Environmental change and carbon-cycle dynamics during the onset of Cretaceous oceanic anoxic event 1a from a carbonate-ramp depositional system, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

Highlights

  • Negative δ13C excursion at onset of OAE1a recorded in carbonate-ramp deposits.
  • Time-series analysis shows relative complete record of C3 segment of OAE1a.
  • Evidence for short-lived carbonate dissolution event at the negative δ13C peak of C3.
  • Discussion of effects of seawater temperature, pH, and diagenesis on δ18O record.

Abstract

We report the first high-resolution sedimentological and geochemical record of the negative carbon-isotope excursion (CIE) at the onset of the early Aptian oceanic anoxic event (OAE) 1a from a carbonate-ramp depositional environment, analysed from a well core from c. 2500 m depth, 100 km offshore Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Time-series analysis of stable oxygen isotope values and concentrations of Si, Al, and Ti resulted in durations of the C3 and C4 segments of the CIE that support relative completeness of the C3 segment and high sediment preservation rates of c. 13 cm/kyr of the studied sedimentary sequence. Stable oxygen-isotope ratios of bulk carbonates are interpreted to indicate two episodes of cooling, separated by rapid warming during the peak of the negative CIE. The contributions of diagenesis and seawater pH on the bulk oxygen-isotope record will have affected the palaeoclimatic signal and are critically discussed. A major shift in oxygen isotope values at the peak of the negative CIE in the C3 segment coincides with relatively carbonate-poor, marly deposits, time-equivalent with other, global evidence for a reduction of carbonate saturation of sea-surface water. According to our chemo- and cyclostratigraphic calibration, this episode of low carbonate saturation of seawater reflects a pulse of major volcanic CO2 release from the Ontong-Java large igneous province that was sufficiently short to have escaped internal buffering by the dynamics of the ocean lysocline.

Steuber T., Alsuwaidi M., Hennhoefer D., Sulieman H., AlBlooshi A., McAlpin T. D. & Shebl H., 2022. Environmental change and carbon-cycle dynamics during the onset of Cretaceous oceanic anoxic event 1a from a carbonate-ramp depositional system, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 601: 111086. doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2022.111086. Article (subscription required).


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