Assessing controls on organic matter enrichments in hemipelagic marls of the Aptian-Lower Albian Blue Marls of the Vocontian Basin (France): An unexpected variability observed from multiple "organic-rich" levels

Alexis Caillaud, Melesio Quijada, Stephan R. Hlohowskyj, Anthony Chappaz, Viviane Bout-Roumazeilles, Jean Yves Reynaud, Armelle Riboulleau, François Baudin, Thierry Adatte, Jean Noël Ferry, Nicolas Tribovillard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Marnes Bleues Formation from the Vocontian Basin (Southeastern France) shows many dark-colored levels, some concomitant to oceanic anoxic events OAE1a (the so-called Goguel Level) and OAE1b (the Jacob, Kilian, and, above all, Paquier levels). These levels are usually referred to as being organic-rich; they are scattered through a thick, rather homogeneous, succession of marls, that is poor in organic matter (OM). Through a multi-parameter approach, the dark levels from the Aptian-Albian were characterized. Our results show that all dark levels are not OM-rich and that the dark levels exhibit variable characteristics, such as OM nature (marine vs. continental), sedimentation and accumulation rates, redox conditions, surface-water productivity and relative sea level, but they all show low to modest enrichments in OM. Furthermore, all the levels share in common the fact that they formed under conditions of normal to low productivity and oxic to suboxic conditions. Thus, our results strongly suggest that, in the absence of high productivity and anoxic bottom conditions, the other factors reputed to favor OM accumulation only led to sporadic and low enrichments in organic contents. It is as if such factors could only enhance OM accumulation but could not induce it alone. What was true for the Vocontian Basin may be extended to other settings, regardless of their time of deposition or location.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalBSGF - Earth Sciences Bulletin
Volume193
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Black shales
  • Cretaceous
  • Marnes Bleues Formation
  • Organic matter
  • Productivity

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