Lithology and diagenesis of the poorly consolidated Cambrian siliciclastic sediments in the northern Baltic Sedimentary Basin

Valle Raidla, Kalle Kirsimäe, Liidia Bityukova, Argo Joeleht, Alla Shogenova, Saulius Sliaupa


The present study discusses lithology and diagenetic characteristics of the siliciclastic Cambrian and the enclosing Ediacaran and Ordovician deposits in the northern Baltic Sedimentary Basin (BSB). The Neoproterozoic and Lower Palaeozoic sediments are despite their age unconsolidated with primary porosity of 20-25% for both shales and sandstones. The sparse Fe-dolomite cementation of arenitic and subarenitic sandstones and siltstones occurs mainly at lithological contacts with the massive Ediacaran and Lower Cambrian claystones and is probably related to ions released during illitization. In contrast to weak mechanical and chemical compaction of sandstone, the clay mineral diagenesis of Cambrian deposits is well advanced. The highly illitic (80-90%) nature of illite-smectite (I-S) suggests evolved diagenetic grade of sediments which conflicts with shallow maximum burial and low compaction. Smectite-to-illite transformation has resulted in formation of diagenetic Fe-rich chlorite in claystones. Some porosity reduction of sandstones is due to formation of authigenic kaolinite at the expense of detrital mica or K-feldspar.


Cambrian; Baltic Sedimentary Basin; siliclastic sediments; diagenesis; clay minerals; compaction

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