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Marine redox variations and nitrogen cycle of the early Cambrian southern margin of the Yangtze Platform, South China: Evidence from nitrogen and organic carbon isotopes
Wang, Dan1; Struck, Ulrich2; Ling, Hong-Fei1; Guo, Qing-Jun3,4; Shields-Zhou, Graham A.5,6; Zhu, Mao-Yan (朱茂炎)6; Yao, Su-Ping1

The early Cambrian is a crucial interval, during which the marine environment encountered significant perturbations alongside key biological innovations. The nitrogen isotopic composition of ancient sediments has the potential to record co-variation between the marine ecosystem and environmental conditions. Here we report bulk nitrogen and organic carbon isotopic compositions accompanied by Mo concentration data (a proxy for redox conditions) for a shelf marginal drill core section (Sancha) and a deep basinal outcrop section (Yuanjia) in Hunan province, South China. For the Cambrian Fortunian Stage, variable delta N-15(bulk) values (-4 to +2 parts per thousand) and low delta C-13(org) values (-35 parts per thousand to 33%.) from the Yuanjia section indicate that anoxic waters shoaled into the photic zone, with ammonia assimilation competing with anammox in the basinal area. In the late Cambrian Stage 2, low delta N-15(bulk) and delta C-13(org) values, together with high Mo-bulk concentrations (delta N-15(bulk) = 5 to 0 parts per thousand; delta C-13(org) = 33.5 to 31.0 parts per thousand; >100 ppm Mo-bulk in Sancha section and delta N-15(bulk) = 0 parts per thousand; delta C-13(org) = similar to-33 parts per thousand >100 ppm Mo-bulk in Yuanjia section), reflect intense N-2-fixation accompanied by intermittent ammonia assimilation under expanded euxinic condition with shoaling chemocline possibly into the photic zone. In the early Cambrian Stage 3, relatively high delta N-15(bulk) values, alongside positive delta C-13(org) excursions, at both sections indicate an increasing contribution from N-15-enriched nitrate assimilation and hence more oxic conditions. Shelf margin sediments from the middle and late parts of Cambrian Stage 3 are characterized bylaw delta N-15(bulk) values (similar to 0 parts per thousand), being lowest in the basinal area (-3 to 0 parts per thousand). In combination with high Mo-bulk concentration (>100 ppm) and high Mo/TOCbulk ratios (averaging similar to 18) in deep basinal sediments, these data suggest that the photic zone became anoxic again, but that sulfidic conditions occurred in the basinal area only. Compared with Stage 2, euxinia was less extensive during this interval, with photosynthetic biomass dominating over chemoautotrophic biomass at both localities. Based on a combination of delta N-15 data from this study and published data from studies on contemporaneous sections in Yunnan Province and the Three Gorges area, it is possible to reconstruct the spatial variability and temporal evolution of redox conditions in the various marine environments along the southern margin of the Yangtze platform. The basinal area appears to have been dominated by anoxia and intermittent euxinia in the photic zone during most of the early Cambrian (Fortunian Stage to Stage 3) with the exception of more oxic conditions during early Stage 3. On the platform, oxygenated shallow water prevailed with the exception of the notable Cambrian Stage 2 anoxic event. The outer shelf area experienced anoxia from Stage 2 to Stage 3 of the early Cambrian, although of possibly limited areal extent. The high Mo-bulk concentrations and Mo/TOCbulk ratios suggest that the South China basin was well connected with the considerably oxygenated open ocean and that the mean low delta N-15(bulk) values (similar to+1.6 parts per thousand.) from the basin may reflect generally lower delta N-15 composition for seawater nitrate in the early Cambrian compared with modern value. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

KeywordNitrogen Isotopes Redox Variations n Cycle Early Cambrian Yangtze Block
WOS KeywordMo-pge-au ; Eastern Mediterranean Sea ; Archean Ocean Analog ; Water Column Anoxia ; Black Shales ; Sinking Particles ; Trace-element ; Stable Nitrogen ; Xiaotan Section ; Precambrian/cambrian Boundary
Funding ProjectNational Basic Research Program of China[2013CB835004] ; DFG Forschergruppe[736] ; NSFC[41230102] ; China Scholarship Council
WOS Research AreaGeology
WOS SubjectGeosciences, Multidisciplinary
WOS IDWOS:000359874800013
Funding OrganizationNational Basic Research Program of China ; DFG Forschergruppe ; NSFC ; China Scholarship Council
Document Type期刊论文
Corresponding AuthorWang, Dan
Affiliation1.Nanjing Univ, Sch Earth Sci & Engn, State Key Lab Mineral Deposits Res, Nanjing 210023, Jiangsu, Peoples R China
2.Leibniz Inst Evolut & Biodivers Sci, Museum Nat Kunde, D-10115 Berlin, Germany
3.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Geog Sci, Ctr Environm Remediat, Beijing 100101, Peoples R China
4.Chinese Acad Sci, Nat Resources Res, Beijing 100101, Peoples R China
5.UCL, Dept Earth Sci, London WC1E 6BT, England
6.Chinese Acad Sci, Nanjing Inst Geol & Palaeontol, State Key Lab Palaeobiol & Stratig, Nanjing 210008, Jiangsu, Peoples R China
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Wang, Dan,Struck, Ulrich,Ling, Hong-Fei,et al. Marine redox variations and nitrogen cycle of the early Cambrian southern margin of the Yangtze Platform, South China: Evidence from nitrogen and organic carbon isotopes[J]. PRECAMBRIAN RESEARCH,2015,267:209-226.
APA Wang, Dan.,Struck, Ulrich.,Ling, Hong-Fei.,Guo, Qing-Jun.,Shields-Zhou, Graham A..,...&Yao, Su-Ping.(2015).Marine redox variations and nitrogen cycle of the early Cambrian southern margin of the Yangtze Platform, South China: Evidence from nitrogen and organic carbon isotopes.PRECAMBRIAN RESEARCH,267,209-226.
MLA Wang, Dan,et al."Marine redox variations and nitrogen cycle of the early Cambrian southern margin of the Yangtze Platform, South China: Evidence from nitrogen and organic carbon isotopes".PRECAMBRIAN RESEARCH 267(2015):209-226.
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