Paleoenvironmental changes in the Silurian indicated by stable isotopes in brachiopod shells from Gotland, Sweden

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Details zur Publikation

Autorinnen und Autoren: Munnecke A, Bi­ckert T, Pätzold J, Samtleben C
Zeitschrift: Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta
Verlag: Meteoritical Society
Jahr der Veröffentlichung: 1997
Band: 61
Heftnummer: 13
Seitenbereich: 2717-2730
ISSN: 0016-7037


Ratios of stable carbon and oxygen isotopes in brachiopod shells (more than 370 specimens, esp. Atrypa reticularis) from the Silurian of Gotland, Sweden, have been analysed. Preservation of biological skeletal ultrastructures, observed in SEM-micrographs, and cathodoluminescence analyses indicate that usually no diagenetical alteration occurs. The Silurian of Gotland consists of 440 m carbonate deposits, spanning the late Llandovery to late Ludlow epochs (431-411 m.y.). Repeatedly, uniform sequences of micritic limestones and marls are interrupted by complex-structured reefs and adjacent platform sediments. Previously, the alternation of facies is interpreted as the result of sea level fluctuations caused by a gradual regression with superimposed minor transgressive pulses. The Silurian sequence of Gotland exhibits principally parallel carbon and oxygen isotope records corresponding closely to the topostratigraphic units. Lower values occur in periods dominated by deposition of marly sequences. Higher values are observed in periods dominated by reefs and extended carbonate platforms. The isotope ratios are influenced by local as well as global factors. The oxygen isotope ratios are interpreted to reflect paleosalinity changes due to varying freshwater input, rather than changes in paleotemperature. Consequently, the facies distribution of Gotland is interpreted as resulting from changes in terrigenous input caused by different rates of continental weathering and freshwater runoff rather than by sea level fluctuations. Periods of arid climate and, therefore, anti-estuarine downwelling of oxygenated surface water appear as short episodes of reef growing (≤1.5 m.y.) in an epoche characterized by a tropic humid climate, which causes an estuarine circulation and the upwelling of CO-rich deep water. Carbon isotope ratios are obviously connected to these changes in circulation by the advection of C-rich surface water (arid episodes) or upwelling of C-depleted deep water (humid episodes) of a Silurian ocean which itself reveals generally euxinic deep water conditions due to the burial of organic carbon in black shales. Copyright © 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.

FAU-Autorinnen und Autoren / FAU-Herausgeberinnen und Herausgeber

Munnecke, Axel Prof. Dr.
Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät


Klima und Ressourcen
Forschungsschwerpunkt einer Fakultät: Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät


Munnecke, A., Bi­ckert, T., Pätzold, J., & Samtleben, C. (1997). Paleoenvironmental changes in the Silurian indicated by stable isotopes in brachiopod shells from Gotland, Sweden. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 61(13), 2717-2730.

Munnecke, Axel, et al. "Paleoenvironmental changes in the Silurian indicated by stable isotopes in brachiopod shells from Gotland, Sweden." Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta 61.13 (1997): 2717-2730.


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