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Geochemical environment of the Coniacian-Santonian western tropical Atlantic at Demerara Rise

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christian Maerz, Dr Britta Beckmann, Professor Thomas Wagner


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Organic carbon-rich shales deposited during the Coniacian-Santonian Oceanic Anoxic Event 3 were drilled during ODP Leg 207 at Demerara Rise. We present integrated high-resolution geochemical records of core intervals from ODP Sites 1259 and 1261 both from nannofossil biozone CC14. Our results reveal systematic variations in marine and detrital sediment contribution, depositional processes, and bottom water redox conditions during black shale formation at two locations on Demerara Rise in different paleo-water depths. A combination of redox proxies (Fe/S, P/Al, C/P, redox-sensitive/sulfide-forming trace metals Mn, Cd, Mo, Ni, V, Zn) and other analytical approaches (bulk sediment composition. P speciation, electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction) evidence anoxic to sulfidic bottom water and sediment conditions throughout the deposition of black shale. These extreme redox conditions persisted and were periodically punctuated by short-termed periods with less reducing bottom waters irrespective of paleo-water depth. Sediment supply at both sites was generally dominated by marine material (carbonate, organic matter, opal) although relationships of detrital proxies as well as glauconitic horizons support some influence of turbidites, winnowing bottom currents and/or variable detritus sources, along with less reducing bottom water at the proposed shallower location (ODP Site 1259). At Site 1261, located at greater paleo-depth, redox fluctuations were more regular, and steady hemipelagic sedimentation sustained the development of mostly undisturbed lamination in the sedimentary record. Strong similarities of the studied deposits exist with the stratigraphic older Cenomanian-Turonian OAE2 black shale sections at Demerara Rise, suggesting that the primary mechanisms controlling continental supply and ocean redox state were time-invariant and kept the western equatorial Atlantic margin widely anoxic over millions of years. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): März C, Beckmann B, Franke C, Vogt C, Wagner T, Kasten S

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology

Year: 2009

Volume: 273

Issue: 3-4

Pages: 286-301

ISSN (print): 0031-0182

ISSN (electronic): 1872-616X



DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2008.05.004