Climate-controlled early dolomite, Late Triassic cyclic platform carbonates, Hungary

Balog, A. Read, J.F.; Haas, J.

Journal of Sedimentary Research 69(1): 267-282


ISSN/ISBN: 1527-1404
DOI: 10.2110/jsr.69.267
Accession: 018567658

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The 2 km thick Late Triassic Hungarian carbonate platform has a completely dolomitized lower part and a limestone-dominated upper part. The platform succession is made up of meter-scale, possibly precessional ( approximately 20 ky) carbonate cycles. In the lower platform (Main Dolomite), cycles are completely dolomitized and capped by caliche laminites and pisolites. In the upper platform (Dachstein Limestone), dolomite is confined to laminite caps of cycles that are bounded by clayey paleosols. Most of the dolomitization in the platform interior occurred early in tidal-flat settings during each high-frequency cycle. Subtidal dolomites are slightly coarser grained, are low in Fe (super 2+) and Mn (super 2+) , and have the heaviest delta (super 18) O signature. This indicates they formed from evaporative, oxidizing brines sourced from supratidal flats. Intertidal-supratidal dolomites are fine grained, commonly Fe (super 2+) and/or Mn (super 2+) rich, and slightly enriched in (super 18) O compared to the marine calcite cement. They formed from marine water that was weakly to moderately reducing. Dachstein paleosols have light delta (super 18) O and delta (super 13) C signatures reflecting meteoric soil waters. Repeated emergence stabilized the dolomites to low Sr (super 2+) and Na (super +) dolomite similar to Cenozoic platform dolomites. In contrast to these early cyclic dolomites, coarse-grained platform-margin dolomites with very low Mn (super 2+) and Fe (super 2+) and light delta (super 18) O signatures formed as thermally driven, warm, oxidizing marine water associated with Jurassic rifting of the Neo-Tethys Pennini Ocean circulated through the margin. Early dolomitization of cycles may have been controlled by high-frequency sea-level changes, but the overall vertical distribution of early dolomite on the platform does not reflect long-term eustasy. Rather, the intense dolomitization of the lower platform reflects a semiarid, hot subtropical, seasonal setting and megamonsoonal climate. Global cooling and increased humidity toward the latest Triassic and Early Jurassic inhibited pervasive early dolomitization, leaving the upper platform largely as limestone.