Contrasting fluid events giving rise to apparently similar diagenetic products; late-stage dolomite cements from the Souther Alps and central Apennines, Italy

P. Ronchi, A. Di Giulio, A. Ceriani, P. Scotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Precipitation of dolomite cements in Jurassic carbonate platform sediments and slope breccias has been studied from well cores and outcrops of the central Southern Alps and central Apennines in Italy. In both areas, an initial, massive dolomite replacement was followed by multiphase precipitation of dolomite cements. The replacement occurred during burial, in a passive margin regime, in response to compaction-driven flow of formational fluids. This interpretation is based on results from fluid inclusion and stable isotope analyses which have been related to the thermal history. The dolomite cements precipitated when both areas were involved in collisional tectonics. In spite of the similar diagenetic evolution, the fluids causing dolomite cementation in each case were compositionally different. In the Alps a decrease in salinity was recorded from sea water to brackish fluids, whereas in the Apennines an increase in salinity from sea water up to.10% NaCl equivalent was recorded. The remarkable salinity differences in diagenetic fluids are considered to be related to the different sub-aerial relief of the two belts during dolomite precipitation. In the Alps, the dilution of fluids is related to the infiltration of meteoric waters from the mountain chain, that was widely emergent. In the Apennines, dolomite cements precipitated whilst the structural units were still widely submerged, preventing meteoric dilution of cementing fluids and promoting an increase in salinity through mixing with fluids rising from older evaporate-bearing layers. In both Alpine and Apennine cases, the same diagenetic trend is observed in thrust-fold belt and foreland basin units; in both structural systems the diagenetic events start precipitating dolomite cements in the inner part of the collision zone and then the diagenetic processes migrate towards the foreland basin along with the structural evolution of the area.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)397-413
Number of pages17
JournalGeological Society Special Publication
Volume329
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

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