Publication: Origin and palaeo-environmental significance of the Berrazales carbonate spring deposit, North of Gran Canaria Island, Spain
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The Berrazales carbonate spring deposit is a small outcrop constituted mainly by cascade-like geometries. Four main facies have been identified: fibrous dense macrocrystalline formed by rapid degassing under high-flow conditions; framestones of coated plant moulds formed in moderate energy flow favoured by the presence of biogenic support; micrite/microsparite are primary precipitates in which crystalline aggregates nucleated on organic filaments and/or EPS; banded micrite-coarse crystalline were the result of alternating physically, chemically and biologically induced precipitation in areas of varying flow-velocities. Most facies underwent different degrees of micritization processes. Micrite is distributed as thin lines penetrating the crystals, as irregular patches or as micrite layers. In the first case organic filaments penetrate crystals, suggesting that micritization is mainly biogenically driven. In the latter cases micritization is caused mostly by partial dissolution. Microbe participation in micrite formation increased micrite MgCO3 content in comparison with coarse crystalline facies. Isotopic analyses show positive δ13C values (+ 2.63 and + 4.29‰ VPDB) and negative δ18O (− 5.65 and − 4.48‰ VPDB) values. Positive δ13C values clearly indicate “deep-sourced” fluids. The Berrazales spring deposit studied here very probably is a small part of a larger carbonate building that was largely eroded by fluvial incision. Calculations of spring water temperature give a range from 20 °C to 35 °C, characteristic of a cold to warm spring favouring precipitation of calcite and important biogenic activity (framestones). Although the study deposit has textural characteristics of tufas, proving that the CO2 sourced from deep fluids, it should be considered as thermogene travertine, being one more example of the difficulty of using those terms for ancient sedimentary deposits. Carbonate spring deposits, very rare in the Canary Islands, are good archives of recent volcanic activity, fluvial processes and vegetation regimes prevailing in the islands in recent times.