Hood, S.D., Nelson, C.S., & Kamp, P.J.J. (2004). Discriminating cool-water from warm-water carbonates and their diagenetic environments using element geochemistry: the Oligocene Tikorangi Formation (Taranaki Basin) and the dolomite effect. New Zealand Journal of Geology & Geophysics. 47(4), 857-869.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/168
Fields portrayed within bivariate element plots have been used to distinguish between carbonates formed in warm- (tropical) water and cool- (temperate) water depositional settings. Here, element concentrations (Ca, Mg, Sr, Na, Fe, and Mn) have been determined for the carbonate fraction of bulk samples from the late Oligocene Tikorangi Formation, a subsurface, mixed dolomite-calcite, cool-water limestone sequence in Taranaki Basin, New Zealand. While the occurrence of dolomite is rare in New Zealand Cenozoic carbonates, and in cool-water carbonates more generally, the dolomite in the Tikorangi carbonates is shown to have a dramatic effect on the "traditional" positioning of cool-water limestone fields within bivariate element plots. Rare undolomitised, wholly calcitic carbonate samples in the Tikorangi Formation have the following average composition: Mg 2800 ppm; Ca 319 100 ppm; Na 800 ppm; Fe 6300 ppm; Sr 2400 ppm; and Mn 300 ppm. Tikorangi Formation dolomite-rich samples (>15% dolomite) have average values of: Mg 53 400 ppm; Ca 290 400 ppm; Na 4700 ppm; Fe 28 100 ppm; Sr 5400 ppm; and Mn 500 ppm. Element-element plots for dolomite-bearing samples show elevated Mg, Na, and Sr values compared with most other low-Mg calcite New Zealand Cenozoic limestones. The increased trace element contents are directly attributable to the trace element-enriched nature of the burial-derived dolomites, termed here the "dolomite effect". Fe levels in the Tikorangi Formation carbonates far exceed both modern and ancient cool-water and warm-water analogues, while Sr values are also higher than those in modern Tasmanian cool-water carbonates, and approach modern Bahaman warm-water carbonate values. Trace element data used in conjunction with more traditional petrographic data have aided in the diagenetic interpretation of the carbonate-dominated Tikorangi sequence. The geochemical results have been particularly useful for providing more definitive evidence for deep burial dolomitisation of the deposits under the influence of marine-modified pore fluids.
This article has been published in the New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics. (c) 2004 Royal Society of New Zealand.