Interpreting carbonate and organic carbon isotope covariance in the sedimentary record

Amanda M. Oehlert, Peter K. Swart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many negative δ 13 C excursions in marine carbonates from the geological record are interpreted to record significant biogeochemical events in early Earth history. The assumption that no post-depositional processes can simultaneously alter carbonate and organic δ 13 C values towards more negative values is the cornerstone of this approach. However, the effects of post-depositional alteration on the relationship between carbonate and organic δ 13 C values have not been directly evaluated. Here we present paired carbonate and organic δ 13 C records that exhibit a coupled negative excursion resulting from multiple periods of meteoric alteration of the carbonate δ 13 C record, and consequent contributions of isotopically negative terrestrial organic matter to the sedimentary record. The possibility that carbonate and organic δ 13 C records can be simultaneously shifted towards lower δ 13 C values during periods of subaerial exposure may necessitate the reappraisal of some of the δ 13 C anomalies associated with noteworthy biogeochemical events throughout Earth history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4672
JournalNature communications
Volume5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 19 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Interpreting carbonate and organic carbon isotope covariance in the sedimentary record'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this