Platform evaporites

Platform evaporite deposits are made up of stratiform beds, usually <50 m thick and composed of stacked <1 to 5 m thick parasequences or evaporite cycles, with a variably-present restricted-marine carbonate unit at a cycle base (Warren, 2010). Salts were deposited as mixed evaporitic mudflat and saltern evaporites, sometimes with local accumulations of bittern salts. Typically, platform salts were deposited in laterally extensive (>50-100 km wide), hydrographically-isolated, subsealevel marine-seepage lagoons (salterns) or evaporitic mudflats (sabkhas and salinas).

 

These regions have no same-scale modern counterparts and extended as widespread depositional sheets across large portions of hydrographically-isolated marine platform areas, which passed seaward across a subaerial seepage barrier into open marine sediments. In marine margin epeiric settings, such as the Jurassic Arab/Hith and Permian Khuff cycles of the Middle East or the Cretaceous Ferry Lake Anhydrite in the Gulf of Mexico, these platform evaporites are intercalated with shoalwater marine-influenced carbonate shelf/ramp sediments, which in turn pass basinward across a subaerial sill into open marine carbonates. Landward, they tend to pass into arid-zone continental siliciclastics deposited in bajada or eolian mudflat and sandflat settings.

 

 

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