Does burial diagenesis reset pristine isotopic compositions in paleosol carbonates?

Bera, M. K. ; Sarkar, A. ; Tandon, S. K. ; Samanta, A. ; Sanyal, P. (2010) Does burial diagenesis reset pristine isotopic compositions in paleosol carbonates? Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 300 (1-2). pp. 85-100. ISSN 0012-821X

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Sedimentological study of early Oligocene continental carbonates from the fluvial Dagshai Formation of the Himalayan foreland basin, India resulted in the recognition of four different types namely, soil, palustrine, pedogenically modified palustrine and groundwater carbonates. Stable oxygen and carbon isotopic (δ18O and δ13C) analyses of fabric selective carbonate microsamples show that although the pristine isotopic compositions are largely altered during deep-burial diagenesis, complete isotopic homogenization does not occur. δ18O and δ13C analyses of ~ 200 calcrete and palustrine carbonates from different stratigraphic horizons and comparison with δ18O of more robust bioapatite (fossil vertebrate tooth) phase show that dense micrites (~ > 70% carbonate) invariably preserve the pristine δ18O value (mean) of ~ -9.8‰, while altered carbonates show much lower δ18O value ~ -13.8%.. Such inhomogeneity causes large intra-sample and intra-soil profile variability as high as > 5‰, suggesting that soils behave like a closed system where diagenetic overprinting occurs in local domains. A simple fluid-rock interaction model suggests active participation of clay minerals to enhance the effect of fluid- rock ratio in local domains during diagenesis. This places an upper limit of 70% micrite concentration above which the effect of diagenetic alteration is minimal. Careful sampling of dense micritic part of the soil carbonate nodules, therefore, does provide pristine isotopic composition and it is inappropriate, as proposed recently, to reject the paleoclimatic potential of all paleosol carbonates affected by burial diagenesis. Based on pristine δ13C value of -8.8 ± 0.2%. in soil carbonates an atmospheric CO2 concentration between ~ 764 and ~ 306 ppmv is estimated for the early Oligocene (~ 31 Ma) Dagshai time. These data show excellent agreement between two independent proxy records (viz. soil carbonate and marine alkenone) and support early Oligocene survival of the Antarctic ice sheet.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Keywords:Himalaya; Paleosol; Stable Isotope; Diagenesis; Paleoclimate
ID Code:79384
Deposited On:25 Jan 2012 13:20
Last Modified:25 Jun 2012 21:02

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