The Lower and Middle Ordovician platform carbonates of the Minigan Islands, Quebec: stratigraphy, sedimentology, paleokarst and limestone diagenesis

Desrochers, Andre (1985) The Lower and Middle Ordovician platform carbonates of the Minigan Islands, Quebec: stratigraphy, sedimentology, paleokarst and limestone diagenesis. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

An undeformed sequence of Lower and Middle Ordovician shallow-water carbonates is exposed on the Mingan Islands located along the Quebec North Shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This sequence comprises dolostones of the Romaine Formation and limestones of the Mingan Formation. The late Canadian to earliest Whiterockian Romaine Formation is subdivided into three formal members: Sauvage Member, Sainte-Genevieve Member and Grande Ile Member. The Chazyan Mingan Formation is subdivided into four formal members: Corbeau Member, Perroquet Member, Fantome Member and Grande Pointe Member. -- The Romaine Formation represents a shallowing-upward sequence comprising a thin basal assemblage of trangressive sandstones, a middle assemblage of subtidal carbonates and an upper assemblage of cyclic peritidal carbonates. Romaine sediments were pervasively dolomitized in shallow subsurface environments (possibly in mixing zones) before the end of post-Romaine karst erosion. -- The Mingan Formation is a complex environmental mosaic of peritidal and subtidal limestones with a basal trangressive sandstone overlain by tidal flat siliciclastics. Sedimentation changed abruptly with deposition of peritidal and subtidal limestones prior to a period of subaerial exposure resulting in the formation of a karst surface with substantial relief. Resubmergence of this irregular rocky coastline with scattered beachrocks, resulted in a complex facies mosiac with sand shoals forming in underlying paleokarst depressions as tidal deltas 1-10 km wide. -- Three superimposed calcarenite cycles are present in the Mingan sand shoal complex. These sand shoals were periodically exposed and subject to karstification in response to minor fluctuations in sea level. The amount of sea level fall was minor and deeper inter-shoal areas were not affected by subaerial exposure but were sites of more restricted deposition. -- Mingan reef limestones are of three types: biostromes, bioherms which grew in tranquil settings, and bioherm complexes which grew under more turbulent conditions. Reef organisms include lithistid sponges, bryozoans, tabulate corals and solenoporacean algae which occur in a variety of different biotic assemblages. These builders are in part inherited from older bioherms and in part newly involved taxa. Mingan bioherms are typically small mound-shaped structures composed of abundant skeletons and rich in lime mud. Stromatoporoids are conspicuously absent as builders in the Mingan bioherms in contrast to the classic Chazy reefs of Vermont and New York. -- Three different types of paleokarst surfaces are present in the Mingan sequence: 1) an extensive karst plain, represented by the post-Romaine unconformity; 2) an irregular karst, represented by the intra-Mingan paleokarst and 3) local karst surfaces capping calcarenite cycles. -- Alteration of the Mingan limestones resulted from three distinct phases of diagenesis: marine, near-surface and deep burial; near-surface is the most important, especially beneath subaerial exposure surfaces. Vadose cement is not present in spite of extensive evidence of subaerial exposure. Crystal debris, similar to "vadose silt" and formed by the internal erosion of contemporaneous phreatic cements, was subsequently deposited as geopetal internal sediment.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6792
Item ID: 6792
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 416-444. -- Abstract in English and French.
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Earth Sciences
Date: 1985
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Québec (Province)--Mingan Islands
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Geology, Stratigraphic--Ordovician; Limestone--Québec (Province)--Mingan Islands; Diagenesis--Québec (Province)--Mingan Islands; Lithofacies--Québec (Province)--Mingan Islands

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