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Geowissenschaften

Die Erforschung der Erdgeschichte erfüllt den grundlegenden menschlichen Drang zu wissen, wie die Welt entstanden ist. Im Laufe ihrer 4,6 Milliarden Jahre langen Geschichte hat die Erde eine enorme Transformation durchlaufen, und die Stabilisotopenanalyse steht bei der Erforschung dieser Veränderungsprozesse an vorderster Front. Durch das Verständnis der makro- und mikrozyklischen Mechanismen, welchen die leichten stabilen Isotope in der Lithosphäre durch natürliche Prozesse unterliegen, wächst auch unser Wissen über die Erdgeschichte kontinuierlich.

Paläoklima

Eine der ersten Anwendungen der Stabilisotopenmassenspektrometrie leichter Elemente war die Rekonstruktion des Paläoklimas auf Grundlage der Sauerstoff-Isotopenzusammensetzung (δ18O) von sehr alten, konservierten marinen Carbonaten. Auch heute noch ist dies eine der weitverbreitesten Methoden zur Erforschung der Klimageschichte der Erde. Dieses Paläothermometer basiert auf dem Grundprinzip, dass die Fraktionierung von Sauerstoffisotopen in Calcit temperaturabhängig ist. Das isoprime precisION mit Dual Inlet und MultiCarb ermöglicht eine sehr präzise und zuverlässige, automatisierte Messung von Carbonaten, ideal zur Erzeugung hochauflösender Paläotemperaturaufzeichnungen.

Kosmologie

Die Schwefelisotopenanalyse von extraterrestrischen Sulfidmineralien, z.B. von Meteoriten, hat eine Vielzahl von Erkenntnissen über den Ursprung der Erde und des Sonnensystems ermöglicht. Die Isotopenzusammensetzung von meteoritischem Schwefel (Canyon Diabolo Triolite) wurde auch als der ursprüngliche Bezugspunkt für Erdkruste und -mantel verwendet, von der ausgehend die globalen Fraktionen im Schwefelkreislauf evaluiert werden. Schwefelhaltige Mineralien lassen sich leicht mit unserem vielseitigen Spektrum von EA-IRMS-Systemen analysieren, welche die Advanced Purge and Trap Technologie (APT) für eine unschlagbare Trennung und Peakfokussierung von SO2 nutzen, um eine perfekte Auflösung und eine unvergleichliche Empfindlichkeit für die Mineralschwefelanalyse zu gewährleisten.

Stratigraphie

δ13C-Fluktuationen im Laufe geologischer Zeitalter werden durch Änderungen des Gleichgewichts im Kohlenstoffkreislauf bewirkt. Da die Verweilzeit im Kohlenstoffkreislauf kurz ist (10 ka), werden Änderungen im Kohlenstofffluss im Sediment sehr genau global aufgezeichnet. Als solche sind gelegentliche Spikes im globalen δ13C als stratigraphische Marker für die Chemostratigraphie nützlich, besonders während des Paläozoikums. Der iso FLOW nutzt unsere neuartige UltiTrap-Technologie und ermöglicht so eine präzise, durchgängige Continuous Flow Analyse von Massencarbonaten, um solche Isotopenabweichungen zu identifizieren.

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248 Ergebnisse:

Methane-derived authigenic carbonates from the uppermost Doushantuo Formation in South China: Was the Ediacaran Shuram Excursion a globally synchronized early diagenetic event?
Chemical Geology (2016)
Huan Cui, Alan J. Kaufman, Shuhai Xiao, Chuanming Zhou, Xiao-Ming Liu

