Sr, C, and O isotope geochemistry of Ordovician brachiopods: a major isotopic event around the middle-late Ordovician transition

Shields, Graham A., Carden, Giles A.F., Veizer, Jan, Meidla, Tõnu, Rong, Jia-Yu, and Li, Rong-Yu (2003) Sr, C, and O isotope geochemistry of Ordovician brachiopods: a major isotopic event around the middle-late Ordovician transition. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 67 (11). pp. 2005-2025.

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Here we present Sr, C, and O isotope curves for Ordovician marine calcite based on analyses of 206 calcitic brachiopods from 10 localities worldwide. These are the first Ordovician-wide isotope curves that can be placed within the newly emerging global biostratigraphic framework. A total of 182 brachiopods were selected for C and O isotope analysis, and 122 were selected for Sr isotope analysis. Seawater 87Sr/86Sr decreased from 0.7090 to 0.7078 during the Ordovician, with a major, quite rapid fall around the Middle–Late Ordovician transition, most probably caused by a combination of low continental erosion rates and increased submarine hydrothermal exchange rates. Mean δ18O values increase from −10‰ to −3‰ through the Ordovician with an additional short-lived increase of 2 to 3‰ during the latest Ordovician due to glaciation. Although diagenetic alteration may have lowered δ18O in some samples, particularly those from the Lower Ordovician, maximum δ18O values, which are less likely to be altered, increase by more than 3‰ through the Ordovician in both our data and literature data. We consider that this long-term rise in calcite δ18O records the effect of decreasing tropical seawater temperatures across the Middle–Late Ordovician transition superimposed on seawater δ18O that was steadily increasing from ≤−3‰ standard mean ocean water (SMOW). By contrast, δ13C variation seems to have been relatively modest during most of the Ordovician with the exception of the globally documented, but short-lived, latest Ordovician δ13C excursion up to +7‰. Nevertheless, an underlying trend in mean δ13C can be discerned, changing from moderately negative values in the Early Ordovician to moderately positive values by the latest Ordovician. These new isotopic data confirm a major reorganization of ocean chemistry and the surface environment around 465 to 455 Ma. The juxtaposition of the greatest recorded swings in Phanerozoic seawater 87Sr/86Sr and δ18O at the same time as one of the largest marine transgressions in Phanerozoic Earth history suggests a causal link between tectonic and climatic change, and emphasizes an endogenic control on the O isotope budget during the Early Paleozoic. Better isotopic and biostratigraphic constraints are still required if we are to understand the true significance of these changes. We recommend that future work on Ordovician isotope stratigraphy focus on this outstanding Middle–Late Ordovician event.

Item ID: 6351
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9533
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2010 01:10
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0402 Geochemistry > 040299 Geochemistry not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
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