Unraveling cementation environment and patterns of Holocene beachrocks in the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Aqaba: stable isotope approach

Ardiansyah Koeshidayatullah, Khalid Al-Ramadan


This paper analyses Holocene beachrocks from the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Aqaba to explain the mechanisms that influence the cementation process in these areas. Holocene beachrocks in the Gulf of Aqaba are composed of predominantly terrigenous material derived from erosion of adjacent uplifted Precambrian basement, while the beachrocks in the Arabian Gulf are composed mainly of marine bioclasts and wind-blown siliciclastic sands. The cements of beachrocks in both areas show three textural varieties: (1) isopachous phreatic acicular aragonite; (2) a micritic envelope of high-Mg calcite (HMC); (3) meniscus and gravitational vadose HMC. Radiocarbon dating of beachrock samples from the Arabian Gulf yielded ages from ca. 2300 to 660 yr cal BP whereas samples from the Gulf of Aqaba range in age between 5500 and 2800 yr cal BP. Oxygen isotope values range from 2.6 to 4.4‰ respectively for the Arabian Gulf whereas the Gulf of Aqaba values range from 1.2 to 1.5‰. Carbon isotope values range from 3.2 to 5.9‰ for the Arabian Gulf whereas those from the Gulf of Aqaba range from 3.8 to 4.6‰. The values of δ18OVPDB and δ13CVPDB in the beachrocks of both areas suggest a marine origin. The beachrocks of the Arabian Gulf were precipitated under high evaporation conditions, while beachrocks from the Gulf of Aqaba were precipitated in normal shallow-marine conditions. The mineralogy and textural habits suggest that cementation of these beachrocks started within the shallow-marine phreatic zone.




cementation; beachrocks; stable isotope; Arabian Gulf; Gulf of Aqaba

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7306/gq.1144


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