Isotopic Studies of Organic Matter and Carbonate in Rocks of the Greenhorn Marine Cycle
Lisa M. Pratt, 1985. "Isotopic Studies of Organic Matter and Carbonate in Rocks of the Greenhorn Marine Cycle", Fine-Grained Deposits and Biofacies of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway: Evidence of Cyclic Sedimentary Processes, Lisa M. Pratt, Erle G. Kauffman, Frederick B. Zelt
Download citation file:
Variation in the carbon isotopic composition of organic matter in the Greenhorn Limestone are described for Black Mesa, Arizona; Pueblo, Colorado; Bunker Hill, Kansas; Ponca State Park, Nebraska; and Cone Hill, Montana. There is a 2.5 to 3.5 o/oo positive (heavy) excursion in carbon isotopic values spanning the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary at each of these localities. Carbon and oxygen isotopic compositions of inoceramid bivalve shells and whole-rock carbonate are reported for the Black Mesa and Pueblo sections. Oxygen isotopic values of whole-rock carbonate generally become more positive upward in the Greenhorn from the lower Lincoln Limestone Member through the Hartland Shale Member and into the lower Bridge Creek Limestone Member. This trend is inferred to reflect generally increasing salinity of Western Interior seawater associated with increasing water depths and less restricted oceanic connections as the Greenhorn transgression progressed. Superimposed on this overall trend are intervals with marked isotopic and geochemical fluctuations suggesting rapidly changing proportions of oceanic and riverine water or rapidly changing relative rates of evaporation and input. A particularly severe and rapid paleoenvironmental change is inferred to have occurred just prior to the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary defined by macrofossil extinctions.
Figures & Tables
Fine-Grained Deposits and Biofacies of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway: Evidence of Cyclic Sedimentary Processes
Fine-Grained Deposits and Biofacies of the Cretaceous Western Seaway: Evidence of Cyclic Sedimentary Processes - This volume emphasizes the influence of cyclic sedimentary processes on the distribution of rock types and faunas in the Cretaceous strata in Colorado. As a whole, the volume provides an interdisciplinary view of the causes and consequences of gradual cyclic, periodic, and catastrophic changes in environmental conditions recorded by strata in the Kiowa-Skull Creek, Greenhorn, and Niobrara Cyclothems.