Project details

Early dolomitization and secondary porosity development in the Miocene carbonate platforms of Southern Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain)

This project is an extension of the chronostratigraphy and petrophysics project on Southern Mallorca carbonates funded by TOTAL. Part of the thin section preparation for the current project was financed by the Imperial College London Department of Earth Science and Engineering Post-doctoral Research fund.

Early dolomitization is an important early diagenetic process in carbonate rocks. Research on dolomite was, and still is, triggered by the so-called “dolomite problem”, based on the very limited occurrence of recent dolomite in comparison with the high abundance of dolomite in the geological record and on the failure to precipitate dolomite experimentally at surface temperature and pressure (without bacterial mediation). While dolomite is thermodynamically expected to precipitate from normal seawater, kinetic effects often inhibit dolomitization at low temperature. Although seawater dolomitization is not an exception, more common and accepted models involve high salinity brines in the sabkha and seepage reflux dolomitization models.

The carbonates in this study consist of cores and outcrop samples in the carbonate platforms of Southern Mallorca. Dolomite distribution is not homogeneous and we investigate what influences this. We also examine the origin of these dolomites. 

The second aspect in this study related to secondary porosity. We detected different types of secondary porosity and investigate the processes behind the development of these porosities.

Dr. Veerle Vandeginste is the principal investigator on this project; it is a small-scale side project in her postdoctoral research. This project is carried out in collaboration with Dr. Gilbert Camoin.