Petrography and geochemistry of carbonate rocks of the Paleoproterozoic Zaonega Formation, Russia: Documentation of C-13-depleted non-primary calcite

A. E. Crne, V. A. Melezhik, A. Lepland, A. E. Fallick, A. R. Prave, A. T. Brasier

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Abstract

The ca. 2.0 Ga Zaonega Formation in the Onega Basin of NW Russia represents a deep-water, mixed siliciclastic-carbonate depositional system with voluminous mafic volcanism. It is typified by extremely organic-rich rocks (TOC > 40 wt%) and represents one of the earliest known episodes of oil/asphalt generation. These rocks have been inferred to archive one of the largest negative delta C-13 excursions in Earth history, one that followed and/or partially overlapped with the 2.2-2.06 Ga worldwide Lomagundi-Jatuli carbonate carbon isotopic excursion to high values and thought to be linked to the Paleoproteorozoic oxygenation of Earth's surface environments.

In order to assess the post-depositional integrity of the carbonate carbon isotopic signal (delta C-13(carb)) of the Zaonega rocks, we examined in detail the petrography and geochemistry of eight carbonate beds (0.3-0.9 m thick) from different stratigraphic levels of the formation. The range of delta C-13 values for a single bed can be as much as 17 parts per thousand, with calcite being significantly depleted in C-13 relative to co-existing dolomite; the C-13-depleted calcite likely formed by involvement of carbon derived from diagenetic and catagenetic alteration of organic matter possibly abetted by volcanic CO2. The presence of calcite +/- talc +/- phlogopite +/- actinolite indicates metamorphic reaction of dolomite with quartz, or possibly K-feldspar, in the presence of water; commonly accompanied by degassing of C-13-enriched CO2, this caused further C-13 depletion of newly formed calcite. The least altered dolomite is documented in central parts of thick dolostone beds with variably calcitized margins. This dolomite is considered as the earliest and possibly primary carbonate phase, potentially recording the delta C-13 signal of the ambient seawater. The least-altered dolomite is found in two stratigraphic intervals exhibiting delta C-13 values of +8 and +4 parts per thousand for the middle part of the formation, and delta C-13 values of -2 and -4 parts per thousand for the upper part. All other beds, with delta C-13 ranging from -19 to +3 parts per thousand, are considered to have been variably depleted in their C-13 content by post-depositional processes and therefore cannot be reliably used for assessing the carbon isotope composition of Paleoproterozoic seawater. Our results emphasize the importance of distinguishing primary versus secondary (or later) isotopic compositions in studies of carbonate rocks used for reconstruction of global environmental change. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-93
Number of pages15
JournalPrecambrian Research
Volume240
Early online date23 Oct 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

Keywords

  • paleoproterozoic
  • carbon cycle
  • non-primary calcite
  • Russia
  • great oxidation event
  • Onega Basin

Cite this

Petrography and geochemistry of carbonate rocks of the Paleoproterozoic Zaonega Formation, Russia : Documentation of C-13-depleted non-primary calcite. / Crne, A. E.; Melezhik, V. A.; Lepland, A.; Fallick, A. E.; Prave, A. R.; Brasier, A. T.

