Journal article

The Tonian Beck Spring Dolomite: Marine dolomitization in a shallow, anoxic sea

Alice Mary Shuster, Malcolm William Wallace, Ashleigh van Smeerdijk Hood, Ganqing Jiang



The reason for the abundance of dolomite lithologies in Earth's early geological record compared to modern environments remains contentious. This study provides new insight into this Precambrian “dolomite problem” by revisiting one of the most controversial dolomite localities, the Beck Spring Dolomite, of Death Valley, USA. Consistent with some previous studies, petrographic evidence indicates that although the Beck Spring Dolomite now consists almost entirely of dolomite, it was originally precipitated largely as aragonite and high-Mg calcite. Depositional constituents (microbialites and ooids) were likely originally aragonitic, and early marine length-fast cements (now dolomite) are sugge..

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Awarded by ARC

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the editor, and reviewers Maurice Tucker and Theodore Present, whose comments significantly improved the manuscript. We are grateful for Alan Grieg's assistance with LA-ICP-MS analysis. A.v.S.H. acknowledges the support of the Elizabeth and Vernon Puzey Fellowship. The Melbourne Research Scholarship for supporting A.M.S. This research was partially funded from ARC Discovery Grant DP130102240.