Evolution of the marine stable carbon-isotope record during the early Cretaceous: A focus on the late Hauterivian and Barremian in the Tethyan realm

Alexis Godet, Stéphane Bodin, Karl B. Föllmi, Jean Vermeulen, Silvia Gardin, Nicolas Fiet, Thierry Adatte, Zsolt Berner, Doris Stüben, Bas van de Schootbrugge

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    In order to improve our understanding of the relationships between the late Hauterivian oceanic anoxic Faraoni event, contemporaneous platform drowning along the northern Tethyan margin and global environmental change in general, we established high-resolution δ13C and δ18O curves for the late Hauterivian and the entire Barremian stage. These data were obtained from whole-rock carbonate samples from the Veveyse de Châtel-Saint-Denis section (Switzerland), the Fiume-Bosso section and the nearby Gorgo a Cerbara section (central Italy), and the Angles section (Barremian stratotype, France). We observe an increase of 0.3‰ in mean δ13C values within sediments from the middle Hauterivian Subsaynella sayni ammonite zone to the Hauterivian-Barremian boundary; δ13 C values remain essentially stable during the early Barremian. During the latest early Barremian and most of the late Barremian, δ13C values increase slowly (until the Imerites giraudi zone) and the latest Barremian is characterized by a negative trend in δ13C values, with minimal values at the Barremian-Aptian boundary. During the earliest Aptian, δ13C mean values start to rise again and attain + 2.25‰. We interpret the evolution of the δ13C r ecord as resulting from the interaction between changes in the carbon cycle in the Tethyan basin and the adjacent platforms and continents. In particular, changes towards warmer and more humid conditions on the continent and coeval phases of platform drowning along the northern Tethyan margin may have contributed to enhance the oceanic dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) reservoir which may have pushed the δ13C record towards more negative values and exerted a general attenuation on the δ13C record. From this may have come the general change from a heterozoan to a photozoan carbonate platform community, which influenced the evolution in δ13C values by increasing the export of aragonite and diminishing export of dissolved organic carbon into the basins. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All righs reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)254-271
    Number of pages17
    JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2006


    • Barremian
    • Carbon and oxygen isotopes
    • Hauterivian
    • Oceanic anoxic Faraoni event
    • Paleoceanography
    • Tethys


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