Microfossil assemblages and geochemistry for interpreting the incidence of the Jenkyns Event (early Toarcian) in the south-eastern Iberian Palaeomargin (External Subbetic, SE Spain)

Reolid, Matías

By studying the facies, geochemistry, and microfossil assemblages of the uppermost Pliensbachian and lower Toarcian of the Cueva del Agua section, I was able to appraise the impact of the Jenkyns Event in the eastern part of the South Iberian Palaeomargin (Western Tethys). Depleted oxygen conditions are envisaged for the Polymorphum–Serpentinum Zone boundary (lower Toarcian), represented by dark marls, precisely in a laminated interval. The decrease in the inline-formulaα diversity of foraminifera and ostracods, along with greater proportions of opportunists such as Lenticulina, Eoguttulina, and Cytherella just before the negative carbon isotopic excursion (CIE), would indicate a disturbance of the environmental conditions during the initial phase of the biotic crisis. The peak of the biotic crisis is characterized by an absence of trace fossils, increased organic matter content, an increased inline-formulaMo∕Al ratio, and negative CIE and inline-formulaδ18O, as well as fewer specialist forms and more opportunists. This biotic crisis peak is related to oxygen-depleted conditions in the bottom waters and in the sediment pore water, while warming negatively affected microfauna – to the point of leaving a barren benthic horizon in the record. Recovery is evidenced by the occurrence of carbonate layers with hummocky cross-stratification and a decrease in organic matter content, the inline-formulaMo∕Al ratio, and the trace fossil record. In terms of microfauna, the first phase of recovery shows highly abundant foraminifera, ostracods, and microgastropods, mainly opportunist forms. After the proliferation of opportunist forms, a second phase of recovery is marked by a progressive increase in inline-formulaα diversity.

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Reolid, Matías: Microfossil assemblages and geochemistry for interpreting the incidence of the Jenkyns Event (early Toarcian) in the south-eastern Iberian Palaeomargin (External Subbetic, SE Spain). 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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