In: Precambrian Research, Vol. 240, 01.2014, p. 79-93.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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title = "Petrography and geochemistry of carbonate rocks of the Paleoproterozoic Zaonega Formation, Russia: Documentation of C-13-depleted non-primary calcite",
abstract = "The ca. 2.0 Ga Zaonega Formation in the Onega Basin of NW Russia represents a deep-water, mixed siliciclastic-carbonate depositional system with voluminous mafic volcanism. It is typified by extremely organic-rich rocks (TOC > 40 wt{\%}) and represents one of the earliest known episodes of oil/asphalt generation. These rocks have been inferred to archive one of the largest negative delta C-13 excursions in Earth history, one that followed and/or partially overlapped with the 2.2-2.06 Ga worldwide Lomagundi-Jatuli carbonate carbon isotopic excursion to high values and thought to be linked to the Paleoproteorozoic oxygenation of Earth's surface environments.In order to assess the post-depositional integrity of the carbonate carbon isotopic signal (delta C-13(carb)) of the Zaonega rocks, we examined in detail the petrography and geochemistry of eight carbonate beds (0.3-0.9 m thick) from different stratigraphic levels of the formation. The range of delta C-13 values for a single bed can be as much as 17 parts per thousand, with calcite being significantly depleted in C-13 relative to co-existing dolomite; the C-13-depleted calcite likely formed by involvement of carbon derived from diagenetic and catagenetic alteration of organic matter possibly abetted by volcanic CO2. The presence of calcite +/- talc +/- phlogopite +/- actinolite indicates metamorphic reaction of dolomite with quartz, or possibly K-feldspar, in the presence of water; commonly accompanied by degassing of C-13-enriched CO2, this caused further C-13 depletion of newly formed calcite. The least altered dolomite is documented in central parts of thick dolostone beds with variably calcitized margins. This dolomite is considered as the earliest and possibly primary carbonate phase, potentially recording the delta C-13 signal of the ambient seawater. The least-altered dolomite is found in two stratigraphic intervals exhibiting delta C-13 values of +8 and +4 parts per thousand for the middle part of the formation, and delta C-13 values of -2 and -4 parts per thousand for the upper part. All other beds, with delta C-13 ranging from -19 to +3 parts per thousand, are considered to have been variably depleted in their C-13 content by post-depositional processes and therefore cannot be reliably used for assessing the carbon isotope composition of Paleoproterozoic seawater. Our results emphasize the importance of distinguishing primary versus secondary (or later) isotopic compositions in studies of carbonate rocks used for reconstruction of global environmental change. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.",
keywords = "paleoproterozoic, carbon cycle, non-primary calcite, Russia, great oxidation event, Onega Basin",
author = "Crne, {A. E.} and Melezhik, {V. A.} and A. Lepland and Fallick, {A. E.} and Prave, {A. R.} and Brasier, {A. T.}",
note = "The Norwegian Research Council grant 191530/V30 to V.A. Melezhik fully funded the work of AEC, VAM and AL. ATB was supported by NERC grant NE/G00398X/1 to AEF and ARP. We are grateful for sample preparation and analyses to all the personnel at NGU lab. We appreciate the work on carbon and oxygen isotope analyses by Julie Dougans and Chris Taylor. Bojan Otoničar organized and helped with the CL work at the Karst Research Institute at Postojna. Arrangement of TOC, IC, and TC analyses at University of M{\"u}nster is acknowledged to Harald Strauss.",
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T1 - Petrography and geochemistry of carbonate rocks of the Paleoproterozoic Zaonega Formation, Russia

T2 - Documentation of C-13-depleted non-primary calcite

AU - Crne, A. E.

AU - Melezhik, V. A.

AU - Lepland, A.

AU - Fallick, A. E.

AU - Prave, A. R.

AU - Brasier, A. T.

N1 - The Norwegian Research Council grant 191530/V30 to V.A. Melezhik fully funded the work of AEC, VAM and AL. ATB was supported by NERC grant NE/G00398X/1 to AEF and ARP. We are grateful for sample preparation and analyses to all the personnel at NGU lab. We appreciate the work on carbon and oxygen isotope analyses by Julie Dougans and Chris Taylor. Bojan Otoničar organized and helped with the CL work at the Karst Research Institute at Postojna. Arrangement of TOC, IC, and TC analyses at University of Münster is acknowledged to Harald Strauss.

