F. Ghazban*+ and I. S. Al-Aasm**

*Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran, Iran.

+Author for correspondence, email: fghazban@yahoo.ca

** Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada N9B 3P4.

Also:  The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Hormoz Island, a salt diapir in the eastern Persian Gulf, is dominated by the Infracambrian Hormoz Complex comprising both evaporites (Hormoz Salt) and carbonates, siliciclastics and volcanic rocks. Minerals include black, white and grey dolomites, pyrite, gypsum, anhydrite, apatite and iron oxides. Formation of some of the dolomite crystals is interpreted to be linked to the oxidation of hydrocarbons.

The d13C values of black dolomite crystals range from –0.8 to –2.07‰ VPDB, indicating that little if any of their carbon is derived from hydrocarbon oxidation but that sea water has provided carbon and Mg for dolomite precipitation. The d18O values for these dolomites range from -9.2 to -15.3‰ VPDB, reflecting a temperature effect on isotopic fractionation.  By contrast, d13C values for white to grey dolomites range from -17.81 to -35.68‰ VPDB, indicating that the carbon may be derived from the oxidation of hydrocarbons. Based on the d18Odolomite and temperatures obtained from fluid inclusion studies (215ēC), the calculated d18Owater in equilibrium with these dolomites (+2 < d18Ofluid < +12‰ ) indicates the involvement of brines evolved via the interaction of seawater with the Hormoz Salt and associated sedimentary rocks. Some of the dolomite may have precipitated from post-Cambrian seawaters at lower temperatures (ca.100 ēC). Thus, the dolomites may have begun to form during deep burial but have also formed during salt diapirism at more shallow depths.

Pyrite and native sulphur are interpreted to have formed in reducing conditions where the source of sulphur was H2S produced by the thermochemical reduction of sulphate in the Hormoz Salt evaporites. Heavy d34S values for the anhydrites (ranging from 28.7 to 30.8‰ ) and for sulphides (ranging from 17.2 to 23.4‰ ) preclude a major contribution of sulphur from volcanic sources or from Early Cambrian shales.

Pyrites, apatites and dolomites formed at depth within the diapir. It is envisaged that hydrocarbons leaked along the flanks of the Hormoz Island salt dome, resulting in reducing conditions which promoted the formation of diagenetic minerals.

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