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The Mississippian Salem Limestone of west-central Indiana is a homogeneous cross-bedded grainstone containing numerous stylolites with amplitudes ranging up to 25 cm. Petrographic and geochemical analyses of closely spaced samples from four 1-m thick stylolite-bounded units document spatial trends in grainstone texture and composition, which correlate with proximity to bounding solution seams. Textural data indicate that stylolitization was locally preceded by grain compaction and that seam solution preferentially occurred within layers where grain packing was tightest. Amount of cement largely corresponds to volume of available pore space, and remaining porosity varies inversely to stylolite proximity.
Trace-element compositions demonstrate that intergranular spar is enriched in Mn and depleted in Mg relative to grains, and suggest a significant contribution of carbonate cement to grainstone pores from bounding solution seams. Data on grainstone and stylolite insoluble contents indicate that stylolite amplitude records 43% of actual section shortening. On average, seam solution within the Salem Limestone could have provided no less than 47% and no more than 90% of the CaCO, Fe, and Mn mass now in grainstone pores as intergranular spar cement. As such, stylolitization has played an important role during burial diagenesis, porosity occlusion, and permeability reduction within this Mississippian grainstone sequence.
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