Long-term global carbon isotope records (δ13Ccarb and δ13Corg) for the Silurian have been largely derived from unrestricted open-marine carbonates and shales. Here, we demonstrate how organic carbon harvested from halite-dominated evaporite deposits in a restricted intracratonic basin can be used to produce a carbon isotope record. Inorganic and organic carbon isotope data were generated and compared from four subsurface cores from the Silurian Michigan Basin, representing unrestricted carbonate and restricted evaporite/carbonate deposition. The δ13Ccarb and δ13Corg records exhibit a number of long-term trends and major carbon isotope excursions (CIE) that are correlated with the globally identified Ireviken, Mulde, and Linde events. These data provide temporal and stratigraphic constraints in rocks where paleontological data are sparse or absent. They also potentially highlight the effect of enhanced local evaporation on isotope fractionation. This new technique for generating a long-term organic carbon isotope profile from Silurian halite sequences, which can be correlated to the global curve, is of broad interest to the geoscience and paleoclimate science communities. These data not only provide a valuable tool for understanding the chronostratigraphic framework within an evaporative interior basin, but they also provide a rare temporal link between periods of prolonged evaporite deposition and events of known paleoclimate change.
Utility of organic carbon isotope data from the Salina Group halite (Michigan Basin): A new tool for stratigraphic correlation and paleoclimate proxy resource
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Andrew H. Caruthers, Darren R. Gröcke, Stephen E. Kaczmarek, Matthew J. Rine, Jeff Kuglitsch, William B. Harrison III; Utility of organic carbon isotope data from the Salina Group halite (Michigan Basin): A new tool for stratigraphic correlation and paleoclimate proxy resource. GSA Bulletin doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/B31972.1
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