Following introduction of the term ‘nummulite bank’, there has been debate regarding interpretation of these types of deposits as autochthonous (automicrite) or allochthonous (detrital micrite). These banks are made up of large foraminifera and ill-defined fine-grained components. The fine-grained components consist mainly of micrites. The recognition of automicrite has deep implications for the synsedimentary cementation and stabilization of the bank. In order to distinguish between automicrite and detrital micrite, the nanomorphology, geochemistry and organic matter remains in the microfacies of a nummulite bank in the Middle Eocene of Monte Saraceno (Gargano, Southern Italy) were analysed. Optical and scanning electron microscope investigations showed that the micrites have been recrystallized to aggrading microsparite. Epifluorescence observations on selected micrite/microsparite areas with peloidal texture revealed the presence of organic matter. Scanning electron microscope analyses on epifluorescent micrites showed that the microbial peloids have smaller crystal sizes than those in organic matter depleted areas. The geochemical characterization of extracted organic matter, performed through the functional group analyses by Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy, shows strong prevalence of the aromatic fraction over the aliphatic and carboxylic ones. These characteristics of organic compounds indicate both their thermal maturation and their likely derivation from degradation of bacterial communities. The local presence of peloidal antigravity textures, bright epifluorescence and organic molecules in clotted peloidal areas suggest that the metabolic activity of microbial communities could have induced precipitation of these micrites and, consequently, the syndepositional cementation of the nummulite bank. This type of cementation can rapidly stabilize sediments and promote the depositional bank geometry.

Automicrite in a “nummulite bank” from the Monte Saraceno (Southern Italy): evidence for synsedimentary cementation

GUIDO A.;MASTANDREA, Adelaide;LA RUSSA M. F.;
2011-01-01

Abstract

Following introduction of the term ‘nummulite bank’, there has been debate regarding interpretation of these types of deposits as autochthonous (automicrite) or allochthonous (detrital micrite). These banks are made up of large foraminifera and ill-defined fine-grained components. The fine-grained components consist mainly of micrites. The recognition of automicrite has deep implications for the synsedimentary cementation and stabilization of the bank. In order to distinguish between automicrite and detrital micrite, the nanomorphology, geochemistry and organic matter remains in the microfacies of a nummulite bank in the Middle Eocene of Monte Saraceno (Gargano, Southern Italy) were analysed. Optical and scanning electron microscope investigations showed that the micrites have been recrystallized to aggrading microsparite. Epifluorescence observations on selected micrite/microsparite areas with peloidal texture revealed the presence of organic matter. Scanning electron microscope analyses on epifluorescent micrites showed that the microbial peloids have smaller crystal sizes than those in organic matter depleted areas. The geochemical characterization of extracted organic matter, performed through the functional group analyses by Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy, shows strong prevalence of the aromatic fraction over the aliphatic and carboxylic ones. These characteristics of organic compounds indicate both their thermal maturation and their likely derivation from degradation of bacterial communities. The local presence of peloidal antigravity textures, bright epifluorescence and organic molecules in clotted peloidal areas suggest that the metabolic activity of microbial communities could have induced precipitation of these micrites and, consequently, the syndepositional cementation of the nummulite bank. This type of cementation can rapidly stabilize sediments and promote the depositional bank geometry.
Automicrite - Cementation - Monte Saraceno; Mummulite bank - Organic matter ; Southern Italy
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/155450
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