PATTERN AND TIMING OF THE LATE DEVONIAN BIOTIC CRISIS IN WESTERN CANADA: INSIGHTS FROM CARBON ISOTOPES AND ASTRONOMICAL CALIBRATION OF MAGNETIC SUSCEPTIBILITY DATA
Michael T. Whalen, David De Vleeschouwer, Joshua H. Payne, James E. (JED) Day, D. Jeffrey Over, Philippe Claeys, 2017. "PATTERN AND TIMING OF THE LATE DEVONIAN BIOTIC CRISIS IN WESTERN CANADA: INSIGHTS FROM CARBON ISOTOPES AND ASTRONOMICAL CALIBRATION OF MAGNETIC SUSCEPTIBILITY DATA", NEWADVANCES IN DEVONIAN CARBONATES: OUTCROP ANALOGS, RESERVOIRS AND CHRONOSTRATIGRAPHY, Ted E. Playton, Charles Kerans, John A.W. Weissenberger
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Carbon stable isotope data from western Canada, in combination with biostratigraphic control and astrochronologic constraints from magnetic susceptibility data, provide insight into the pace and timing of the Frasnian–Famennian (F–F; Late Devonian) biotic crisis. In much of the world, this event is characterized by two organic–rich shales, which display geochemical anomalies that indicate low-oxygen conditions and carbon burial. These events, commonly referred to as the Lower and Upper Kellwasser events (LKE and UKE), have been linked to the expansion of deeply rooted terrestrial forests and associated changes in soil development, chemical weathering, and Late Devonian climate. The δ13C data generated from organic matter record a 3 to 4‰ positive excursion during each event. These data and other geochemical proxy data reported elsewhere corroborate hypotheses about enhanced biological productivity, driven by terrigenous input under exceptionally warm climatic conditions. In this hypothesis,a boom in primary production leads to successive development of anoxic bottom water conditions, decreased biotic diversity, and net transfer of carbon from the atmosphere to the ocean floor.
Despite the importance of the F–F events, a precise chronology for the events is lacking due to limited biostratigraphic resolution. Each of the F–F events falls within one conodont zone, with durations estimated on the order of 0.5 to 1.0 Myr. The LKE occurs very high in Frasnian Zone (FZ) 12, while the UKE begins within FZ 13B, just below the F–F boundary. A previous analysis of high-resolution magnetic susceptibility data from the studied sections in western Canada identified 16.5 eccentricity cycles, each lasting 405 kyr, within the Frasnian strata and one in the earliest Famennian. The present study reports δ13C anomalies associated with the LKE and UKE in the same sections. The LKE and UKE intervals comprise 7 to 8 and 13 to 13.5 m of stratigraphic section, respectively. Based on our analysis, this implies that they represent only one 405-kyr eccentricity cycle or less.We estimate that the duration of the LKE was a bit more than half of a long eccentricity cycle (~200–250 kyr), while the UKE was more protracted, lasting a full long eccentricity cycle (~405 kyr). The onset of both events is separated by one-and-a-half 405-kyr eccentricity cycles, indicating that they occurred about 500 to 600 kyr apart. This work demonstrates the utility of magnetic susceptibility, or other long time-series proxy data, used in conjunction with astronomical calibration to provide insight into the pacing of significant events in geologic time.
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NEWADVANCES IN DEVONIAN CARBONATES: OUTCROP ANALOGS, RESERVOIRS AND CHRONOSTRATIGRAPHY
The Devonian stratigraphic record contains a wealth of information that highlights the response of carbonate platforms to both global-scale and local phenomena that drive carbonate architecture and productivity. Signals embedded particularly in the Middle-Upper Devonian carbonate record related to biotic crises and stressed oceanic conditions, long-term accommodation trends, and peak greenhouse to transitional climatic changes are observed in multiple localities around the world and temporally constrained by biostratigraphy, highlighting distinct and impactful global controls. Devonian datasets also stress the importance of local or regional phenomena, such as bolide impacts, the effects of terrestrial input and paleogeography, syn-depositional tectonics, and high-frequency accommodation drivers, which add complexity to the carbonate stratigraphic record when superimposed on global trends. The unique occurrence of well-studied and pristinely preserved reefal carbonate outcrop and subsurface datasets, ranging across the globe from Australia to Canada, allows for a detailed examination of Devonian carbonate systems from a global perspective and the opportunity to develop well-constrained predictive relationships and conceptual models. Advances in the understanding of the Devonian carbonate system is advantageous considering, not only the classic conventional reservoirs such as the pinnacle reefs of the Alberta Basin, but also emerging conventional reservoirs in Eurasia, and many unconventional plays in North America. The papers in this volume provide updated stratigraphic frameworks for classic Devonian datasets using integrated correlation approaches; new or synthesized frameworks for less studied basins, reservoirs, or areas; and discussions on the complex interplay of extrinsic and intrinsic controls that drive carbonate architectures, productivity, and distribution. The 13 papers in this special publication include outcrop and subsurface studies of Middle to Upper Devonian carbonates of western Canada, the Lennard Shelf of the Canning Basin, Western Australia, and the western USA.