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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 69 (1985)

Issue: 2. (February)

First Page: 295

Last Page: 295

Title: Timing of Syntaxial Cement: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Ronald D. Perkins

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Echinodermal fragments are commonly overgrown in ancient limestones, with large single crystals growing in optical continuity over their skeletal hosts (i.e., syntaxial overgrowths). Such syntaxial cements are usually considered to have precipitated from meteoric pore waters associated with a later stage of subaerial exposure. Although several examples have been reported from ancient carbonates where petrographic relationships may indicate an early submarine formation of syntaxial cement, no occurrences have been noted in Holocene submarine-cemented rocks.

Syntaxial cements of submarine origin have been found in Bermuda beachrock where isopachous high-magnesian calcite cements merge with large optically continuous crystals growing on echinodermal debris. Examination of other Holocene sediments cemented by magnesian calcite indicates that echinodermal fragments are not always overgrown syntaxially, but may be rimmed by microcrystalline calcite. The reason for this difference is not clear, although it may be a function of the spacing of nucleation sites and rates of crystal growth.

A review of syntaxial cements from several localities in ancient carbonate sequences reveals that many are best interpreted as having formed in the submarine setting, whereas it is more clear that others formed from meteoric precipitation. These occurrences suggest that care should be exercised in inferring meteoric diagenesis from syntaxial overgrowths and that the possibility of submarine formation should be considered.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists