Geology and petrology of the Hormuz dolomite, Infra-Cambrian: Implications for the formation of the salt-cored Halul and Shraouh islands, Offshore, State of Qatar

Sobhi Nasir, Hamad Al-Saad, Abudlrazak Alsayigh, Oliver Weidlich

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Geological investigations of the Halul and the Shraouh islands, offshore Qatar, indicate that most of their calcareous rocks, which display abundant stromatolitic bedding, belong to the Infra-Cambrian Hormuz Series. Mineralogical, petrological, and geochemical analyses show that these calcareous rocks consist dominantly of dolomite and have formed in a reducing depositional environment. Faint laminations and small streaks of organic matter furnish evidence for the involvement of algal mats in their genesis and indicate their formation in an intertidal to supratidal setting. The Halul and Shraouh dolomites experienced extensive recrystallization and sulfatization during the emplacement of the Halul and Shraouh salt domes that form the cores of the islands. During mobilization and ascent of the salt, the dolomite recrystallized, and its Sr initial ratios were abnormally enhanced by the incorporation of 87Sr from a source, which is more radiogenic than the attendant seawater at the time of the dolomite formation near the Proterozoic-Cambrian boundary. Geochemical analysis show that Si, Al, Ti Zr, and % of insoluble residue are highly correlative, suggesting the presence of detrital minerals such as rutile and zircon. A paleosabkha model may well agree with this chemical signature. However, the Infra-Cambrian age of the Hormuz rocks and the presence of stromatolitic layers containing organic materials in the studied rocks, suggest that organogenic dolomitization could be an alternative dolomitization model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-365
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Asian Earth Sciences
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 25 2008



  • Cambrian
  • Dolomite
  • Geochemistry
  • Halul Island
  • Hormuz
  • Qatar
  • Shraouh Island

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Geology

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