Abstract

The geochemical events (negative shifts in δ13C and δ18O, and Mn peak) associated with the “Schistes carton” of Quercy (SW France) do not appear to be due only to lithological variations and a differential diagenesis. They correspond to the Lower Toarcian global event and seem to be connected to a destabilization phase of gas hydrates. During its oxidation by seawater, the release of methane gas with a very low carbon isotopic ratio (− 60%) led to the production of CO2 and carbonates with a negative δ13C. The consumption of oxygen in the seawater resulted in conditions that were first dysoxic and then anoxic. The reduction of burrowing and bioturbation associated with this oxidation resulted in the laminated appearance of the “Schistes carton”. The decrease in the oxygen content led to a decrease in MnO2 microparticles present in the water column and sediments. This created a complementary source of Mn2+ that was incorporated into the carbonates produced during this event. Furthermore, an increase in the average seawater temperature (δ18O) appears associated with this event. Finally, the apparent diachronism of geochemical events in the Boreal and the Tethyan realms is discussed.

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