Mineralogy, geochemistry and petrography of Methane-Derived Authigenic Carbonates from Enza River, Northern Apennines (Italy)

Irene Viola, Davide Oppo, Fulvio Franchi, Rossella Capozzi, Enrico Dinelli, Barbara Liverani, Marco Taviani

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13 Citations (Scopus)


A remarkable exposure of carbonate pipe-like and slab concretions occurs along the Enza riverbanks on the Northern Apennines foothills (Italy). Based upon geochemical and field evidences, their genesis has been attributed to microbial-governed carbonate precipitation from hydrocarbon-enriched fluids. The pipe-like concretions are thus interpreted as former conduits (chimneys) marking sites of methane ascent onto the seafloor. The resulting Enza River chimney field is arranged in a palisade fashion, a rare example of such. Mineralogical and petrographic analyses of some chimneys and slabs document that the dominant cement is dolomite. Although the chimneys show a rather homogeneous texture, a clear zonation is observed in the relative distribution of major and minor elements in their internal and external parts. The occurrence of sulphide minerals in the stratigraphically upper samples indicates possible renewal of fluids leakage after a major erosive event.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-581
Number of pages16
JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
Issue number3
Early online date20 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015



  • carbonate chimneys
  • hydrocarbon migration
  • anaerobic methane oxidation
  • Apennine chain

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