The middle Proterozoic Mescal Paleokarst, central Arizona, U.S.A.

Karst development, silicification, and cave deposits

Steven J. Skotnicki, L. Paul Knauth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A regionally extensive paleokarst developed on the Mescal Limestone of the middle Proterozoic Apache Group in central Arizona prior to deposition of the overlying middle Proterozoic Troy Quartzite and before intrusion of 1.1 Ga diabase sills. Intense weathering of middle Proterozoic basalt lavas overlying the Mescal released abundant silica that led to widespread silicification of the underlying paleokarst. Dissolution of the host carbonate allowed insoluble early diagenetic cherts of the Mescal to accumulate in their original stratigraphy while the remaining carbonate underwent nearly complete replacement by secondary silica phases. Silicified collapse breccias, cave-filling sandstone lenses, thinly laminated cave-floor siltstone, and newly discovered flowstone indicate extensive development of caves and cave deposits during the karst event. The geographic distribution of silicification was controlled by adjacent uplift caused by movement along Precambrian monoclines cutting across the Sierra Ancha. The Mescal paleokarst is one of the best preserved silicified karsts on Earth and hosts some of the best preserved cave flowstone from the Precambrian.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1046-1062
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Sedimentary Research
Volume77
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2007

Fingerprint

cave deposit
paleokarst
silicification
cave
karst
Proterozoic
Precambrian
silica
carbonate
monocline
quartzite
diabase
siltstone
sill
stratigraphy
weathering
replacement
basalt
uplift
dissolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

Cite this

The middle Proterozoic Mescal Paleokarst, central Arizona, U.S.A. Karst development, silicification, and cave deposits. / Skotnicki, Steven J.; Knauth, L. Paul.

In: Journal of Sedimentary Research, Vol. 77, No. 12, 11.2007, p. 1046-1062.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{040bc46ccf1541bd97afb2d8428e5bc8,
title = "The middle Proterozoic Mescal Paleokarst, central Arizona, U.S.A.: Karst development, silicification, and cave deposits",
abstract = "A regionally extensive paleokarst developed on the Mescal Limestone of the middle Proterozoic Apache Group in central Arizona prior to deposition of the overlying middle Proterozoic Troy Quartzite and before intrusion of 1.1 Ga diabase sills. Intense weathering of middle Proterozoic basalt lavas overlying the Mescal released abundant silica that led to widespread silicification of the underlying paleokarst. Dissolution of the host carbonate allowed insoluble early diagenetic cherts of the Mescal to accumulate in their original stratigraphy while the remaining carbonate underwent nearly complete replacement by secondary silica phases. Silicified collapse breccias, cave-filling sandstone lenses, thinly laminated cave-floor siltstone, and newly discovered flowstone indicate extensive development of caves and cave deposits during the karst event. The geographic distribution of silicification was controlled by adjacent uplift caused by movement along Precambrian monoclines cutting across the Sierra Ancha. The Mescal paleokarst is one of the best preserved silicified karsts on Earth and hosts some of the best preserved cave flowstone from the Precambrian.",
author = "Skotnicki, {Steven J.} and Knauth, {L. Paul}",
year = "2007",
month = "11",
doi = "10.2110/jsr.2007.094",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "77",
pages = "1046--1062",
journal = "Journal of Sedimentary Research",
issn = "1527-1404",
publisher = "SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology",
number = "12",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The middle Proterozoic Mescal Paleokarst, central Arizona, U.S.A.

T2 - Karst development, silicification, and cave deposits

AU - Skotnicki, Steven J.

AU - Knauth, L. Paul

PY - 2007/11

Y1 - 2007/11

N2 - A regionally extensive paleokarst developed on the Mescal Limestone of the middle Proterozoic Apache Group in central Arizona prior to deposition of the overlying middle Proterozoic Troy Quartzite and before intrusion of 1.1 Ga diabase sills. Intense weathering of middle Proterozoic basalt lavas overlying the Mescal released abundant silica that led to widespread silicification of the underlying paleokarst. Dissolution of the host carbonate allowed insoluble early diagenetic cherts of the Mescal to accumulate in their original stratigraphy while the remaining carbonate underwent nearly complete replacement by secondary silica phases. Silicified collapse breccias, cave-filling sandstone lenses, thinly laminated cave-floor siltstone, and newly discovered flowstone indicate extensive development of caves and cave deposits during the karst event. The geographic distribution of silicification was controlled by adjacent uplift caused by movement along Precambrian monoclines cutting across the Sierra Ancha. The Mescal paleokarst is one of the best preserved silicified karsts on Earth and hosts some of the best preserved cave flowstone from the Precambrian.

AB - A regionally extensive paleokarst developed on the Mescal Limestone of the middle Proterozoic Apache Group in central Arizona prior to deposition of the overlying middle Proterozoic Troy Quartzite and before intrusion of 1.1 Ga diabase sills. Intense weathering of middle Proterozoic basalt lavas overlying the Mescal released abundant silica that led to widespread silicification of the underlying paleokarst. Dissolution of the host carbonate allowed insoluble early diagenetic cherts of the Mescal to accumulate in their original stratigraphy while the remaining carbonate underwent nearly complete replacement by secondary silica phases. Silicified collapse breccias, cave-filling sandstone lenses, thinly laminated cave-floor siltstone, and newly discovered flowstone indicate extensive development of caves and cave deposits during the karst event. The geographic distribution of silicification was controlled by adjacent uplift caused by movement along Precambrian monoclines cutting across the Sierra Ancha. The Mescal paleokarst is one of the best preserved silicified karsts on Earth and hosts some of the best preserved cave flowstone from the Precambrian.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=37049016005&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=37049016005&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.2110/jsr.2007.094

DO - 10.2110/jsr.2007.094

M3 - Article

VL - 77

SP - 1046

EP - 1062

JO - Journal of Sedimentary Research

JF - Journal of Sedimentary Research

SN - 1527-1404

IS - 12

ER -