Article: a PhD thesis.
Constraints on the upper Permian to upper Triassic marine carbon isotope curve : case studies from the Tethys
Université de Lausanne, Faculté des sciences
Number of pages
All the data and rock collection are deposited at the Geological Museum in Lausanne and are avaiable on request
Secular variations of the seawater carbon isotopic composition provide evidence for paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic changes and may serve for chemiostratigraphic correlations. The present study aimed to improve the current knowledge on the Upper Permian and Triassic segment of the Phanerozoic marine carbon isotope curve, whose Triassic part was poorly constrained by previous studies. Profiles of inorganic carbon isotopes are provided for sections from Himalaya (Salt Range, Kashmir, Spiti and Nepal), Oman and North Dobrogea (Romania) on the basis of whole-rock carbonate analysis. The data acquired, together with a literature compilation confirmed that most of the Upper Permian is characterized by high δ13C values (averaging +40/00) but failed to detect a positive excursion as suggested by recent compilations. In the light of these observations, the large drop in δ13C values associated with the end-Permian mass extinction appears to be driven by a sudden transfer of previously stocked 13C depleted carbon, rather than by the overturn of a Late Permian stratified ocean. The Triassic data-set outlines significant secular variations. The best documented is a carbon isotope positive excursion just across the Lower-Middle Triassic boundary, globally developed since it was detected in various paleogeographic settings. It is interpreted to reflect variations in surface ocean chemistry, possibly related to increased primary productivity, at times when the biotic recovery after the end-Permian mass-extinction began to accelerate significantly and when a sharp rise in seawater δ34S values occurred globally. Strontium isotope data obtained from well preserved biogenic phosphates allow a refinement of the Middle Triassic segment of the seawater strontium isotope curve and show a major inflexion point of the seawater strontium isotope curve also near the Lower Triassic - Middle Triassic boundary. These facts suggest that the transition from the Early to the Middle Triassic was a time of revolutionary global change which represented an important step in the evolution of Mesozoic marine environments. A tentative carbon isotope curve for the Upper Permian to Upper Triassic time interval is proposed. Its major features are: ? high but constant δ13C values during the Late Permian ? a sharp drop in δ13C values in the latest Permian ? subsequent recovery of δ13C values ? a short-lived positive excursion across the Early-Middle Triassic boundary ? a gradual rise in δ13C values starting in the Late Ladinian or in the Early Carnian It is foreseen that these fluctuations of the carbon isotope curve may serve as chronostratigraphic markers and further assist in the correlation of Permian and Triassic carbonate deposits.
carbon isotopic composition, Upper Permian, Triassic, Himalaya, Oman, Dobrogea
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