Hechmi; Bouhlel, Salah; Jarvis, Ian


    The Late Paleocene-Early Eocene phosphorites of the Metlaoui Group in Tunisia are a world-class phosphate resource. We review the characteristics of phosphorites deposited in three areas: the Northern Basins; Eastern Basins; and Gafsa-Metlaoui Basin. Comprehensive new bulk rock elemental data are presented, together with complementary mineralogical and mineral chemical results. Carbonate fluorapatite (francolite) constitutes the dominant mineral phase in the deposits. Phosphorite samples are enriched in Cd, Sr, U, rare-earth elements and Y, together with environmentally diagnostic trace elements that provide detrital (Cr, Zr), productivity (Cu, Ni, Zn) and redox (Mo, V) proxies. Suboxic bottom-water conditions predominated, with suboxic to anoxic porewaters accompanying francolite precipitation. Phosphorite deposition occurred under increasingly arid climate conditions, accompanying global Paleocene-Eocene warming. The Northern Basins show the strongest Tethys Ocean influence, with surface seawater rare-earth element signatures consistently developed in the phosphorites. Bed-scale compositional variation indicates relatively unstable environmental conditions and episodes of sediment redeposition, with varying detrital supply and a relatively wet local climate. Glauconitic facies in the Northern Basins and the more isolated evaporite-associated phosphorites in the dryer Eastern Basins display the greatest diagenetic influences. The phosphorite - organic-rich marl - diatom-bearing porcelanite facies association in the Gafsa-Metlaoui Basin represents the classic coastal upwelling trinity. Modified Tethyan waters occurred within the Basin during phosphorite deposition, with decreasing marine productivity from NW to SE evidenced by systematically falling enrichment factors for Cu, Ni, Cd and Zn in the phosphorites. Productivity declined in concert with increasing basin isolation during the deposition of the commercial phosphorite beds in the latest Paleocene to earliest

  4. Geochemistry of Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) sills from deep boreholes in the Amazonas and Solimões basins, Brazil (United States)

    Hatlen Heimdal, Thea; Svensen, Henrik H.; Pereira, Egberto; Planke, Sverre


    The Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) is one of the most extensive Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs), and is associated with the breakup of Pangea and the subsequent opening of the central Atlantic Ocean. A large part of the province, including > 1 M km2 basins containing sill intrusions, is located in Brazil but has received limited attention due to the lack of outcrops. We have studied CAMP sills from seven deep boreholes (up to 3100 m deep) in the Amazonas and Solimões basins, northern Brazil. The boreholes contain up to ~ 482 m of sills (18 % of the stratigraphy), with a maximum individual sill thickness of 140 m. The sills were partly emplaced into thick Carboniferous evaporites. The main mineral phases of the sills include plagioclase and pyroxene, with accessory apatite, biotite, ilmenite and quartz. The majority of the sills are low-Ti dolerites (TiO2 < 2 wt.%), with the exception of four samples (with 2.2 - 3.3 wt.% TiO2). The low-Ti rocks range from basalt to basaltic andesite and plot in the tholeiitic field defined within the total alkali versus silica (TAS) classification. C1 chondrite normalized Rare Earth Element (REE) patterns for both Ti-groups show increasing LREE compared to HREE (La/Lu = 2.2 - 4.1) with no major anomalies, and attest to a relatively evolved nature (La = 17-65 ppm). Primitive mantle normalized patterns for low-Ti rocks show negative anomalies for Nb, Ta, P and Ti and positive for K, whereas the high-Ti rocks show generally opposite anomalies. Late stage patches in the dolerites contain apatite, quartz and Cl-bearing biotite, suggesting the presence of halogens that may partly derive from the host sedimentary rocks.

  5. Mineralogical Composition and Potential Dust Source of Playas in the Western U.S. and Australia as Remotely Identified Through Imaging Spectroscopy. (United States)

    Raming, L. W.; Farrand, W. H.; Bowen, B.


    Playas are significant dust sources and as a result are potentially hazardous to human health. The composition of the dust is a function of the mineralogical content of the playa and associated brines. Playas are found in arid climates globally, however they are challenging to map geologically as they are often hard to access, have subtle variations in mineralogy, and are topographically featureless. This study uses remote sensing in the form of imaging spectroscopy to map the mineralogical composition of five playas from different geologic settings: Railroad Valley Playa, Nevada, USA; Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, USA; White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, USA; Lake Brown, Western Australia, Australia; and Lake Tyrrell, Victoria, Australia.Multiple spectrometers were used for this study; these include the multispectral sensor ASTER, and the hyperspectral sensors AVIRIS, HICO, and HyMap. All scenes were processed in ENVI and corrected to at surface reflectance using FLAASH, QUAC or Empirical Line methods. Minerals were identified through a standard end-member extraction approach and mapped using multi-range spectral feature fitting and other methods. Additionally, remote data are combined with in-situ field-based spectra and sample-based laboratory spectra.Initial results suggest various and differing mineralogy between playas. The most abundant mineralogy includes clay minerals such as illite and montmorillonite and evaporites such as gypsum. Additionally there has been identification of Fe absorption bands in the visible / near infrared at White Sands National Monument, and Lake Brown and Lake Tyrell, suggesting the presence of iron bearing minerals. Further research will provide a more comprehensive list of minerals identified by absorption features as related to specific sensors. Collectively, these analyses will be used characterize overall patterns in playa surface mineralogy and to evaluate the parameters that influence playa dust source composition.

