Diagenesis of continental carbonate country rocks underlying surficial travertine spring deposits

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Diagenesis of Miocene-Pliocene continental rocks in extensional Teruel Basin related to deposition of a travertine at surface has been studied. Most of the diagenetic processes described here are in relation tothe travertine deposition, so they are not widespread along the basin. Due to their high induration degreethese rocks may be misinterpreted with travertine/tufa facies, so there is a need of clear criteria for their recognition as they can supply important hydrological and paleoenvironmental information. The diagenetic processes, that deeply modified the substrate, include dissolution, recrystallization and cementation and lead to a high induration of the Miocene-Pliocene rocks. These processes were driven by groundwater flow leading to travertine deposition at surface and appeared to be closely related to the fluvial incision of Alfambra River and to extensional fracturation during Middle Pleistocene times probably under humid conditions. The cementation sequences and the organization of fractures and vadose micrite point to alternating vadose-phreatic conditions and syndiagenetic movements of the faults. Isotopic signal show lighter d18O than that of the unaltered Miocene-Pliocene rocks and similar d13C, suggesting lighter oxygen signal in waters during interglacial Pleistocene periods, and a common origin for carbon from marine Mesozoic rocks from the substrate of the basin. All of that suggest the strong control of tectonics, and climate at different timescales in diagenesis of the rocks serving as substrate for surficial travertine deposition.
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