Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

The origin of celestine–quartz–calcite geodes associated with a basaltic dyke, Makhtesh Ramon, Israel


Spectacular celestine geodes occur in a Jurassic peri-evaporitic sequence (Ardon Formation) exposed in Makhtesh Ramon, southern Israel. The geodes are found only in one specific location: adjacent to an intrusive contact with a Lower Cretaceous basaltic dyke. Celestine, well known in sedimentary associations worldwide and considered as a low temperature mineral, may therefore be associated with magmatic-induced hydrothermal activity. Abundant fluid inclusions in celestine provide valuable information on its origin: gas-rich inclusions in celestine interiors homogenized at T≥200°C whereas smaller liquid-rich inclusions record the growth of celestine rims at T≤200°C. Near 0°C melting temperatures of some fluid inclusions and the occurrence of hydrous Ca-sulphate solid crystals in other inclusions indicate that celestine precipitated from variably concentrated Ca-sulphate aqueous solutions of meteoric origin. Celestine crystallized from meteoric water heated by the cooling basaltic dyke at shallow levels (c. 160 m) during a Lower Cretaceous thermal perturbation recorded by regional uplift and magmatism. The 87Sr/86Sr ratio of geode celestine, 0.7074, is similar to that measured in the dolostones of the host Jurassic sequence, but differs markedly from the non-radiogenic ratio of the dyke. Strontium in celestine was derived from dolostones preserving the 87Sr/86Sr of Lower Jurassic seawater, while sulphur (δ34S = 19.9‰) was provided by in situ dissolution of precursor marine gypsum (δ34S = 16.8‰) indicated by relict anhydrite inclusions in celestine. Low-temperature meteoric fluid flow during the Campanian caused alteration of the dyke into secondary clays and alteration of geodal celestine into quartz, calcite and iron oxides.

Corresponding author
Author for correspondence:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

G. Baer & Z. Reches 1991. Mechanics of emplacement and tectonic implications of the Ramon dike systems, Israel. Journal of Geophysical Research 96 (B7), 11895–910.

A. J. Boyce , A. E. Fallick , P. J. Hamilton & J. J. Elorza 1990. Diagenesis of celestite in quartz geodes from the Basque-Cantabric Basin, Northern Spain: Evidence from sulphur and strontium isotopes. Chemical Geology 84, 354–6.

E. H. Carlson 1987. Celestite replacements of evaporites in the Salina Group. Sedimentary Geology 54, 93112.

H. S. Chafetz & J. Zhang 1998. Authigenic euhedral megaquartz crystals in a Quaternary dolomite. Journal of Sedimentary Research 68, 9941000.

R. B. Cook 1996. Connoisseur's choices: Celestine Maybee Quarry, Monroe County, Michigan. Rocks & Minerals 71, 112–15.

H. R. Corti & I. M. Abdulagatov 2008. pVTx properties of hydrothermal systems. In Hydrothermal Experimental Data (ed V. M. Valyashko ), pp. 135193. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

S. Feinstein 1987. Constraints on the thermal history of the Dead-Sea Graben as revealed by coal ranks in deep boreholes. Tectonophysics 141, 135–50.

I. S. Fisher 1977. Distribution of Mississippian geodes and geodal minerals in Kentucky. Economic Geology 72, 864–9.

D. Freyer & W. Voigt 2004. The measurement of sulfate mineral solubilities in the Na-K-Ca-Cl-SO4-H2O system at temperatures of 100, 150 and 200°C. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 68, 307–18.

R. Goldbery 1982. Palaeosols of the Lower Jurassic Mishhor and Ardon Formations (‘laterite derivative facies’), Makhtesh Ramon, Israel. Sedimentology 29, 669–90.

Z. Gvirtzman 2004. Chronostratigraphic table and subsidence curves of southern Israel. Israel Journal of Earth Sciences 53, 4761.

J. S. Hanor 2004. A model for the origin of large carbonate- and evaporite-hosted celestine (SrSO4) deposits. Journal of Sedimentary Research 74, 168–75.

G. Hoareau , C. Monnin & F. Odonne 2010. A study of celestine equilibrium in marine sediments using the entire ODP/IODP porewater data base. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74, 3925–37.

T. L. Kesler 1944. Celestite in Buffalo Cove, Fentress County, Tennessee. Economic Geology 39, 287306.

J. Kloprogge , L. Hickey , L. Duong , W. Martens & R. Frost 2004. Synthesis and characterization of K2Ca5(SO4)6·H2O, the equivalent of görgeyite, a rare evaporite mineral. American Mineralogist 89, 266–72.

Z. A. Kotel'nikova & A. R. Kotel'nikov 2010 a. Experimental study of heterogeneous fluid equilibria in silicate–salt–water systems. Geology of Ore Deposits 52, 154–66.

Z. A. Kotel'nikova & A. R. Kotel'nikov 2010 b. Immiscibility in sulfate-bearing fluid systems at high temperatures and pressures. Geochemistry International 48, 381–9.

A. Livnat , A. Flexer & N. Shafran 1986. Mesozoic unconformities in Israel: characteristics, mode of origin and implications for the development of the Tethys. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 55, 189212.

J. Lobell 1992. Rediscovering Lampasas celestine: Lampasas county, Texas. Rocks & Minerals 67, 8692.

M. W. Longman & P. A. Mench 1978. Diagenesis of Cretaceous limestones in the Edwards aquifer system of south-central Texas: a scanning electron microscope study. Sedimentary Geology 21, 241–76.

S. Matsubara , A. Kato & E. Hashimoto 1992. Celestine from the Asaka gypsum mine, Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. Mineralogical Journal 16, 1620.

A. Segev , T. Weissbrod & B. Lang 2005. 40Ar/39Ar dating of the Aptian–Albian igneous rocks in Makhtesh Ramon (Negev, Israel) and its stratigraphic implications. Cretaceous Research 26, 633–56.

N. S. Summer & A. Ayalon 1995. Dike intrusion into unconsolidated sandstone and the development of quartzite contact zones. Journal of Structural Geology 17, 9971010.

M. R. Ulrich & R. J. Bodnar 1988. Systematics of stretching of fluid inclusions II: barite at 1 atm confining pressure. Economic Geology 83, 1037–46.

S. A. Williams & F. P. Cesbron 1983. Wilcoxite and lannonite, two new fluosulphates from Catron County, New Mexico. Mineralogical Magazine 47, 3740.

M. W. Wood & H. F. Shaw 1976. The geochemistry of celestites from the Yate area near Bristol (U.K.). Chemical Geology 17, 179–93.

J. Yan & E. H. Carlson 2003. Nodular celestite in the Chihsia Formation (Middle Permian) of south China. Sedimentology 50, 265–78.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Geological Magazine
  • ISSN: 0016-7568
  • EISSN: 1469-5081
  • URL: /core/journals/geological-magazine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Type Description Title
Supplementary Materials

Anenburg et al. Supplementary Material

 Excel (13 KB)
13 KB


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 5
Total number of PDF views: 6 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 202 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 19th August 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.