GEOS 302, LAB 2: INTRODUCTION TO CARBONATE AND CHEMICAL SEDIMENTARY ROCKS

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1 GEOS 302, LAB 2: INTRODUCTION TO CARBONATE AND CHEMICAL SEDIMENTARY ROCKS Purpose: 1. Be able to identify carbonates and describe them using either Folk or Dunham. 2. Understand the origin of different carbonate rocks 3. Be familiar with evaporates, coals, cherts Reference material for carbonates and other chemical sedimentary rocks (see also Boggs, chapters 6 and 7) What are Carbonate rocks? CARBONATE ROCKS 1. (bio)chemical rocks a. The matrix and clasts that make up these rocks were formed through chemical or biochemical reactions (precipitation) b. Precipitation occurs within the basin in which the sediments are deposited (almost always) 2. CaCO 3 makes up limestones a. aragonite or calcite (polymorphs of CaCO 3 ) b. soft, rhombohedral cleavage, clear to milky in color c. fizzes with HCL 3. MgCa(CO 3 ) 2 makes up dolomites a. Magnesium replaces some calcium in the crystal structure b. Evaporates, groundwater mixing, interaction between carbonates and Mg-rich waters c. Must scratch to get the rock to fizz with HCl Many sandstones can have calcium carbonate cement watch what is fizzing! Carbonate Classification general notes 1. carbonates are mono-mineralic, so texture is going to rule in classification 2. to name a carbonate rock, you look at the MATRIX and CLASTS a. if there are clasts, what are they? b. what kind of matrix do you see? c. what is the proportion of matrix to clasts? 3. there are two classification schemes for carbonate rocks: Folk and Dunham - we will learn both in this lab In general, Folk s classification works best for thin sections under high magnification (with a petrographic microscope), while Dunham s scheme is more useful in the field. 1

2 Naming Carbonates: Folk's Classification Classification based on characteristics of matrix (orthochem) and clasts (allochems) 1. orthochem types (matrix) a. micrite (microcrystalline calcite) i. dark, opaque, tiny tiny crystals ii. a mud composed of microcrystalline calcite iii. most carbonate rocks have micrite as their matrix b. sparry calcite (sparite) i. clear, shiny (sparkly), larger crystals, translucent ii. often replacement when directly precipitated, iii. usually implies little carbonate mud in the area, and an agitated depositional environment 2. allochem types (clasts) a. bioclasts (bio-) i. fossils, chunks, fragments, who/e etc ii. sometimes encompasses fragments of eroded limestone rocks b. coated grains (oo-) i. ooids: sand-sized spheres of CaCO 3 created when a tiny particle nucleates calcite precipitation in, to and fro movement, sand sized, more regular concentric lamina ii. oncoids: larger, accretion aided by algae, irregular or rough looking concentric lamina c. intraclasts (intra-) i. semi-consolidated hunks of carby material (often ripped up) ii. often angular looking, can have lamiae within the clasts d. pelloids (pell-) e. everything else f. opaque, can look like an elongated sphere g. often fecal matter or bio-degredated shells Folk's Formula: aliochem prefix(es) + orthochem word = one word e.g. biomicrite, oosparite when there are multiple allochem types, the most common type is the last prefix e.g. biointrasparite = more intraclasts than bioclasts 2

3 Naming Carbonates: Dunham's Classification Uses the relative abundance of the allochems (clasts), and how they are supported in the matrix (orthochem) Terms to describe allochem abundance: Mudstone: <10% allochems Wackestone: >10% allochems, but matrix supported (not many clasts) Packstone: >10% allochems, clast supported; still has some micrite/mud for matrix Grainstone: no micrite/mud orthochem, can have sparite, and is clast supported Important modifiers describe the allochems: Fossiliferous Oolitic Intraclast Pelloidal Dunham s Formula: allochem type + allochem abundance e.g. fossiliferous packstone; oolitic mudstone Naming Carbonates: reef rocks Those carbonate rocks where the allochems weren't really clasts but were part of a cohesive unit prior to deposition, e.g., a piece of coral reef Folk classification: biolithite Dunham classification: boundstone Note that there is some interpretation inherent in these names (not just descriptive) 3

