Does the global stratigraphic reproducibility of δ13C in neoproterozoic carbonates require a marine origin? A Pliocene- Pleistocene comparison

Peter K Swart, M. J. Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The large and systematic negative shifts in the δ13C values (>12%) of carbonate-dominated rocks that preceded Neoproterozoic glacial successions have been interpreted to record a dramatic series of global environmental and evolutionary events. These values are widely considered to be marine rather than diagenetic in origin because stratigraphic patterns of change are systematic and reproducible from basin to basin, distinct in magnitude, and associated with recognizable stratigraphic markers such as glacial deposits. In contrast, diagenetic systems are commonly considered to have a more local and stochastic influence on δ13C values. Cores taken in Quaternary carbonate platform sediments, however, reveal a curious similarity in magnitude, thickness, and core to core reproducibility where diagenetic alteration has occurred in response to sea-level fall. Sealevel changes produced similar δ13C and δ18O stratigraphic records at globally disparate locations, which are unrelated to the global marine δ13C signal and bear no relation to the global carbon cycle. By analogy with the Pliocene-Pleistocene, we propose that spatial reproducibility of δ13C in some Neoproterozoic successions might be attributed to causes other than secular variation of the global carbon cycle, including diagenesis. This observation does not negate the stratigraphic utility of the carbon isotopic values, only the origin of the signal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-90
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

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carbon cycle
Pliocene
Pleistocene
carbonate
secular variation
geological record
glacial deposit
carbonate platform
basin
carbonate rock
diagenesis
sea level
carbon
sediment
comparison
marker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

Cite this

Does the global stratigraphic reproducibility of δ13C in neoproterozoic carbonates require a marine origin? A Pliocene- Pleistocene comparison. / Swart, Peter K; Kennedy, M. J.

In: Geology, Vol. 40, No. 1, 01.2012, p. 87-90.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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