Abstract

Cadmium sulfide mineralization occurs in grey-black shales of the late Mesoproterozoic Stoer Group, Torridonian Supergroup, northwest Scotland. Cadmium is strongly redox-controlled, and normally concentrated in anoxic marine sediments or epigenetic mineralization involving organic matter. However the Stoer Group was deposited in a terrestrial environment, including lacustrine deposits of shale. At the limited levels of atmospheric oxygenation in the Mesoproterozoic (~10% of present), the near-surface environment could have fluctuated between oxic and anoxic, allowing fractionation of Cd from Zn, and the formation of Cd sulfide rather than Cd-bearing sphalerite. This occurrence emphasizes the importance of the Stoer Group as a record of the Mesoproterozoic terrestrial environment.

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