1932

Abstract

Molar-tooth structure (MTS) is an unusual carbonate fabric that is composed of variously shaped cracks and voids filled with calcite microspar. Despite a century of study, MTS remains enigmatic because it juxtaposes void formation within a cohesive yet unlithified substrate with the penecontemporaneous precipitation and lithification of void-filling carbonate microspar. MTS is broadly restricted to shallow marine carbonate strata of the Mesoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic, suggesting a fundamental link between the formation of MTS and the biogeochemical evolution of marine environments. Despite uncertainties in the origin of MTS, molar-tooth (MT) microspar remains a popular target for geochemical analysis and the reconstruction of Precambrian marine chemistry. Here we review models for the formation of MTS and show how detailed petrographic analysis of MT microspar permits identification of a complex process of precipitation and diagenesis that must be considered when the microspar phase is used as a geochemical proxy.

  • ▪  Molar-tooth fabric is an enigmatic structure in Precambrian sedimentary rocks that is composed of variously shaped cracks and voids filled with carbonate microspar.
  • ▪  Time restriction of this fabric suggests a link between this unusual structure and the biogeochemical evolution of marine environments.
  • ▪  Petrographic analysis of molar-tooth fabric provides insight into fundamental processes of crystallization.

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2022-05-31
2024-04-14
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