Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences




Quartz cements of the quartz arenitic sandstones from the Chalky Nasara and Ora sections of the (Devonian-Carboniferous) Ora Formation in northern Iraq have been studied. A combination of hot cathodoluminescence, LA-ICP-MS, and fluid inclusion microthermometry revealed three syntaxial quartz cement generations (Q1, Q2, and Q3). The early Q1 cementation has gray to slightly brown luminescences, postdated compaction, and reduced intergranular porosity associated with illite formed during eogenesis. Q2 is characterized by dark brown luminescence overgrowths and is more voluminous in the thinly bedded sandstones than in the thickly bedded sandstones filling most of the remaining pore space during mesogenesis. Q3 was formed during the early telogenesis stage fully cementing the sandstones and the fractures were filled by hydrothermal chlorite and sulfides. Significant amounts of trace elements Al, Li, Ge, and Fe have been detected in quartz overgrowths. Al varies consistently between each cement with averages of 7125, 4044, and 2036 ppm for the Q1, Q2, and Q3 generations, respectively. A strong linear correlation between Al and Li in the three quartz cements with an average Li/Al of ~0.02 in Q1 and Q2 indicates sufficient availability of both Al and Li where Li is most likely to be found in high-saline pore waters. Illite is the most probable origin of Li since high salinities favor the mobilization of Li during diagenesis. Germanium concentrations in quartz cements are slightly less than that in the detrital quartz of the Ora Formation, indicating that the pressure dissolutions of quartz and feldspar are the dominant sources of cementation in the Ora Formation. Homogenization temperatures of fluid inclusions indicate precipitation of the Q1, Q2, and Q3 cement generations at temperature ranges of 155-160 °C, 160-166 °C, and 168-178 °C, respectively, with salinities ranging between 5.0 and 6.4 wt.% NaCl equiv., as an indication of hydrothermal burial conditions for Q3 cement, which was affected by the major Zagros Thrust Zone faulting.


Quartz cement generations, cathodoluminescence, trace elements, fluid inclusions, Ora Formation, northern Iraq

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