The Messinian succession of Tuscany (central Italy) contains three evaporitic units. Among the several exposed evaporitic lithofacies, only selenitic gypsum precipitated directly from evaporating brines. All the other facies, nodular microcrystalline gypsum, gypsarenites and gypsum laminites, despite their macroscopic differences, display the same petrographic textures, indicating that they are the product of dehydration of gypsum to give anhydrite which has been successively rehydrated to secondary gypsum. These secondary facies show an entire array of textures ranging from cloudy ameboid (xenotopic) with anhydrite relies, to idiotopic without anhydrite relies, that are here interpreted as a sequence of progressive stages of rehydration. The presence of completely hydrated petrofacies at the core of nodules which display a less hydrated rim suggests that these rocks have undergone at least two cycles of a dehydration-rehydration process. This interpretation is supported by the presence of satin spar veins that are replaced by microcrystalline gypsum. Satin spar itself is considered to be a by-product of anhydrite hydration. The first dehydration-rehydration event affected the entire gypsum deposit, producing a completely hydrated (idiotopic) facies together with satin spar veins; the second affected only veins, fractures and the rims of nodules, turning the first generation of satin spar and idiotopic gypsum into cloudy ameboid gypsum, Sedimentary structures typical of sabkha environments indicate for the youngest formation that the first dehydration and rehydration process occurred syndepositionally. The preservation of primary gypsum facies only at sites with condensed sections, indicate for the oldest two formations that the first dehydration event occurred upon burial, This event has been estimated to have occurred in the earliest Pliocene. After the Early Pliocene, dehydration was favored even at shallow depths, due to an increased heat flow related with the emplacement of local crustal magmatic bodies. Rehydration possibly occurred when these formations were uplifted and exposed to ground and/or meteoric water, The Volterra Basin has undergone alternating subsidence and uplift events, that can account for two dehydration-rehydration processes at least, also driven by alternating circulation, in the tectonic fractures, of fresh and salty water, the latter derived from dissolution of Messinian halite. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
|Anno di pubblicazione:||2000|
|Titolo:||Gypsum-anhydrite transformations in Messinian evaporites of central Tuscany (Italy)|
|Autori:||S. Lugli; G. Testa|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/S0037-0738(99)00118-9|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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