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Repeated bottom-water oxygenation during OAE 2: timing and duration of short-lived benthic foraminiferal repopulation events (Wunstorf, northern Germany)

posted on 21.06.2016, 11:01 authored by OLIVER FRIEDRICH, SILKE VOIGT, TANJA KUHNT, MIRJAM C. KOCH

Published proxy data for Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE 2 or Cenomanian–Turonian Boundary Event) and other mid-Cretaceous OAEs indicate widespread anoxic bottom-water conditions. However, increasing evidence shows that anoxia was not permanent but subject to significant fluctuations. We have generated X-ray fluorescence elemental concentration and benthic foraminiferal assemblage records for a short section of OAE 2 black shales from Wunstorf, northern Germany. Two intervals of low sulphur elemental concentration are interpreted as periods of increased oxygenation of bottom waters. This is supported by benthic foraminiferal assemblage data showing repopulation events associated with these intervals. These repopulation events are characterized mainly by the occurrence of agglutinated taxa, with Lingulogavelinella globosa being the only abundant calcareous species. This observation is interpreted in terms of short-term interruptions of the otherwise anoxic bottom-water environment. Comparison with repopulation events during OAE 1b and Quaternary sapropels make it reasonable to speculate that short-term cooling and an associated increase in bottom-water ventilation at the NW European shelf sea are the main trigger mechanisms for the observed repopulation events at Wunstorf. As source area for benthic foraminifera, shallower parts of the Lower Saxony basin are proposed.