4 OTHER CHEMICAL ROCKS 1. coals: diagenesis of organic material a. anthracite: high grade coal, looks shiny b. lower grades (bituminous, sub- bituminous): progressively duller and softer c. bituminous sandstone: a sandstone with a large amount of organic material, or a sandy coal. 2. evaporites: chemical precipitation in an evaporitic setting a. often salts (gypsum. anhydrite. NaCl) 3. chalk: billions of microfossils called coccoliths a. made of CaCO 3 and can fizz 4. soil carbonate a. CaCO 3 (usually) precipitation in the soil column. b. nodular looking c. preserved in paleosols 5. chert: microcrystalline silica a. tiny organisms with silica shells like radiolarians or diatoms b. or SiO 2 replacement of other material c. often nodular, can be many colors 4

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8 NAME: GEOS 302: SEDIMENTOLOGY/STRATIGRAPHY LAB 2: INTRODUCTION TO CARBONATE AND CHEMICAL SEDIMENTARY ROCKS PART I. CARBONATE IDENTIFICATION A. Sample 302-II-lA: What is the grain size of this rock? What is the likely energy of deposition (calm, turbulent, etc.)? In what water depths was it likely deposited? Most carbonate rocks have a light grey color. Why do you think this rock is dark grey? Name this rock using the classification schemes of Folk and Dunham. Folk: Dunham: B. Sample 669-T-2: Name this rock using the classification schemes of Folk and Dunham. Folk: Dunham: Is this rock matrix- or grain-supported? C. Samples 12, 758-AHO, and Vial 16: There are two allochem types in these rocks (each rock contains only one type). Although they are similar in appearance, they form by different means. What are they called? How do they form? (If you don't know, consult Boggs). Hint: The use of drawings is always helpful. 8

9 Name each of these rocks, using the classification schemes of Folk and Dunham. SAMPLE FOLK DUNHAM AM3 D. Sample APL-IR: If this were a siliciclastic rock, what would you name it? How far were the clasts (called "intraclasts") in this rock transported before they were deposited? Name this rock using the classification schemes of Folk and Dunham. Folk: Dunham: E. Sample 28: Name this rock using the classification schemes of Folk and Dunham. Folk: Dunham: F. Sample TC169: There are two names for this rock in both Folk's and Dunham's classification schemes-an objective textural one, and a genetic/interpretive one. Name both. Textural FOLK DUNHAM Interpretive 9

10 PART II. CARBONATE CLASSIFICATIONS Name each of the following rocks using both Folk and Dunhams classification scheme. Sample Folk Dunham 302-ll-2F DB ll-2C DB DMG 302-ll-2G KPL 1 0

11 PART III: OTHER CARBONATES A. Soil Carbonates Carbonate rocks are not only found in marine environments. Soil carbonates are common in both modern and ancient soils. Paleoclimatic studies often rely on these rocks as paleo-indicators of past temperature, precipitation and seasonality. In what sort of climate does soil carbonate typically form? Explain why. B. Fresh-Water Carbonates Lacustrine carbonates are also significant in the geologic record. Tufa is a porous carbonate material often formed in springs and lakes. Marls are carbonate-rich mudstones which can be deposited on a lake floor. Match the samples with their appropriate rock type (soil carbonate, tufa or marl) Sample PF Lithology PART IV: CHEMICAL AND CARBONACEOUS SEDIMENTS A. Peats and Coals Match the following rock names to their corresponding samples; write the NAME in the blank 302-"-4a 302-"-4b 302-"-4c 1. Coalified tree; 2.Bituminous sandstone; 3. Anthracite 1 1

12 B. Evaporites Describe SAMPLE 302-II-4f and the characteristics of the different layers. Speculate as to the composition of the layers and their origin (think about seasonal cycles; Boggs ch.7 may be useful). If you begin with a sample volume of standard seawater and then evaporate the water, what minerals should form? List them in the order of formation and include the percentage of the original volume of water present upon the start of precipitation of each. (see Boggs, 7.2) C. Chalk and Tephra Chalk is composed of parts of microscopic algae called coccoliths. They accumulate in deep-sea settings and were abundant in the Cretaceous period. Tephra is a term used to identify volcaniclastic sediments. Which sample (302-ll-4h or 302-ll-4i) is which? How did you distinguish the samples from one another? D. Chert What is the grain size of the sample X-75? Does the specimen react when tested with HCI? Why or Why not? What is chert and how does it form? Where does it form? Chert takes on many different colors. Using your knowledge of coloration differences within a given mineral type (e.g., rose quartz, smoky quartz, amethyst, etc.), propose an explanation for the coloration of chert. 1 2

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