Evaluating Late Cretaceous OAEs and the influence of marine incursions on organic carbon burial in an expansive East Asian paleo-lake

Matthew M. Jones*, Daniel E. Ibarra, Yuan Gao, Bradley B. Sageman, David Selby, C. Page Chamberlain, Stephan A. Graham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Expansive Late Cretaceous lacustrine deposits of East Asia offer unique stratigraphic records to better understand regional responses to global climate events, such as oceanic anoxic events (OAEs), and terrestrial organic carbon burial dynamics. This study presents bulk organic carbon isotopes (δ13Corg), elemental concentrations (XRF), and initial osmium ratios (187Os/188Os, Osi) from the Turonian–Coniacian Qingshankou Formation, a ∼5 Ma lacustrine mudstone succession in the Songliao Basin of northeast China. A notable δ13Corg excursion (∼+2.5‰) in organic carbon-lean Qingshankou Members 2–3 correlates to OAE3 in the Western Interior Basin (WIB) of North America within temporal uncertainty of high-precision age models. Decreases in carbon isotopic fractionation (Δ13C) through OAE3 in the WIB and Songliao Basin, suggest that significantly elevated global rates of organic carbon burial drew down pCO2, likely cooling climate. Despite this, Osi chemostratigraphy demonstrates no major changes in global volcanism or weathering trends through OAE3. Identification of OAE3 in a lake system is consistent with lacustrine records of other OAEs (e.g., Toarcian OAE), and underscores that terrestrial environments were sensitive to climate perturbations associated with OAEs. Additionally, the relatively radiogenic Osi chemostratigraphy and XRF data confirm that the Qingshankou Formation was deposited in a non-marine setting. Organic carbon-rich intervals preserve no compelling Osi evidence for marine incursions, an existing hypothesis for generating Member 1's prolific petroleum source rocks. Based on our results, we present a model for water column stratification and source rock deposition independent of marine incursions, detailing dominant biogeochemical cycles and lacustrine organic carbon burial mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-52
Number of pages12
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume484
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 15 2018

Keywords

  • Oceanic Anoxic Event 3 (OAE3)
  • Songliao Basin
  • carbon isotope chemostratigraphy
  • initial osmium isotopes
  • lacustrine biogeochemical cycling
  • paleoclimate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

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