Publication: Nodular anhydrite growth controlled by pedogenic structures in evaporite lake formations
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Several nodular gypsum beds exhibiting a remarkable vertical arrangement of individual nodules are present in the Miocene continental evaporite formations of the Calatayud Basin, northeastern Spain. The growth of the gypsum nodules, initially anhydrite, took place within magnesitic carbonate deposits which display incipient pedogenic features such as rhizoliths and clotted to peloidal textures. Simultaneous and after the pedogenic modification of the carbonate substratum, displacing nodules started to grow, their arrangement being closely conditioned by the development of vertical fissuring related to root penetration. The transformation of anhydrite to gypsum was probably realized early after little burial of the sulphate–carbonate deposits. The occurrence of vertically oriented gypsum nodules can be seen as a diagnostic feature for palustrine conditions developed in evaporitic lake settings, this peculiar morphology of the sulphate nodules having been strongly controlled by the internal structure of the palustrine palaeosols.