The Ediacaran Period is characterized by the most profound negative carbon isotope (δ13C) excursion in Earth history, the Shuram Excursion. Various hypotheses – including the massive oxidation of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the oceans, the weathering of terrestrial organic carbon, or the release and oxidation of methane hydrates and/or expelled petroleum from the subsurface – have been proposed as sources of the 13C-depleted carbon. More recently, it has been suggested that global-scale precipitation of early authigenic carbonates, driven by anaerobic microbial metabolism in unconsolidated sediments, may have caused the Shuram Excursion, but empirical evidence is lacking. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of a Shuram-associated interval from the uppermost Doushantuo Formation in South China. Our study reveals petrographic evidence of methane-derived authigenic calcite (formed as early diagenetic cements and nodules) that are remarkably depleted in 13C – suggesting a buildup of alkalinity in pore fluids through the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) – and systematically depleted in 18O relative to co-occurring dolomite. Early authigenesis of these minerals is likely to be driven by increased microbial sulfate reduction, triggered by enhanced continental weathering in the context of a marked rise in atmospheric oxygen levels. In light of the finding of methane-derived authigenic carbonates at Zhongling, and based on our basin-scale stratigraphic correlation, we hypothesize that the marked 13C and 18O depletion (including their co-variation noted worldwide) in the Shuram Excursion may reflect an episode of authigenesis occurring within a sulfate–methane transition zone (SMTZ). If true, the Shuram Excursion was then a global biogeochemical response to enhanced seawater sulfate concentration in the Ediacaran ocean driven by the Neoproterozoic oxidation of surface environments. This paleo-oceanographic transition may have therefore paved the way for subsequent evolution and diversification of animals. Our study highlights the significance of the integrated approach that combines petrography, mineralogy, and texture-specific micro-drilling geochemistry in chemostratigraphic studies. Such investigation on fully-expressed Shuram-equivalent sections may hold the promise to directly test our hypothesis.
Schlagworte: carbon , oxygen , geol , gashead

Methane-derived authigenic carbonates from the uppermost Doushantuo Formation in South China: Was the Ediacaran Shuram Excursion a globally synchronized early diagenetic event?
Chemical Geology (2016)
Huan Cui, Alan J. Kaufman, Shuhai Xiao, Chuanming Zhou, Xiao-Ming Liu

The Ediacaran Period is characterized by the most profound negative carbon isotope (δ13C) excursion in Earth history, the Shuram Excursion. Various hypotheses – including the massive oxidation of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the oceans, the weathering of terrestrial organic carbon, or the release and oxidation of methane hydrates and/or expelled petroleum from the subsurface – have been proposed as sources of the 13C-depleted carbon. More recently, it has been suggested that global-scale precipitation of early authigenic carbonates, driven by anaerobic microbial metabolism in unconsolidated sediments, may have caused the Shuram Excursion, but empirical evidence is lacking. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of a Shuram-associated interval from the uppermost Doushantuo Formation in South China. Our study reveals petrographic evidence of methane-derived authigenic calcite (formed as early diagenetic cements and nodules) that are remarkably depleted in 13C – suggesting a buildup of alkalinity in pore fluids through the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) – and systematically depleted in 18O relative to co-occurring dolomite. Early authigenesis of these minerals is likely to be driven by increased microbial sulfate reduction, triggered by enhanced continental weathering in the context of a marked rise in atmospheric oxygen levels. In light of the finding of methane-derived authigenic carbonates at Zhongling, and based on our basin-scale stratigraphic correlation, we hypothesize that the marked 13C and 18O depletion (including their co-variation noted worldwide) in the Shuram Excursion may reflect an episode of authigenesis occurring within a sulfate–methane transition zone (SMTZ). If true, the Shuram Excursion was then a global biogeochemical response to enhanced seawater sulfate concentration in the Ediacaran ocean driven by the Neoproterozoic oxidation of surface environments. This paleo-oceanographic transition may have therefore paved the way for subsequent evolution and diversification of animals. Our study highlights the significance of the integrated approach that combines petrography, mineralogy, and texture-specific micro-drilling geochemistry in chemostratigraphic studies. Such investigation on fully-expressed Shuram-equivalent sections may hold the promise to directly test our hypothesis.
Schlagworte: carbon , oxygen , geol , gashead

Authigenic carbonate mounds from active methane seeps on the southern Aquitaine Shelf (Bay of Biscay, France): evidence for anaerobic oxidation of biogenic methane and submarine groundwater discharge during formation
Continental Shelf Research (2016)
Catherine Pierre, Jérome Demange, Marie-Madeleine Blanc-Valleron, Stéphanie Dupré

