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Subaerial disconformities, microkarst and paleosols in Ordovician limestones at Bowan Park and Cliefden Caves, New South Wales, and their geoheritage significance

Semeniuk, V., Percival, I.G. and Brocx, M. (2019) Subaerial disconformities, microkarst and paleosols in Ordovician limestones at Bowan Park and Cliefden Caves, New South Wales, and their geoheritage significance. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 66 (6). pp. 891-906.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1080/08120099.2019.1577297
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Abstract

The Ordovician Daylesford Limestone at Bowan Park and the Fossil Hill Limestone at Cliefden Caves have diagenetic and pedogenic features of microkarst, paleosols and calcrete associated with subaerial disconformities in their stratigraphic sequences, all of which, as an ensemble, have global geoheritage significance. The original shelly limestones, lime mudstones, and coralline limestones have selectively dissolved to form vugular limestone whose cavities have filled with sparry calcite and/or crystal silt. The limestones also have been calcretised to develop massive and laminar calcrete and calcrete ooids. Below disconformity surfaces are bleached limestone, crystal-silt and spar-filled fossil moulds and enlarged moulds, micro-breccia-filled moulds and fissures filled with crystal silt, calcrete pellets and calcrete ooids. The disconformity surfaces are irregular or undulating interfaces between lithologies, fissures and fissure-fills, and calcrete. Above disconformities there are limestone lithoclasts, remanié fossils, calcreted limestone, veined limestone, calcrete ooids, laminated calcrete, lithoclast grainstone, or calcrete-ooid grainstone, and lithoclasts with fossils moulds filled with crystal silt and/or spar. The lithological, stratigraphic and possibly landscape differences, make the subaerial diagenesis/pedogenesis in the Daylesford Limestone subtly different to that of the Fossil Hill Limestone. Subaerial disconformities and associated diagenesis/pedogenesis, as recorded in these formations, are not widely reported globally nor well represented in Ordovician limestones. The microkarst features provide insights into the types of subaerial diagenesis/pedogenesis during the Ordovician and into climate, landscape setting, paleohydrology, and groundwater/rainwater alkalinity. Consequently, the story of the Ordovician microkarst, paleosols and calcrete ooids is unique and globally of geoheritage significance as examples of subaerial alteration in an ancient high-rainfall, tropical climate volcanic island environment in a tectonically active region.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Copyright: 2019 Geological Society of Australia
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/48210
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