  6. Classification of modern and old Río Tinto sedimentary deposits through the biomolecular record using a life marker biochip: implications for detecting life on Mars. (United States)

    Parro, Victor; Fernández-Remolar, David; Rodríguez-Manfredi, José A; Cruz-Gil, Patricia; Rivas, Luis A; Ruiz-Bermejo, Marta; Moreno-Paz, Mercedes; García-Villadangos, Miriam; Gómez-Ortiz, David; Blanco-López, Yolanda; Menor-Salván, César; Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Gómez-Elvira, Javier


    The particular mineralogy formed in the acidic conditions of the Río Tinto has proven to be a first-order analogue for the acid-sulfate aqueous environments of Mars. Therefore, studies about the formation and preservation of biosignatures in the Río Tinto will provide insights into equivalent processes on Mars. We characterized the biomolecular patterns recorded in samples of modern and old fluvial sediments along a segment of the river by means of an antibody microarray containing more than 200 antibodies (LDCHIP200, for Life Detector Chip) against whole microorganisms, universal biomolecules, or environmental extracts. Samples containing 0.3-0.5 g of solid material were automatically analyzed in situ by the Signs Of LIfe Detector instrument (SOLID2), and the results were corroborated by extensive analysis in the laboratory. Positive antigen-antibody reactions indicated the presence of microbial strains or high-molecular-weight biopolymers that originated from them. The LDCHIP200 results were quantified and subjected to a multivariate analysis for immunoprofiling. We associated similar immunopatterns, and biomolecular markers, to samples with similar sedimentary age. Phyllosilicate-rich samples from modern fluvial sediments gave strong positive reactions with antibodies against bacteria of the genus Acidithiobacillus and against biochemical extracts from Río Tinto sediments and biofilms. These samples contained high amounts of sugars (mostly polysaccharides) with monosaccharides like glucose, rhamnose, fucose, and so on. By contrast, the older deposits, which are a mix of clastic sands and evaporites, showed only a few positives with LDCHIP200, consistent with lower protein and sugar content. We conclude that LDCHIP200 results can establish a correlation between microenvironments, diagenetic stages, and age with the biomarker profile associated with a sample. Our results would help in the search for putative martian biomarkers in acidic deposits with similar

  7. Hyperspectral Mapping of Iron-bearing Minerals Associated with Dry and Ephemeral Lakes (United States)

    Farrand, W. H.; Bowen, B. B.


    This research project is utilizing data from the Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO) on the International Space Station (ISS) to examine a set of playas and ephemeral lakes in Australia and in the southwestern United States. HICO collects hyperspectral data from 0.35 to 1.08 μm thus excluding the SWIR vibrational overtone region of clays and carbonates. We are assessing the utility of HICO for detecting iron-bearing minerals and materials associated with playas and mapping their fractional abundance outside of the playa boundaries. Sites being investigated include the clastics-dominated Railroad Valley and Lunar Lake playas of Nevada, the evaporite-dominated Bonneville Salt Flats, and the acid-saline Lake Tyrrell of northwest Victoria, Australia. HICO, and supporting airborne hyperspectral datasets (AVIRIS and HyMap), are being converted from at-sensor radiance to surface reflectance using the FLAASH radiance transfer-based atmospheric correction software. Fe-bearing minerals and materials are determined through a standardized endmember detection approach using the commercial ENVI software and mapped using a variety of approaches including linear spectral mixture analysis, constrained energy minimization, and spectral feature fitting. Interpretations of remote data are guided by field-based observations and mapping. We are using the remote sensing data to assess the surface state of the playa (wet vs. dry, soft vs. hard). These factors have bearing in that dusts stripped from playa surfaces can affect nearby human communities and agricultural fields. Playas are also used for recreation and sometimes as transportation corridors and their physical state has important bearing for those functions. Assessing the types of minerals present has relevance for their impact as wind-entrained particulates that could have adverse effects on the health of humans, crops, or livestock.

