Authigenic Potassium Feldspar in Cambrian Carbonates: Evidence of Alleghanian Brine Migration

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Science  28 Jun 1985:
Vol. 228, Issue 4707, pp. 1529-1531
DOI: 10.1126/science.228.4707.1529


The shallow-water limestones and dolostones of the Conococheague Limestone (Upper Cambrian) of western Maryland contain large amounts of authigenic potassium feldspar. The presence of halite daughter crystals in breached fluid inclusions, low whole-rock ratios of chlorine to bromine, and thermochemical data suggest that the potassium feldspar formed at low temperature by the reaction of connate brines with intercalated siliciclastic debris. Analyses of argon age spectra indicate that the authigenic feldspar probably formed during Late Pennsylvanian to Early Permian time. These results may indicate mobilization and migration of connate brines brought about by Alleghanian folding. The widespread occurrence of authigenic potassium feldspar in Cambrian and Ordovician carbonate rocks throughout the Appalachians suggests that this may have occurred throughout the entire basin.