3 years ago

Controls on organic matter accumulation in the Triassic Chang 7 lacustrine shale of the Ordos Basin, central China

Controls on organic matter accumulation in the Triassic Chang 7 lacustrine shale of the Ordos Basin, central China
The Triassic Chang 7 Formation is a rich lacustrine source rock in the Ordos Basin, central China. Petrographic and geochemical analyses were performed in order to research the mechanism of organic matter (OM) enrichment in the Chang 7 shales. Bulk geochemical data indicate that the OM-rich shales were formed in a fresh and brackish water, which is not usually the case for high TOC (Total Organic Carbon Content) sediments. Therefore, there must be some special conditions favorable for OM enrichment in Chang 7 shales. Petrography and element geochemistry show that the Chang 7 OM-rich shales are abundant in OM-enriched laminae, framboidal pyrites, collophanes, and some elements including iron (Fe), diphosphorus pentoxide (P2O5), copper (Cu), vanadium (V), molybdenum (Mo), and uranium (U). High bio-productivity (algae blooming) and anoxic depositional environments are critical for OM enrichment. As the organic carbon contents increase, the Fe, P2O5, Cu, V, Mo, and U element contents increase as well and the ratios of U/Th and V/(V+Ni) are growing. Many geochemical data demonstrate that the water was oxic, while the environment under the sediment-water interface was anoxic as a result of a high organic supply that sufficiently consumed oxygen. Taking into account the geological settings and our previous studies, we propose that the frequent volcanic events and hydrothermal activity caused by the collision of the North China landmass with the Yangtze landmass and consequential formation of the Qingling Mountains had a significant role in the OM enrichment in the fresh and brackish lacustrine shales. Deposition of volcanic ash into aqueous environments might lead to the increase of some key nutrients, such as Fe and P2O5, which might enhance primary bio-productivity. New evidence for hydrothermal activity, the reddingite, was demonstrated in this study. Not only can the hydrothermal activity provide elements necessary for life, but is also favorable for formation of anoxic settings. The deposition of the Chang 7 lacustrine OM-rich shales can be explained using the High-Bio-Productivity-Driven Model, which is related to volcanic events and hydrothermal activity as a consequence of regional tectonic movements. An anoxic depositional setting is beneficial for OM preservation and slow sedimentation rates in the deep lacustrine environments are favorable for OM enrichment.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0166516217301763

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