  8. Paleoecology and paleoceanography of the Athel silicilyte, Ediacaran-Cambrian boundary, Sultanate of Oman. (United States)

    Stolper, D A; Love, G D; Bates, S; Lyons, T W; Young, E; Sessions, A L; Grotzinger, J P


    The Athel silicilyte is an enigmatic, hundreds of meters thick, finely laminated quartz deposit, in which silica precipitated in deep water (>~100-200 m) at the Ediacaran-Cambrian boundary in the South Oman Salt Basin. In contrast, Meso-Neoproterozoic sinks for marine silica were dominantly restricted to peritidal settings. The silicilyte is known to contain sterane biomarkers for demosponges, which today are benthic, obligately aerobic organisms. However, the basin has previously been described as permanently sulfidic and time-equivalent shallow-water carbonate platform and evaporitic facies lack silica. The Athel silicilyte thus represents a unique and poorly understood depositional system with implications for late Ediacaran marine chemistry and paleoecology. To address these issues, we made petrographic observations, analyzed biomarkers in the solvent-extractable bitumen, and measured whole-rock iron speciation and oxygen and silicon isotopes. These data indicate that the silicilyte is a distinct rock type both in its sedimentology and geochemistry and in the original biology present as compared to other facies from the same time period in Oman. The depositional environment of the silicilyte, as compared to the bounding shales, appears to have been more reducing at depth in sediments and possibly bottom waters with a significantly different biological community contributing to the preserved biomarkers. We propose a conceptual model for this system in which deeper, nutrient-rich waters mixed with surface seawater via episodic mixing, which stimulated primary production. The silica nucleated on this organic matter and then sank to the seafloor, forming the silicilyte in a sediment-starved system. We propose that the silicilyte may represent a type of environment that existed elsewhere during the Neoproterozoic. These environments may have represented an important locus for silica removal from the oceans. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Soluble salt sources in medieval porous limestone sculptures: A multi-isotope (N, O, S) approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kloppmann, W., E-mail: [BRGM, Direction des Laboratoires, Unité Isotopes, BP 6009, F-45060 Orléans cedex 2 (France); Rolland, O., E-mail: [Montlouis-sur-Loire (France); Proust, E.; Montech, A.T. [BRGM, Direction des Laboratoires, Unité Isotopes, BP 6009, F-45060 Orléans cedex 2 (France)


    The sources and mechanisms of soluble salt uptake by porous limestone and the associated degradation patterns were investigated for the life-sized 15th century “entombment of Christ” sculpture group located in Pont-à-Mousson, France, using a multi-isotope approach on sulphates (δ{sup 34}S and δ{sup 18}O) and nitrates (δ{sup 15}N and δ{sup 18}O). The sculpture group, near the border of the Moselle River, is within the potential reach of capillary rise from the alluvial aquifer. Chemical analyses show a vertical zonation of soluble salts with a predominance of sulphates in the lower parts of the statues where crumbling and blistering prevail, and higher concentrations of nitrates and chloride in the high parts affected by powdering and efflorescence. Isotope fingerprints of sulphates suggest a triple origin: (1) the lower parts are dominated by capillary rise of dissolved sulphate from the Moselle water with characteristic Keuper evaporite signatures that progressively decreases with height; (2) in the higher parts affected by powdering the impact of atmospheric sulphur becomes detectable; and (3) locally, plaster reparations impact the neighbouring limestone through dissolution and re-precipitation of gypsum. Nitrogen and oxygen isotopes suggest an organic origin of nitrates in all samples. N isotope signatures are compatible with those measured in the alluvial aquifer of the Moselle River further downstream. This indicates contamination by sewage or organic fertilisers. Significant isotopic contrasts are observed between the different degradation features depending on the height and suggest historical changes of nitrate sources. - Highlights: • We use S, N and O isotopes to distinguish salt sources in limestone sculptures. • Vertical zonation of degradation is linked to capillary rise and air pollution. • Sulphate salts in lower parts are derived from river/groundwater. • Sulphate salts in higher parts show signature of air pollution. • Nitrates

  10. Quantifying the Mediterranean freshwater budget throughout the late Miocene: New implications for sapropel formation and the Messinian Salinity Crisis (United States)

    Simon, Dirk; Marzocchi, Alice; Flecker, Rachel; Lunt, Daniel J.; Hilgen, Frits J.; Meijer, Paul Th.


    The cyclic sedimentary record of the late Miocene Mediterranean shows a clear transition from open marine to restricted conditions and finally to evaporitic environments associated with the Messinian Salinity Crisis. This evolution has been attributed to changes in Mediterranean-Atlantic connectivity and regional climate, which has a strong precessional pulse. 31 Coupled climate simulations with different orbital configurations have been combined in a regression model that estimates the evolution of the freshwater budget of the Mediterranean throughout the late Miocene. The study suggests that wetter conditions occur at precession minima and are enhanced at eccentricity maxima. We use the wetter peaks to predict synthetic sapropel records. Using these to retune two Mediterranean sediment successions indicates that the overall net freshwater budget is the most likely mechanism driving sapropel formation in the late Miocene. Our sapropel timing is offset from precession minima and boreal summer insolation maxima during low eccentricity if the present-day drainage configuration across North Africa is used. This phase offset is removed if at least 50% more water drained into the Mediterranean during the late Miocene, ca