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Lacustrine Environment

Definition
• A lake is an inland body of water.
• Sand and mud are the most common
components of lake deposits, although almost
any other type of sediment can accumulate in
lacustrine (lake) environments, including
limestones, evaporites and organic material.
• Concentrations of organic material can form
beds of coal or oil and gas source rocks.
Lake formation
• Large inland depressions that allow the
accumulation of water to form a lake are
usually the result of tectonic forces creating a
sedimentary basin.
• For the creation of lake basins are those of
continental extension to generate rifts, basins
related to strike-slip within continental crust
and intracontinental sag basins.
The thermal stratification of fresh lake
waters
Facies distribution in a freshwater lake
Lacustrine carbonates
• Carbonates can form a significant proportion
of the succession in any lake setting only if the
terrigenous clastic input is reduced.
• Direct chemical precipitation of carbonate
minerals occurs in lakes with raised salinity.
• In freshwater lakes the formation of calcium
carbonates is predominantly associated with
biological activity.
Source of carbonates
• The hard shells of animals such as bivalve
molluscs, gastropods and ostracods can
contribute some material to lake sediments.
• The breakdown of calcareous algal filaments is
an important source of lime mud, which may
be deposited in shallow lake waters.
SALINE LAKES
• Perennial lakes: Source of salinity is dissolved
ions weathered from bedrock carried by river.
– The salinity may vary from 5 g /L of solutes, which
is brackish water, to saline, close to the
concentration of salts in marine waters, to
hypersaline waters, which have values well in
excess of the concentrations in seawater.
Characteristics of lake deposits
• Lithology – sandstone, mudstone, fine-grained limestones and
evaporites
• Mineralogy – variable
• Texture – sands moderately well sorted
• Bed geometry – often very thin-bedded
• Sedimentary structures – wave ripples and very fine parallel
lamination
• Palaeocurrents – few with palaeoenvironmental significance
• Fossils – algal and microbial plus uncommon shells
• Colour – variable, but may be dark grey in deep lake deposits
• Facies associations – commonly occur with fluvial deposits,
evaporites and associated with aeolian (wind) facies.