Isotopic evidence for source of diagenetic carbonates formed during burial of organic-rich sediments

Abstract

Organic matter is modified by several processes operating at different depths during burial diagenesis: (1) sulphate reduction; (2) fermentation; (3) thermally-induced decarboxylation, and so on. CO2, one common product of each, can be distinguished by its carbon isotope composition: approximately (1) −25‰, (2) +15‰, (3) −20‰ relative to PDB. These values are preserved in diagenetic carbonates of the Upper Jurassic Kimmeridge Clay. Independent corroboration of the relative dominance of each process within specific depth intervals is given by the isotopic composition of incorporated oxygen which is temperature dependent (1) 0 to −2‰, (2) −1.5 to −5‰,(3) −3.5 to −7.0‰.

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Irwin, H., Curtis, C. & Coleman, M. Isotopic evidence for source of diagenetic carbonates formed during burial of organic-rich sediments. Nature 269, 209–213 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1038/269209a0

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