Soil-zone microfabrics in calcrete and in desiccation cracks from the Upper Jurassic Purbeck Formation of Dorset

Andrews, JE (1988) Soil-zone microfabrics in calcrete and in desiccation cracks from the Upper Jurassic Purbeck Formation of Dorset. Geological Journal (23). pp. 261-270. ISSN 0072-1050

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Abstract

Soil-zone microfabrics, alveolar-septal structure, needle-fibre calcite, and calcans are described from horizontal calcrete layers, stringers, and infillings in vertical desiccation cracks from an Upper Jurassic limestone in the Lower Purbeck Formation of Dorset. These calcrete palaeosols occur in an oolitic limestone (the Hard Cap) which represents former evaporitic lagoonal to carbonate mudflat environments. The calcretes occur 6-10 cm below the Great Dirt Bed, a former rendzina soil with rooted tree remains. Desiccation cracks and vugs formed in the oolitic sediment before Great Dirt Bed times. After formation of the Great Dirt Bed, soil-water rich in dissolved CaCO3 preferentially flowed through natural conduits in the underlying sediment, namely the desiccation cracks and vugs. Calcrete precipitated in these cracks and vugs around decaying plant roots, and probably, during more arid (evaporative) climatic periods. These palaeosol microfabrics are among the first to be described from the British Jurassic and were probably preserved due to the semiarid Lower Purbeck climate where rapid oxidation of organic matter limited the amount and strength of carbonic acid generation, thereby limiting extensive dissolution of early formed soil-zone carbonate. Early diagenetic cementation of the sediment also aided microfabric preservation by sealing off soil-zone structures from subsequent diagenetic fluids.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Rachel Snow
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2011 12:48
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2020 21:40
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/25616
DOI: 10.1002/gj.3350230306

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