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Carbon isotope composition of graptolite periderm and whole-rock from the Aeronian (Silurian, Llandovery) in Wales and Scotland and its use in chemostratigraphy

By Andrea M. Snelling, Melanie J. Leng, Jan A. Zalasiewicz, Christopher P. Kendrick and Alex A. Page

Abstract

Here we show the use of graptolite periderm for chemostratigraphic study. Using material from the Aeronian (Silurian) interval from Wales and Scotland as examples, we show that the carbon isotope composition of the periderm (δ13Cgrap.) provides a signal that is locally different but not consistently so from surrounding whole-rock samples (δ13Cwhole-rock). Graptolite periderm δ13C seems not influenced by astogenetic stage of development or gross rhabdosome type and differences between δ13Cgrap. from different metamorphic grades are minimal. Taken as a whole, the Aeronian interval examined shows little overall change, but large variations are seen on the small scale, possibly reflecting very local carbon cycling. For carbon isotope stratigraphy in such rocks, therefore, large-scale bulk sampling will likely reduce inhomogeneities and give more reproducible results. Furthermore, in situations (for instance associated with sea level fluctuations) where terrestrial organic matter has been incorporated into the sediment, then graptolite carbon may more faithfully reflect bulk marine organic matter.\ud \u

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.pgeola.2010.10.004
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:13363
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