Genetic environments of the high-purity limestone in the upper zone of the Daegi Formation at the Jeongseon-Samcheok area

Chang Seong Kim, Seon-Gyu Choi, Gyu Bo Kim, Jeonggeuk Kang, Kyeong Bae Kim, Hagsoo Kim, Jeongsang Lee, In Chang Ryu

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Abstract

The carbonate rocks of the Daegi Formation are composed of the limestone at the upper and lower zones, and the dolomite at the middle zone, in which the upper zone has higher CaO content than others. The colors of carbonate rock in the Daegi Formation can be divided into five types; white, light brown, light grey, grey, and dark grey. The white to light grey colored rocks correspond to the high purity limestone with 53.15 ∼ 55.64 wt. % CaO, and the light brown colored rocks contain 20.71 ∼ 21.67 wt. % MgO. The bleaching of carbonate rocks are not related to CaO composition of the rocks, as light grey rocks tend to be higher in CaO content than those of the white rocks at the lower zone. The pelitic components are also occasionally increased in white limestone than light grey one. Al2O3 is one of the most difficult content to remove during hydrothermal processes, so the interpretation that the limestone is purified together with hydrothemral bleaching, has little merit. The wide range (over 16 ‰) of δ18OSMOW, smaller variation (within 2 ‰) of δ13CPDB are apparent in both the upper and lower zones, which indicate the Daegi Formation had been affected overall by hydrothermal fluids. The K-Ar isotopic age of hydrothermal alteration in the GMI limestone mine is 85.1 ± 1.7 Ma. Gradual change from grey through light grey to white limestone is accompanied by lower oxygen stable isotope values, which is major evidence that the hydrothermal effect is the main process of the bleaching. Although the Daegi Formation has suffered from hydrothermal activity and increase in whiteness, there is no clear evidence demonstrating the relationship between bleaching and high purity of limestone. The purification of limestone has nothing to do with the hydrothermal activity in this area. Instead, it should be considered that the change of sedimentary environment related to see-level fluctuation which can prevent deposition of pelitic components especially Al2O3 contrbuted to the formation of the high purity limestone in the upper zone of the Daegi Formation. Considering the evidences such as increase in CaO content of limestone by depth, gradual change from calcite to dolomite at the lower zones, and occurring the high purity limestone at the upper zone, the interpretation of sequence stratigraphic aspect to the formation of the high purity Daegi limestone appears to be more suitable than that of hydrothermal alteration origin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-302
Number of pages16
JournalEconomic and Environmental Geology
Volume50
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 1

Keywords

  • Daegi formation
  • Genetic environment
  • GMI mine
  • High-purity limestone
  • Jeongseon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Economic Geology
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)

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