PY - 2014/1

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N2 - The ca. 2.0 Ga Zaonega Formation in the Onega Basin of NW Russia represents a deep-water, mixed siliciclastic-carbonate depositional system with voluminous mafic volcanism. It is typified by extremely organic-rich rocks (TOC > 40 wt%) and represents one of the earliest known episodes of oil/asphalt generation. These rocks have been inferred to archive one of the largest negative delta C-13 excursions in Earth history, one that followed and/or partially overlapped with the 2.2-2.06 Ga worldwide Lomagundi-Jatuli carbonate carbon isotopic excursion to high values and thought to be linked to the Paleoproteorozoic oxygenation of Earth's surface environments.In order to assess the post-depositional integrity of the carbonate carbon isotopic signal (delta C-13(carb)) of the Zaonega rocks, we examined in detail the petrography and geochemistry of eight carbonate beds (0.3-0.9 m thick) from different stratigraphic levels of the formation. The range of delta C-13 values for a single bed can be as much as 17 parts per thousand, with calcite being significantly depleted in C-13 relative to co-existing dolomite; the C-13-depleted calcite likely formed by involvement of carbon derived from diagenetic and catagenetic alteration of organic matter possibly abetted by volcanic CO2. The presence of calcite +/- talc +/- phlogopite +/- actinolite indicates metamorphic reaction of dolomite with quartz, or possibly K-feldspar, in the presence of water; commonly accompanied by degassing of C-13-enriched CO2, this caused further C-13 depletion of newly formed calcite. The least altered dolomite is documented in central parts of thick dolostone beds with variably calcitized margins. This dolomite is considered as the earliest and possibly primary carbonate phase, potentially recording the delta C-13 signal of the ambient seawater. The least-altered dolomite is found in two stratigraphic intervals exhibiting delta C-13 values of +8 and +4 parts per thousand for the middle part of the formation, and delta C-13 values of -2 and -4 parts per thousand for the upper part. All other beds, with delta C-13 ranging from -19 to +3 parts per thousand, are considered to have been variably depleted in their C-13 content by post-depositional processes and therefore cannot be reliably used for assessing the carbon isotope composition of Paleoproterozoic seawater. Our results emphasize the importance of distinguishing primary versus secondary (or later) isotopic compositions in studies of carbonate rocks used for reconstruction of global environmental change. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

AB - The ca. 2.0 Ga Zaonega Formation in the Onega Basin of NW Russia represents a deep-water, mixed siliciclastic-carbonate depositional system with voluminous mafic volcanism. It is typified by extremely organic-rich rocks (TOC > 40 wt%) and represents one of the earliest known episodes of oil/asphalt generation. These rocks have been inferred to archive one of the largest negative delta C-13 excursions in Earth history, one that followed and/or partially overlapped with the 2.2-2.06 Ga worldwide Lomagundi-Jatuli carbonate carbon isotopic excursion to high values and thought to be linked to the Paleoproteorozoic oxygenation of Earth's surface environments.In order to assess the post-depositional integrity of the carbonate carbon isotopic signal (delta C-13(carb)) of the Zaonega rocks, we examined in detail the petrography and geochemistry of eight carbonate beds (0.3-0.9 m thick) from different stratigraphic levels of the formation. The range of delta C-13 values for a single bed can be as much as 17 parts per thousand, with calcite being significantly depleted in C-13 relative to co-existing dolomite; the C-13-depleted calcite likely formed by involvement of carbon derived from diagenetic and catagenetic alteration of organic matter possibly abetted by volcanic CO2. The presence of calcite +/- talc +/- phlogopite +/- actinolite indicates metamorphic reaction of dolomite with quartz, or possibly K-feldspar, in the presence of water; commonly accompanied by degassing of C-13-enriched CO2, this caused further C-13 depletion of newly formed calcite. The least altered dolomite is documented in central parts of thick dolostone beds with variably calcitized margins. This dolomite is considered as the earliest and possibly primary carbonate phase, potentially recording the delta C-13 signal of the ambient seawater. The least-altered dolomite is found in two stratigraphic intervals exhibiting delta C-13 values of +8 and +4 parts per thousand for the middle part of the formation, and delta C-13 values of -2 and -4 parts per thousand for the upper part. All other beds, with delta C-13 ranging from -19 to +3 parts per thousand, are considered to have been variably depleted in their C-13 content by post-depositional processes and therefore cannot be reliably used for assessing the carbon isotope composition of Paleoproterozoic seawater. Our results emphasize the importance of distinguishing primary versus secondary (or later) isotopic compositions in studies of carbonate rocks used for reconstruction of global environmental change. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

KW - paleoproterozoic

KW - carbon cycle

KW - non-primary calcite

KW - Russia

KW - great oxidation event

KW - Onega Basin

U2 - 10.1016/j.precamres.2013.10.005

DO - 10.1016/j.precamres.2013.10.005

M3 - Article

VL - 240

SP - 79

EP - 93

JO - Precambrian Research

JF - Precambrian Research

SN - 0301-9268

ER -