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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Dr Darren R. Gröcke

Caruthers, Andrew H., Gröcke, Darren R., Kaczmarek, Stephen E., Rine, Matthew J., Kuglitsch, Jeff & Harrison III, William B. (2018). Utility of organic carbon isotope data from the Salina Group halite (Michigan Basin): A new tool for stratigraphic correlation and paleoclimate proxy resource. GSA Bulletin 130(11/12): 1782-1790.

Author(s) from Durham


Long-term global carbon isotope records
(δ13Ccarb and δ13Corg) for the Silurian have
been largely derived from unrestricted openmarine
carbonates and shales. Here, we
demonstrate how organic carbon harvested
from halite-dominated evaporite deposits in
a restricted intracratonic basin can be used
to produce a carbon isotope record. Inorganic
and organic carbon isotope data were
generated and compared from four subsurface
cores from the Silurian Michigan Basin,
representing unrestricted carbonate and restricted
evaporite/carbonate deposition. The
δ13Ccarb and δ13Corg records exhibit a number
of long-term trends and major carbon isotope
excursions (CIE) that are correlated
with the globally identified Ireviken, Mulde,
and Linde events. These data provide temporal
and stratigraphic constraints in rocks
where paleontological data are sparse or
absent. They also potentially highlight the
effect of enhanced local evaporation on isotope
fractionation. This new technique for
generating a long-term organic carbon isotope
profile from Silurian halite sequences,
which can be correlated to the global curve,
is of broad interest to the geoscience and
paleoclimate science communities. These
data not only provide a valuable tool for
understanding the chronostratigraphic
framework within an evaporative interior
basin, but they also provide a rare temporal
link between periods of prolonged evaporite
deposition and events of known paleoclimate