Evidence for anoxia at the Ediacaran–Cambrian boundary: the record of redox-sensitive trace elements and rare earth elements in Oman
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The Ediacaran–Cambrian boundary in Oman is characterized by a globally correlative negative δ13Ccarb excursion in platform carbonate rocks, and deposition of basinal organic-rich rocks. These observations may relate to the development of local, and possibly global, anoxia. We have studied redox-sensitive trace elements (TE) and REE from basinal and platform successions. Detrital input and authigenic element enrichment were the main factors controlling the record of TE and REE. Trace elements in the basin are enriched relative to crustal concentrations. In siliceous rocks, TE enrichment was decoupled from detrital input, suggesting authigenic concentration of TE under anoxic (possibly sulphidic) water column conditions. Trace elements and REE indicate higher detrital input in shales. Element enrichment was minimally influenced by detrital input in the platform carbonate rocks; it is strongest in the basal platform section, coincident with the carbon isotope excursion. The results suggest development of anoxia in a stagnant basinal water mass. Overturn or upward expansion of the deep water charged with TE and isotopically light C produced anoxia on the platform, and was probably related to development of the isotope excursion. These results are consistent with anoxia in boundary strata of Iran, and with the hypothesis of global anoxia at this time.