Chemostratigraphy and magnetic susceptibility of the Late Devonian Frasnian–Famennian transition in western Canada and southern China: implications for carbon and nutrient cycling and mass extinction

Published on Jan 1, 2015in Geological Society, London, Special Publications
· DOI :10.1144/SP414.8
Michael T. Whalen14
Estimated H-index: 14
(UAF: University of Alaska Fairbanks),
Maciej G. Śliwiński7
Estimated H-index: 7
(UW: University of Wisconsin-Madison)
+ 3 AuthorsAnne-Christine Da Silva13
Estimated H-index: 13
We investigate the Late Devonian Frasnian- Famennian extinction interval in western Alberta and south China to shed light on the palaeoecological and palaeoceanographic conditions that characterize this biotic crisis. Both the Lower and Upper Kellwasser events are documented in western Canada. Only the Upper Kellwasser event has been evaluated in south China. Our multi- proxy geochemical approach reveals that these events are characterized by positive d 13 C and d 15 N excursions and increasing magnetic susceptibility (Canada/China) and increases in detrital (Al, Si, Ti, Zr), productivity (Cu, Ni, Zn) and redox (Mo, U, V) elemental proxies (Canada). We interpret these trends as part of a systemic palaeoecological shift associated with the development of wide- spread terrestrial forests and their alteration of chemical-mechanical weathering patterns. Increase in detrital proxies is thus interpreted as resulting from pedogenically driven weathering on the con- tinents that nutrified epeiric and continental margin seas. High biological productivity led to eutro- phication and development of suboxic to anoxic conditions during both events and probably euxinic conditions during the Upper Kellwasser event in western Canada. Positived 13 C excursions are the telltale signature of excessive carbon burial, while redox proxies and d 15 N records indicate
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