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Unique authigenic mineral assemblages reveal different diagenetic histories in two neighbouring cold-water coral mounds on Pen Duick Escarpment, Gulf of Cadiz
Pirlet, H.; Wehrmann, L.M.; Foubert, A.; Brunner, B.; Blamart, D.; De Mol, L.; Van Rooij, D.; Dewanckele, J.; Cnudde, V.; Swennen, R.; Duyck, P.; Henriet, J.P (2012). Unique authigenic mineral assemblages reveal different diagenetic histories in two neighbouring cold-water coral mounds on Pen Duick Escarpment, Gulf of Cadiz. Sedimentology 59(2): 578-604. dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3091.2011.01267.x
In: Sedimentology. Wiley-Blackwell: Amsterdam. ISSN 0037-0746, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 233037 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Barite; Calcite; Coral; Dolomite; Gypsum; Pyrite; Marine
Author keywords
    Barite; calcite; cold-water coral mound; dolomite; gypsum; pyrite;sulphate methane transition zone

Authors  Top 
  • Pirlet, H., more
  • Wehrmann, L.M.
  • Foubert, A., more
  • Brunner, B.
  • Blamart, D.
  • De Mol, L., more
  • Van Rooij, D., more
  • Dewanckele, J., more
  • Cnudde, V., more
  • Swennen, R., more
  • Duyck, P.
  • Henriet, J.P, more

Abstract
    Alpha Mound and Beta Mound are two cold-water coral mounds, located on the Pen Duick Escarpment in the Gulf of Cadiz amidst the El Arraiche mud volcano field where focused fluid seepage occurs. Despite the proximity of Alpha Mound and Beta Mound, both mounds differ in their assemblage of authigenic minerals. Alpha Mound features dolomite, framboidal pyrite and gypsum, whereas Beta Mound contains a barite layer and predominantly euhedral pyrite. The diagenetic alteration of the sedimentary record of both mounds is strongly influenced by biogeochemical processes occurring at shallow sulphate methane transition zones. The combined sedimentological, petrographic and isotopic analyses of early diagenetic features in gravity cores from Alpha Mound and Beta Mound indicate that the contrast in mineral assemblages between these mounds is caused by differences in fluid and methane fluxes. Alpha Mound appears to be affected by strong fluctuations in the fluid flow, causing shifts in redox boundaries, whereas Beta Mound seems to be a less dynamic system. To a large extent, the diagenetic regimes within cold-water coral mounds on the Pen Duick Escarpment appear to be controlled by fluid and methane fluxes deriving from layers underlying the mounds and forcings like pressure gradients caused by bottom current. However, it also becomes evident that authigenic mineral assemblages are not only very sensitive recorders of the diagenetic history of specific cold-water coral mounds, but also affect diagenetic processes in turn. Dissolution of aragonite, lithification by precipitation of authigenic minerals and subsequent brecciation of these lithified layers may also exert a control on the advective and diffusive fluid flow within these mounds, providing a feedback mechanism on subsequent diagenetic processes.

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