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Polar record of Early Jurassic massive carbon injection

Suan, Guillaume; Nikitenko, Boris L.; Rogov, Mikhail A.; Baudin, Francois; Spangenberg, Jorge E.; Knyazev, Valeriy G.; Glinskikh, Larisa A.; Goryacheva, Anna A.; Adatte, Thierry; Riding, James B.; Follmi, Karl B.; Pittet, Bernard; Mattioli, Emanuela; Lecuyer, Christophe. 2011 Polar record of Early Jurassic massive carbon injection. Earth & Planetary Science Letters, 312 (1-2). 102-113. 10.1016/j.epsl.2011.09.050

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Abstract/Summary

The Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (T-OAE) (ca. 182 Myr, EarlyJurassic) represents one of the best-recognized examples of greenhouse warming, decreased seawater oxygenation and mass extinction. The leading hypothesis to explain these changes is the massive injection of thermogenic or gas hydrate-derived 13C-depleted carbon into the atmosphere, resulting in a > 3 per mil negative carbon isotope excursion (CIE), accelerated nutrient input and dissolved oxygen consumption in the oceans. Nevertheless, the lack of a precisely dated record of the T-OAE outside low latitudes has led to considerable debate about both its temporal and spatial extent and hence concerning its underlying causes. Here we present new isotopic and lithological data from three precisely dated N Siberian sections, which demonstrate that mass extinction and onset of strong oxygen-deficiency occurred near synchronously in polar and most tropical sites and were intimately linked to the onset of a marked 6‰ negative CIE recorded by bulk organic carbon. Rock Eval pyrolysis data from Siberia and comparisons with low latitudes show that the CIE cannot be explained by the extent of stratification of the studied basins or changes in organic matter sourcing and suggest that the negative CIE reflects rapid 13C-depleted carbon injection to all exchangeable reservoirs. Sedimentological and palynological indicators show that the injection coincided with a change from cold (abundant glendonites and exotic boulder-sized clasts) to exceptionally warm conditions (dominance of the thermophyllic pollen genus Classopollis) in the Arctic, which likely triggered a rapid, possibly partly glacioeustatic sea-level rise. Comparisons with low latitude records reveal that warm climate conditions and poor marine oxygenation persisted in continental margins at least 600 kyr after the CIE, features that can be attributed to protracted and massive volcanic carbon dioxide degassing. Our data reveal that the T-OAE profoundly affected Arctic climate and oceanography and suggest that the CIE was a consequence of global and massive 13C-depleted carbon injection.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.epsl.2011.09.050
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Climate Change Science
ISSN: 0012-821X
Date made live: 25 Nov 2011 14:36
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/15976

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