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Evidence for photic-zone euxinia in the Early Albian Santana Formation (Araripe Basin, NE Brazil)


Heimhofer, U; Hesselbo, S P; Martill, D M; Hochuli, P A; Guzzo, J V P (2008). Evidence for photic-zone euxinia in the Early Albian Santana Formation (Araripe Basin, NE Brazil). Terra Nova, 20(5):347-354.

Abstract

Organic matter from two black shale units in the Santana Formation, Araripe Basin, NE Brazil, has been studied to investigate the palaeoenvironmental conditions prevailing during formation of this famous fossil lagerstätte. Optical and organic geochemical analyses indicate a predominantly autochthonous source with very limited terrestrial input. Molecular fossils of green sulphur bacteria show that the water column was stratified with euxinic conditions reaching up into the photic zone. Thus, mass-mortality events of fish may be explained by intrusion of sulphide-containing waters. The low quantity of material derived from land plants in this interior marine setting is interpreted to reflect a consequence of enhanced marine productivity, resulting in dilution of the continental signal. Different depositional scenarios are proposed to explain our findings including (1) coastal erosion and nutrient leaching during a transgressive event, (2) intrusion of euxinic waters during an early Albian OAE or (3) an estuarine circulation pattern associated with thermohaline stratification.

Abstract

Organic matter from two black shale units in the Santana Formation, Araripe Basin, NE Brazil, has been studied to investigate the palaeoenvironmental conditions prevailing during formation of this famous fossil lagerstätte. Optical and organic geochemical analyses indicate a predominantly autochthonous source with very limited terrestrial input. Molecular fossils of green sulphur bacteria show that the water column was stratified with euxinic conditions reaching up into the photic zone. Thus, mass-mortality events of fish may be explained by intrusion of sulphide-containing waters. The low quantity of material derived from land plants in this interior marine setting is interpreted to reflect a consequence of enhanced marine productivity, resulting in dilution of the continental signal. Different depositional scenarios are proposed to explain our findings including (1) coastal erosion and nutrient leaching during a transgressive event, (2) intrusion of euxinic waters during an early Albian OAE or (3) an estuarine circulation pattern associated with thermohaline stratification.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:10 Feb 2009 15:32
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:46
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0954-4879
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3121.2008.00827.x

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