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Carbonate Pseudomatrix in Siliciclastic-Carbonate Turbidites from the Oquirrh-Wood River Basin, Southern Idaho
Jeffrey K. Geslin (*)
Upper Pennsylvanian to Lower Permian mixed siliciclastic-carbonate sandy turbidites from the Oquirrh-Wood River basin in southern Idaho contain 20 to 60 modal percent microspar and pseudospar. Previous interpretations suggested that neomorphism of detrital lime mud produced the observed carbonate textures. The original detrital lime mud content, based on these interpretations, indicates matrix-rich, poorly sorted turbidite deposits. However, observed turbidite hydrodynamics, and grain-size data from experimental and naturally occurring sandy turbidite deposits, indicate that Ta-Tc intervals of sandy turbidites are generally moderately well sorted, with low matrix content.
Fluorescence microscopy reveals that the carbonate fraction of these mixed siliciclastic-carbonate turbidites contains micritized skeletal grains and fusulinids, and algal peloids. These micritized grains and peloids were physically compacted and neomorphosed to form a carbonate pseudomatrix. Formation of carbonate pseudomatrix is analogous to formation of pseudomatrix in siliciclastic lithic sands, which includes crushing and recrystallization of lithic grains. Grain-size analysis of siliciclastic and slightly compacted carbonate grains indicates that these are moderately well sorted turbidite deposits with similar grain-size populations in both fractions. The presence of rare noncompacted bioclasts, which have experienced only minor micritization, suggests that micritization control ed grain integrity and, therefore, later pseudomatrix generation.
Lack of recognition of carbonate pseudomatrix could lead to erroneous interpretations of carbonate petrology. Identification of carbonate pseudomatrix is important to the study of mixed siliciclastic-carbonate gravity-flow deposits. This study demonstrates the value of fluorescence microscopy in the recognition of carbonate pseudomatrix.
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