Latest Famennian marine carbonates from the mid-continent of North America were examined to investigate the Late Devonian (very late Famennian) Hangenberg positive carbon-isotope (??13 Ccarb) excursion. This global shift in the ?? 13C of marine waters began during the late Famennian Hangenberg Extinction Event that occurred during the Middle Siphonodella praesulcata conodont zone. The post-extinction recovery interval spans the Upper S. praesulcata Zone immediately below the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary. Positive excursions in ?? 13 Ccarb are often attributed to the widespread deposition of organic-rich black shales in epeiric sea settings. The Hangenberg ??13 Ccarb excursion documented in the Louisiana Limestone in this study shows the opposite trend, with peak ??13 Ccarb values corresponding to carbonate production in the U.S. mid-continent during the highstand phase of the very late Famennian post-glacial sea level rise. Our data indicate that the interval of widespread black shale deposition (Hangenberg Black Shale) predates the peak isotope values of the Hangenberg ??13 Ccarb excursion and that peak values of the Hangenberg excursion in Missouri are not coincident with and cannot be accounted for by high Corg burial in epeiric seas. We suggest instead that sequestration and burial of Corg in the deep oceans drove the peak interval of the ??13Ccarb excursion, as a result of a change in the site of deep water formation to low-latitude epeiric seas as the global climate shifted between cold and warm states.
Additional publication details
Record of the Late Devonian Hangenberg global positive carbon-isotope excursion in an epeiric sea setting: Carbonate production, organic-carbon burial and paleoceanography during the late Famennian