The widespread methane emissions that were discovered in 2013 on the Aquitaine Shelf at water depth between 140 and 220m are associated with authigenic carbonate crusts that cover meter-high subcircular reliefs of 10 to 100m in diameter. These authigenic carbonates are primarily aragonite plus calcite and dolomite, which cement the fine- to medium-grained sandy sediment. The carbonate cement is often pierced by numerous circular cavities of 5 to 10µm in diameter that are considered to be moulds of gas bubbles. Conversely, micron-sized cavities in the aragonite crystals are attributed to dissolution features, in relation to the production of CO2 during the aerobic oxidation of methane. The oxygen isotopic compositions of bulk carbonate (+1.7 to +3.7‰) and aragonite cements obtained from microsampling (-0.1 to +1.4‰) indicate that these carbonates were precipitated in mixtures of seawater and freshwater, i.e., in the context of submarine groundwater discharge at the seafloor. The carbon isotopic compositions of authigenic carbonates (-51.9 to -38.1‰) and of aragonite cements (-49.9 to -29.3‰) show that the dissolved inorganic carbon of pore fluids was mostly produced by the anaerobic oxidation of biogenic methane and also partly from the groundwater system.
Schlagworte: carbon , oxygen , geol , mulitcarb

Authigenic carbonate mounds from active methane seeps on the southern Aquitaine Shelf (Bay of Biscay, France): evidence for anaerobic oxidation of biogenic methane and submarine groundwater discharge during formation
Continental Shelf Research (2016)
Catherine Pierre, Jérome Demange, Marie-Madeleine Blanc-Valleron, Stéphanie Dupré

The widespread methane emissions that were discovered in 2013 on the Aquitaine Shelf at water depth between 140 and 220m are associated with authigenic carbonate crusts that cover meter-high subcircular reliefs of 10 to 100m in diameter. These authigenic carbonates are primarily aragonite plus calcite and dolomite, which cement the fine- to medium-grained sandy sediment. The carbonate cement is often pierced by numerous circular cavities of 5 to 10µm in diameter that are considered to be moulds of gas bubbles. Conversely, micron-sized cavities in the aragonite crystals are attributed to dissolution features, in relation to the production of CO2 during the aerobic oxidation of methane. The oxygen isotopic compositions of bulk carbonate (+1.7 to +3.7‰) and aragonite cements obtained from microsampling (-0.1 to +1.4‰) indicate that these carbonates were precipitated in mixtures of seawater and freshwater, i.e., in the context of submarine groundwater discharge at the seafloor. The carbon isotopic compositions of authigenic carbonates (-51.9 to -38.1‰) and of aragonite cements (-49.9 to -29.3‰) show that the dissolved inorganic carbon of pore fluids was mostly produced by the anaerobic oxidation of biogenic methane and also partly from the groundwater system.
Schlagworte: carbon , oxygen , geol , mulitcarb

High-resolution carbon isotope records of the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (Early Jurassic) from North America and implications for the global drivers of the Toarcian carbon cycle
Earth and Planetary Science Letters (2016)
T.R. Them, B.C. Gill, A.H. Caruthers, D.R. Gröcke, E.T. Tulsky, R.C. Martindale, T.P. Poulton, P.L. Smith

The Mesozoic Era experienced several instances of abrupt environmental change that are associated with instabilities in the climate, reorganizations of the global carbon cycle, and elevated extinction rates. Often during these perturbations, oxygen-deficient conditions developed in the oceans resulting in the widespread deposition of organic-rich sediments — these events are referred to as Oceanic Anoxic Events or OAEs. Such events have been linked to massive injections of greenhouse gases into the ocean–atmosphere system by transient episodes of voluminous volcanism and the destabilization of methane clathrates within marine environments. Nevertheless, uncertainty surrounds the specific environmental drivers and feedbacks that occurred during the OAEs that caused perturbations in the carbon cycle; this is particularly true of the Early Jurassic Toarcian OAE (∼183.1 Ma). Here, we present biostratigraphically constrained carbon isotope data from western North America (Alberta and British Columbia, Canada) to better assess the global extent of the carbon cycle perturbations. We identify the large negative carbon isotope excursion associated with the OAE along with high-frequency oscillations and steps within the onset of this excursion. We propose that these high-frequency carbon isotope excursions reflect changes to the global carbon cycle and also that they are related to the production and release of greenhouse gases from terrestrial environments on astronomical timescales. Furthermore, increased terrestrial methanogenesis should be considered an important climatic feedback during Ocean Anoxic Events and other similar events in Earth history after the proliferation of land plants.

