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Reconstructing depositional rates and their effect on paleoenvironmental proxies: the case of the Lau Carbon Isotope Excursion in Gotland, Sweden
Jarochowska, E.; Nohl, T.; Grohganz, M.; Hohmann, N.; Vandenbroucke, T.R.A.; Munnecke, A. (2020). Reconstructing depositional rates and their effect on paleoenvironmental proxies: the case of the Lau Carbon Isotope Excursion in Gotland, Sweden. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology 35(12): e2020PA003979. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1029/2020PA003979
In: Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology. American Geophysical Union: Washington DC. ISSN 2572-4525; e-ISSN 2572-4525, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    depositional rate; sedimentation rate; age model; thorium; Silurian; anoxia

Auteurs  Top 
  • Jarochowska, E.
  • Nohl, T.
  • Grohganz, M.
  • Hohmann, N.
  • Vandenbroucke, T.R.A., meer
  • Munnecke, A.

Abstract
    Variations in depositional rates affect the temporal depositional resolutions of proxies used for paleoenvironmental reconstructions; for example, condensation can make reconstructed environmental changes appear very abrupt. This is commonly addressed by transforming proxy data using age models, but this approach is limited to situations where numerical ages are available or can be reliably inferred by correlation. Here we propose a new solution, in which relative age models are constructed based on proxies for depositional rates. As a case study, we use the onset of the late Silurian Lau Carbon Isotope Excursion (LCIE) in Gotland, Sweden. The studied succession is a gradual record of shallowing upward in a tropical, neritic carbonate platform. As proxies for depositional rates we tested thorium concentration, carbonate content, and the concentration of pelagic palynomorphs. These three proxies were used to create relative age models using the previously published DAIME model. We applied these models to transform the δ13Ccarb values as well as concentrations of selected redox-sensitive elements. The three relative age models yielded qualitatively similar results. In our case study, variations in depositional rates resulted in peaks of redox proxies appearing up to 76% higher when taken at face value, compared to when accounting for these rates. In the most extreme cases, our corrections resulted in a reversal in the stratigraphic trend of elemental concentrations. This approach can be applied and developed across depositional setting and types of paleoenvironmental proxies. It provides a flexible tool for developing quantitative models to improve our understanding of the stratigraphic record.

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