An Early Jurassic (Sinemurian–Toarcian) stratigraphic framework for the occurrence of Organic Matter Preservation Intervals (OMPIs)



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Silva, Ricardo Louro and Duarte, Luís Vitor and Wach, G.D. and Ruhl, M. and Sadki, Driss and Gómez Fernández, Juan José (2021) An Early Jurassic (Sinemurian–Toarcian) stratigraphic framework for the occurrence of Organic Matter Preservation Intervals (OMPIs). Earth-Science Reviews, 221 (103780). ISSN 0012-8252, ESSN: 1872-6828

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Lower Jurassic sedimentary successions in the Atlantic margin basins include several organic-rich intervals, some with source rock potential; time-equivalent units are also identified in on- and offshore areas worldwide. Despite decades of research, it is still unclear which mechanisms lead to the deposition of organic-rich sediments during the Early Jurassic. The objectives of this study are to construct a detailed temporal and geographical framework of Sinemurian–Toarcian organic matter preservation intervals (OMPIs; subdivided into local, regional, and superregional) and roughly constrain the relationship of OMPIs with the Lower Jurassic δ13C record. This survey combines an in-depth analysis of literature on the distribution of organic-rich facies in the Sinemurian–Toarcian with new geochemical studies [total organic carbon (TOC) and organic matter pyrolysis] from selected outcrop sections from Portugal, Spain, and Morocco.

Strong local control on OMPIs during most of the Sinemurian is suggested. Regionally widespread organic-rich facies are associated with the most negative δ13C values of the broad Sinemurian–Pliensbachian negative carbon isotopic trend recorded in organic matter (including the Sinemurian–Pliensbachian Boundary Event). Pliensbachian OMPIs are expressive in the areas bordering the proto-Atlantic Ocean and are often linked with positive δ13C excursions and short-lived warm intervals, but OMPIs are also defined for the Late Pliensbachian cool interval. Early Toarcian superregional OMPIs are associated with some of the most pronounced δ13C excursions of the Mesozoic. Toarcian maximum TOC content occurs with the positive δ13C (recovery) trend following the δ13C negative shift typically linked with the Early Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (T-OAE), supporting the notion that peak carbon sequestration/ocean anoxia post-dated the main phase of carbon input into the atmosphere, as also suggested by recent modelling efforts. However, additional superregional OMPIs predate and postdate the T-OAE, indicating that conditions favouring preservation of organic matter (increased productivity and/or enhanced preservation) during the Early Toarcian were not restricted to the T-OAE interval.

The compilation of Sinemurian–Toarcian OMPIs presented in this paper demonstrates that organic-rich intervals of regional and superregional expression in the Lower Jurassic sedimentary record are ubiquitous and may even be more numerous than in the Cretaceous. Considering the association of some of the Sinemurian, Pliensbachian, and Toarcian (not taking into account the T-OAE related OMPIs) regional and superregional OMPIs with well-defined carbon isotopic excursions, it is here suggested that these hold the same relevance as the secondary OAEs of the Cretaceous, such as the Valanginian OAE (Weissert Event), Hauterivian OAE (Faraoni Event), and Late Aptian–Early Albian OAE (OAE 1b cluster).

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Organic-rich facies, Stable carbon isotopes, Sinemurian, Pliensbachian, Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event, Early Jurassic
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Stratigraphic geology
ID Code:69289
Deposited On:17 Dec 2021 15:10
Last Modified:20 Dec 2021 08:41

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