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Contemporaneous massive subaerial volcanism and late cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 08:37 authored by Kuroda, J, Ogawa, NO, Tanimizu, M, Mike CoffinMike Coffin, Tokuyama, H, Kitazato, H, Ohkouchi, N
Oceanic Anoxic Events (OAEs) are geological time intervals characterized by extremely high burial rates of organic carbon that led to deposition of organic-rich ¡°black shales¡± in the global ocean. It has been proposed that oceanic anoxic events are ultimately caused by massive volcanism associated with formation of large igneous provinces (LIPs) because of chronological similarities, but no general consensus has developed yet. To investigate the possibility of LIP volcanism instigating OAEs, we measured stable isotopic compositions of bulk organic carbon (¥ä13Corg) and lead (Pb) isotopic compositions in the silicate sediment fraction across the Bonarelli black shale (Italy), a type stratigraphic section for the end-Cenomanian OAE (OAE-2; 94 Ma). Ultra-high-resolution ¥ä13Corg records determined every 1.5 mm capture a 3¢¶ sharp negative shift at the base of the Bonarelli. At the same stratigraphic level, Pb isotopic compositions in the silicate sediment fraction exhibit significant shifts toward characteristic values of volcanic rocks from contemporaneous LIPs (Caribbean and Madagascar flood basalts). These data suggest a rapid, substantial increase in the relative supply of silicate minerals from the two LIPs. Massive subaerial volcanism associated with LIP formation provides a simple explanation for these two isotopic geochemical signals via release of a huge amount of carbon dioxide (¡­ 105 Gt CO2) and particulate materials into the atmosphere, which resulted in a rapid negative shift of ¥ä13C in sea water and changes in Pb isotopic compositions in the silicate sediment fraction, respectively. We interpret that massive volcanism triggered significant climatic changes, inducing biotic crises and oceanic anoxia.


Publication title

Earth and Planetary Science Letters










Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Elsevier Science Bv

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Po Box 211, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1000 Ae

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Copyright © 2007 Elsevier B.V. The definitive version is available at

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