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The Mid-Cenomanian Event in shallow marine environments: Influence on carbonate producers and depositional sequences (northern Aquitaine Basin, France)

Abstract : The Mid-Cenomanian Event was a positive carbon-isotope (δ13C) excursion recorded in hemipelagic basins of the western Tethyan Sea, North to Tropical Atlantic Ocean, and Japan. It is thought of as a prelude to the Oceanic Anoxic Event 2. However, the Mid-Cenomanian Event has never been studied in detail in shallow marine platform deposits and it is not known how it relates to carbonate production and stratigraphic geometry. To better understand how this carbon cycle disruption influenced the neritic biological communities in shallow carbonates during the Cenomanian, a facies, geochemical, diagenetic, and sequence stratigraphic study of the northern Aquitaine platform has been conducted. Seventy-six δ13C and δ18O measurements have been made on micrite, rudists, and diagenetic cements. Fifteen sedimentary facies have been arranged into four depositional environments. Three third-order sequences (CB, CC, CD) are defined from late early Cenomanian to early late Cenomanian and are well correlated with eustatic cycles in European basins. Two peaks of the Mid-Cenomanian Event (MCE1a, +1.2‰, and MCE1b, +1.7‰) have been identified for the first time in shallow marine carbonates. Analysis of diagenetic blocky calcite cements suggests that diagenesis did not affect the δ13C of micrite, which can be discussed in terms of the initial signal. The Mid-Cenomanian Event was synchronous with a turnover in neritic carbonate producers marking a transition from photozoan to heterozoan facies. This facies change resulted from the establishment of mesotrophic to eutrophic conditions at the early/mid-Cenomanian transition, reflecting a clear connection between the Mid-Cenomanian Event and neritic biological communities. Depositional geometry and carbonate production varied with δ13C during the Mid-Cenomanian Event on the Aquitaine platform. When δ13C values were between 2.5‰ and 3‰, the geometry was a flat platform with a high carbonate sedimentation rate leading to the formation of sandbars and rudist bioherms (Accommodation/Sedimentation ratio less than 1, A/S < 1). When the δ13C value exceeded 3‰, a carbonate demise occurred and clays and marls were deposited in the lower offshore environment (A/S >> 1). The general carbonate demise affecting the northern Aquitaine platform during the mid-Cenomanian can be explained by both a eustatic sea-level rise and the establishment of eutrophic conditions. The coincidence of the Mid-Cenomanian Event with both (1) the occurrence of mesotrophic to eutrophic conditions marked by carbonate producer turnover from photozoan to heterozoan facies and (2) the transgressive cycles, suggests that eustatic sea-level rise leading to high trophic conditions could explain this positive δ13C excursion in the Atlantic and western Tethyan domain. During the mid-Cenomanian, carbon cycle perturbations largely controlled the neritic biological communities on shallow carbonate platforms in a part of the western Tethyan domain.
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Simon Andrieu, Benjamin Brigaud, Thomas Rabourg, Aurélie Noret. The Mid-Cenomanian Event in shallow marine environments: Influence on carbonate producers and depositional sequences (northern Aquitaine Basin, France). Cretaceous Research, Elsevier, 2015, 56, pp.587-607. ⟨10.1016/j.cretres.2015.06.018⟩. ⟨hal-02541819⟩

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