Dolomites in thick sections of Miocene Monterey Shale and related formations in the Temblor Range of California acquired their isotopic compositions as they formed at shallow depth in the original sediment rich in organic matter, and retained the composition against the vicissitudes of burial diagenesis. The oxygen isotopes of dolomites of successive beds record changes in temperature of bottom water while the carbon isotopes of the same samples indicate changes in the kind of microbial activity (sulfate reduction vs carbohydrate fermentation) that prevailed at shallow depths in the sediment. In an auxiliary study, two samples of dolomite from sediments of Cariaco Basin off Venezuela (DSDP site 147) were found to have ??5C13 of -14.1 and -9.8 per ml PDB, although they occur in a heavy-carbon zone containing bicarbonate as heavy as +8.4 per ml. These dolomites probably originated at shallow depth in the light-carbon zone of microbial sulfate reducers and were buried under later sediments down into the heavy-carbon zone of microbial fermenters of carbohydrates without losing their original light-carbon composition. ?? 1979.
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Origin of dolomite in Miocene Monterey Shale and related formations in the Temblor Range, California