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Carbon-isotope record and palaeoenvironmental changes during the early Toarcian oceanic anoxic event in shallow-marine carbonates of the Adriatic Carbonate Platform in Croatia



Geochemical (δ13C, δ18O and Mn) compositions of Lower Jurassic shallow-water carbonates cropping out in Croatia were analyzed to elucidate the impact of the early Toarcian oceanic anoxic event (T-OAE) on the Adriatic Carbonate Platform (AdCP). The bulk-rock carbon-isotope records through the studied sections (Velebit-A, Velebit-B and Gornje Jelenje) are characterized by two significant excursions: (i) an initial positive trend interrupted by a pronounced negative shift (c. 2.5‰) that is followed by (ii) an increasing trend of positive values (up to 4.5‰). A comparison with δ13C trends obtained from well-calibrated sections from other localities in Europe shows that the overall character of the early Toarcian negative excursion is clearly reproduced in the curves derived from Croatian shallow-water deposits, which helps to date the sequences and reinforces the global character of the carbon-cycle perturbation. Lower Jurassic sedimentary successions in the studied area show a gradual deepening trend corresponding to deposition of the Toarcian spotted limestones. Assuming that the distinctive negative excursion in the carbon-isotope curves is synchronous across the AdCP, the contact between the spotted limestones and the underlying beds rich in lithiotid bivalves appears to be diachronous within the study area. The Mn record through the Croatian Velebit-A section and, in particular, the rise in concentration (up to 100 ppm) coinciding with the beginning of the δ13Ccarb positive shift, reflects a change in the redox conditions in seawater that allowed diagenetic incorporation of reduced manganese into the calcite structure of the carbonate sediment during the onset of the T-OAE.


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