High-resolution carbon isotope records of the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (Early Jurassic) from North America and implications for the global drivers of the Toarcian carbon cycle
Earth and Planetary Science Letters (2016)
T.R. Them, B.C. Gill, A.H. Caruthers, D.R. Gröcke, E.T. Tulsky, R.C. Martindale, T.P. Poulton, P.L. Smith

The Mesozoic Era experienced several instances of abrupt environmental change that are associated with instabilities in the climate, reorganizations of the global carbon cycle, and elevated extinction rates. Often during these perturbations, oxygen-deficient conditions developed in the oceans resulting in the widespread deposition of organic-rich sediments — these events are referred to as Oceanic Anoxic Events or OAEs. Such events have been linked to massive injections of greenhouse gases into the ocean–atmosphere system by transient episodes of voluminous volcanism and the destabilization of methane clathrates within marine environments. Nevertheless, uncertainty surrounds the specific environmental drivers and feedbacks that occurred during the OAEs that caused perturbations in the carbon cycle; this is particularly true of the Early Jurassic Toarcian OAE (∼183.1 Ma). Here, we present biostratigraphically constrained carbon isotope data from western North America (Alberta and British Columbia, Canada) to better assess the global extent of the carbon cycle perturbations. We identify the large negative carbon isotope excursion associated with the OAE along with high-frequency oscillations and steps within the onset of this excursion. We propose that these high-frequency carbon isotope excursions reflect changes to the global carbon cycle and also that they are related to the production and release of greenhouse gases from terrestrial environments on astronomical timescales. Furthermore, increased terrestrial methanogenesis should be considered an important climatic feedback during Ocean Anoxic Events and other similar events in Earth history after the proliferation of land plants.

Wet and cold climate conditions recorded by coral geochemical proxies during the beginning of the first millennium AD in the northern South China Sea
Journal of Asian Earth Sciences (2016)
Hangfang Xiao, Wenfeng Deng, Xuefei Chen, Gangjian Wei, Ti Zeng, Jian-xin Zhao

The past two millennia include some distinct climate intervals, such as the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and the Little Ice Age (LIA), which were caused by natural forcing factors, as well as the Current Warm Period (CWP) that has been linked to anthropogenic factors. Therefore, this period has been of great interest to climate change researchers. However, most studies are based on terrestrial proxy records, historical documentary data, and simulation results, and the ocean and the tropical record are very limited. The Eastern Han, Three Kingdoms, and Western Jin periods (AD 25–316) cover the beginning first millennium AD in China, and were characterized by a cold climate and frequent wars and regime changes. This study used paired Sr/Ca and δ18O series recovered from a fossil coral to reconstruct the sea surface water conditions during the late Eastern Han to Western Jin periods (AD 167–309) at Wenchang, eastern Hainan Island in the northern South China Sea (SCS), to investigate climate change at this time. The long-term sea surface temperature (SST) during the study interval was 25.1 °C, which is about 1.5 °C lower than that of the CWP (26.6 °C). Compared with the average value of 0.40‰ during the CWP, the long-term average seawater δ18O (–0.06‰) was more negative. These results indicate that the climate conditions during the study period were cold and wet and comparable with those of the LIA. This colder climate may have been associated with the weaker summer solar irradiance. The wet conditions were caused by the reduced northward shift of the intertropical convergence zone/monsoon rainbelt associated with the retreat of the East Asian summer monsoon. Interannual and interdecadal climate variability may also have contributed to the variations in SST and seawater δ18O recorded over the study period.
Schlagworte: carbon , oxygen , geol , clim , mulitcarb

