Geochemical evidence for euxinia during the Late Devonian extinction events in the Michigan Basin (U.S.A.)
Published on Nov 1, 2014in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology2.616
· DOI :10.1016/j.palaeo.2014.08.024
Abstract Several mass extinction events occurred in the Late Devonian, but the trigger for these events remains elusive. In this study, geochemical evidence in the Late Devonian Antrim Shale, Michigan Basin, U.S.A., records episodic euxinia contemporaneous with these extinction events. Diagnostic changes in iron proxy data and elevated trace metal enrichments correspond to the Kellwasser Crisis. In this study, carbon, sulfur, iron and trace metal geochemistry preserved in the Antrim Formation validates the establishment and expansion of euxinic conditions associated with the Kellwasser Crisis and the Frasnian–Famennian boundary. The strength of the sequential extraction iron mineral data presented here, in concert with trace metal and sulfur isotope proxies, provides definitive signatures of euxinia when other data may be more ambiguous in regard to paleoredox conditions. During the time of the Frasnian–Famennian boundary extensive sulfide oxidation at the chemocline, the result of Fe-limiting conditions within the basin, provides an alternative explanation for the oceanic decline in δ34SSO4 during, and following, the Frasnian–Famennian event. Our geochemical evidence, indicating the presence of anoxia in the Michigan Basin, is consistent with data from other globally distributed locations. Euxinia should be considered a key driver for these global extinction events, and possibly others such as the Hangenberg Event in the Late Devonian.