Jones, Brian Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
- Limestone components
- Evolution of carbonate depositional successions
- Limestone diagenesis
- Additional Readings
Carbonate sedimentary rocks, irrespective of their age, are economically important because they act as reservoirs for oil and gas, and host ores of metals such as lead and zinc, and are used for building stone, aggregates, and cement production. Limestone, formed mainly of calcium carbonate [CaCO3], and dolostone, formed mainly of magnesium-calcium carbonate [CaMg(CO3)2], are the two main rock types. Despite their chemical simplicity, these rocks have commonly undergone complex chemical transformations during diagenesis. Although marine carbonates are typically equated with shallow, tropical marine settings (Fig. 1), vast areas of carbonate sediments are also forming in cool water temperature seas, such as those found off the south coast of Australia. Nonmarine carbonates form in freshwater lakes, streams, caves, and springs (Fig. 2).
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