Faculté des sciences

Lacustrine and palustrine carbonate petrography : an overview

Freytet, Pierre ; Verrecchia, Eric P.

In: Journal of Paleolimnology, 2002, vol. 27, p. 221-237

Lacustrine limestones were formerly identified by their faunistic (limnea, planorbis) and floristic (Charophytes) content. For 30 years, indications of pedogenesis have been found in many lacustrine deposits, and consequently the concept of palustrine limestone was defined. Lacustrine fabrics are not that numerous: varved, laminated, homogeneous, peloidal, brecciated, gravelly, bioturbated... Plus

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    Summary
    Lacustrine limestones were formerly identified by their faunistic (limnea, planorbis) and floristic (Charophytes) content. For 30 years, indications of pedogenesis have been found in many lacustrine deposits, and consequently the concept of palustrine limestone was defined. Lacustrine fabrics are not that numerous: varved, laminated, homogeneous, peloidal, brecciated, gravelly, bioturbated (burrows), bioclastic, algal, and stromatolitic. Detrital beds are sometimes present and are interpreted as bottomset deposits. Palustrine fabrics result from exposure and pedogenesis of lacustrine mud. The main processes involved in this evolution are: cracking, with planar, curved, craze and skew planes, colonization by plants resulting in root traces, marmorization (redistribution of iron due to water table fluctuation), and redistribution of carbonates (needles, subspherical or cylindrical vertical nodules, carbonate coatings, early and late diagenetic crystals, Microcodium). Carbonate palustrine features can be associated with other minerals: palygorskite, gypsum, or silica. Alternation of lacustrine sedimentation and exposure/pedogenesis leads to the pseudo-microkarst facies resulting from enlargement of the complex network of root traces and horizontal cracks. The voids in the pseudo-microkarst facies are infilled with a polyphased internal sediment composed of carbonate and vadose silt and phreatic and vadose cements. Traces of exposure and pedogenesis are less in evidence in lacustrine bioclastic sands and algal-stromatolitic limestones. Finally, under certain conditions, the surficial laminar horizon and its associated perlitic crust (ooids) develops on palustrine muds and form a desert stromatolite.