14 November, 2008

Sequence Stratigraphy and Industrial Mineral Exploration - Introduction

While searching the literature for detailed information for my mapping project I came across two articles relating to sequence stratigraphy and mineral exploration. Both articles share the common theme of sequence stratigraphy: One focuses on the development of the Hauptrogenstein-Formation and the other focuses on how sequence stratigraphy can be use as a tool in the exploration for industrial minerals.

Gonzalez discussed in 1996 the response of shallow-marine carbonate facies of the Hauptrogenstein-Formation (N-Switzerland) to third-order and high-frequency sea-level fluctuations. Dynamic stratigraphy as a tool for economic mineral exploration was discussed by Pawellek and Aigner in 2004 using ultra-pure Upper Jurassic limestones as an example.

There will be no complete discussion of the articles I mention in this post but for anyone interested I will post the references at the end of the posts. I have to admit that I never considered sequence stratigraphy like it appeared to me only a short while ago after discovering both articles.

Looking ahead I will try to use the method described by Pawellek and Aigner on the Hauptrogenstein-Formation from Northern Switzerland. They showed what facies out of a sequence stratigraphic context are most prospective for ultra-pure limestones exploration. The Hauptrogenstein extends northerly into SW-Germany. The other articles provides sufficent information for my very relaxed hypotising and if I can identify ultra-pure limestones by their facies.

To not get distracted too much from my actuall work I have decided to turn this into a short series of 3 to 5 posts. This way I can write short contributions whenever my work allows. After todays introduction I will discuss next how the Hauptrogenstein responded to sea-level fluctuations.

  1. Thomas Pawellek and Thomas Aigner (2004): Dynamic Stratigraphy as a tool in economic mineral exploration: ultra-pure limestones (Upper Jurassic, SW Germany), Marine and Petroleum Geology, 21
  2. Ramon Gonzalez (1996): Response of shallow-marine carbonate facies to third-order and high-frequency sea-level fluctuations: Hauptrogenstein Formation, northern Switzerland, Sedimentary Geology, 102
P.S. I do not know how frequent I have time to make thoughtfull contributions to this mini-series inbetween my work so please do not hold your breath till part 2!

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