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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 42 (1958)

Issue: 5. (May)

First Page: 981

Last Page: 997

Title: Environmental Studies of Carboniferous Sediments. Part II: Application of Geochemical Criteria

Author(s): E. T. Degens, E. G. Williams, M. L. Keith (2)


Investigation shows that the fresh-water or marine character of sedimentary rocks can be determined by geochemical criteria. An environmental diagram using boron, gallium, and rubidium abundances as variables shows some overlap of data for fresh-water and marine rocks, but a zone of overlap can be defined by straight lines so that 80 per cent of a group of Pennsylvanian shales and limestones are classified in accord with the evidence of diagnostic fossils. The same criteria, applied to sandstones and underclays of the Allegheny series yield environmental conclusions in general agreement with stratigraphic and petrographic evidence. It appears likely that trace elements studies will be found to be generally useful in stratigraphy and paleogeography, by facilitating the env ronmental determination of non-fossiliferous rocks.

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