D/H fractionation during the sublimation of water ice
Icarus (2016)
Christophe Lécuyer, Aurélien Royer, François Fourel, Magali Seris, Laurent Simon, François Robert

Experiments of sublimation of pure water ice have been performed in the temperature range -105°C to -30°C and atmospheric partial pressures ranging from 10−6 to 10−1 mb. Sampling of both vapour and residual ice fractions has been performed with the use of a vacuum line designed for the extraction and purification of gases before the measurement of their D/H ratios. Sublimation was responsible for sizable isotopic fractionation factors in the range 0.969 to 1.123 for temperatures lying between -105°C and -30°C. The fractionation factor exhibits a cross-over at temperatures around -50°C with the water vapour fraction being D-depleted relative to the residual ice fraction at T<-50°C (αice-vapour=0.969 to 0.995). This cross-over has implications for the understanding of the atmospheric water cycle of some terrestrial planets such as the Earth or Mars. The magnitude of deuterium enrichment or depletion between ice and water vapour cannot explain the differences in the D/H ratios amongst Jupiter comets and long–period comets families nor those that have been documented between Earth's and cometary water.

Wet and cold climate conditions recorded by coral geochemical proxies during the beginning of the first millennium AD in the northern South China Sea
Journal of Asian Earth Sciences (2016)
Hangfang Xiao, Wenfeng Deng, Xuefei Chen, Gangjian Wei, Ti Zeng, Jian-xin Zhao

The past two millennia include some distinct climate intervals, such as the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and the Little Ice Age (LIA), which were caused by natural forcing factors, as well as the Current Warm Period (CWP) that has been linked to anthropogenic factors. Therefore, this period has been of great interest to climate change researchers. However, most studies are based on terrestrial proxy records, historical documentary data, and simulation results, and the ocean and the tropical record are very limited. The Eastern Han, Three Kingdoms, and Western Jin periods (AD 25–316) cover the beginning first millennium AD in China, and were characterized by a cold climate and frequent wars and regime changes. This study used paired Sr/Ca and δ18O series recovered from a fossil coral to reconstruct the sea surface water conditions during the late Eastern Han to Western Jin periods (AD 167–309) at Wenchang, eastern Hainan Island in the northern South China Sea (SCS), to investigate climate change at this time. The long-term sea surface temperature (SST) during the study interval was 25.1 °C, which is about 1.5 °C lower than that of the CWP (26.6 °C). Compared with the average value of 0.40‰ during the CWP, the long-term average seawater δ18O (–0.06‰) was more negative. These results indicate that the climate conditions during the study period were cold and wet and comparable with those of the LIA. This colder climate may have been associated with the weaker summer solar irradiance. The wet conditions were caused by the reduced northward shift of the intertropical convergence zone/monsoon rainbelt associated with the retreat of the East Asian summer monsoon. Interannual and interdecadal climate variability may also have contributed to the variations in SST and seawater δ18O recorded over the study period.
Schlagworte: carbon , oxygen , geol , clim , mulitcarb

D/H fractionation during the sublimation of water ice
Icarus (2016)
Christophe Lécuyer, Aurélien Royer, François Fourel, Magali Seris, Laurent Simon, François Robert

Experiments of sublimation of pure water ice have been performed in the temperature range -105°C to -30°C and atmospheric partial pressures ranging from 10−6 to 10−1 mb. Sampling of both vapour and residual ice fractions has been performed with the use of a vacuum line designed for the extraction and purification of gases before the measurement of their D/H ratios. Sublimation was responsible for sizable isotopic fractionation factors in the range 0.969 to 1.123 for temperatures lying between -105°C and -30°C. The fractionation factor exhibits a cross-over at temperatures around -50°C with the water vapour fraction being D-depleted relative to the residual ice fraction at T<-50°C (αice-vapour=0.969 to 0.995). This cross-over has implications for the understanding of the atmospheric water cycle of some terrestrial planets such as the Earth or Mars. The magnitude of deuterium enrichment or depletion between ice and water vapour cannot explain the differences in the D/H ratios amongst Jupiter comets and long–period comets families nor those that have been documented between Earth's and cometary water.