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Organic geochemistry in Pennsylvanian tidally influenced sediments from SW Indiana

Organic Geochemistry

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, , , and
DOI: 10.1016/S0146-6380(98)00196-X

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Abstract

Tidal rhythmites are vertically stacked small-scale sedimentary structures that record daily variations in tidal current energy and are known to overlie some low-sulfur coals in the Illinois Basin. Tidal rhythmites from the Pennsylvanian Brazil Formation in Indiana have been analyzed sedimentologically, petrographically, and geochemically in order to understand the character and distribution of organic matter (OM) preserved in an environment of daily interactions between marine and fresh waters. The concentration of organic matter (TOC) ranges from traces to 6.9% and sulfur rarely exceeds 0.1% in individual laminae. Angular vitrinite is the major organic matter type, accounting for 50-90% of total OM. The C/S ratio decreases as the verfical distance from the underlying coal increases. A decreasing C/S ratio coupled with decreases in Pr/Ph, Pr/n-C17, Ph/n-C18 ratios and a shift of carbon isotopic composition towards less negative values suggest an increase in salinity from freshwater in the mudflat tidal rhythmite facies close to the coal to brackish/marine in the sandflat tidal rhythmite facies further above from the coal. Within an interval spanning one year of deposition, TOC and S values show monthly variability. On a daily scale, TOC and S oscillations are still detectable but they are of lower magnitude than on a monthly scale. These small-scale variations are believed to reflect oscillations in water salinity related to tidal cycles.Tidal rhythmites are vertically stacked small-scale sedimentary structures that record daily variations in tidal current energy and are known to overlie some low-sulfur coals in the Illinois Basin. Tidal rhythmites from the Pennsylvanian Brazil Formation in Indiana have been analyzed sedimentologically, petrographically, and geochemically in order to understand the character and distribution of organic matter (OM) preserved in an environment of daily interactions between marine and fresh waters. The concentration of organic matter (TOC) ranges from traces to 6.9% and sulfur rarely exceeds 0.1% in individual laminae. Angular vitrinite is the major organic matter type, accounting for 50-90% of total OM. The C/S ratio decreases as the vertical distance from the underlying coal increases. A decreasing C/S ratio coupled with decreases in Pr/Ph, Pr/n-C17, Ph/n-C18 ratios and a shift of carbon isotopic composition towards less negative values suggest an increase in salinity from freshwater in the mudflat tidal rhythmite facies close to the coal to brackish/marine in the sandflat tidal rhythmite facies further above from the coal. Within an interval spanning one year of deposition, TOC and S values show monthly variability. On a daily scale, TOC and S oscillations are still detectable but they are of lower magnitude than on a monthly scale. These small-scale variations are believed to reflect oscillations in water salinity related to tidal cycles.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Organic geochemistry in Pennsylvanian tidally influenced sediments from SW Indiana
Series title:
Organic Geochemistry
DOI:
10.1016/S0146-6380(98)00196-X
Volume
30
Issue:
1
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier Sci Ltd
Publisher location:
Exeter, United Kingdom
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Organic Geochemistry
First page:
57
Last page:
73
Number of Pages:
17