51 samples from the Middle Triassic black shales (organic carbon−rich silt− stones; up to 4.9% TOC – Total Organic Carbon) from the stratotype section of the Bravaisberget Formation (western Spitsbergen) were analyzed with respect to isotopic composition of pyritic sulphur (#2;34S) and TOC. Isotopic composition of syngenetic py− rite−bound sulphur shows wide (#2;34S from −26‰ to +8‰ VCDT) and narrow (#2;34S from −4‰ to +17‰ VCDT) variation of the #2;34S in upper and lower part of the section, respec− tively. Range of the variation is associated with abrupt changes in dominant lithology. Wide #2;34S variation is found in lithological intervals characterized by alternation of black shales and phosphorite−bearing sandstones. The narrow #2;34S variation is associated with the lithological interval dominated by black shales only. Wide and narrow variation of the #2;34S values suggests interplay of various factors in sedimentary environment. These fac− tors include oxygen concentration, clastic sedimentation rate, bottom currents and bur− rowing activity. Biological productivity and rate of dissimilatory sulphate reduction had important impact on the #2;34S variation as well. Wide variation of the #2;34S values in the studied section resulted from high biological productivity and high rate of dissimilatory sulphate reduction. Variable degree of clastic sedimentation rate and burrowing activity as well as the activity of poorly oxygenated bottom currents could also cause a co−occur− rence of isotopically light and heavy pyrite in differentiated diagenetic micro−environ− ments. Occurrence of organic matter depleted in hydrogen could also result in a wide vari− ation of the #2;34S values. Narrow variation of the #2;34S values was due to a decrease of bio− logical productivity and low rate of dissimilatory sulphate reduction. Low organic matter supply, low oxygen concentration and bottom currents and burrowing activity were also responsible for narrow variation of the #2;34S. The narrow range of the #2;34S variation was also due to occurrence of hydrogen−rich organic matter. In the studied section the major change in range of the #2;34S variation from wide to narrow appears to be abrupt and clearly associated with change in lithology. The change of lithology and isotopic valuesmay sug− gest evolution of the sedimentary environment from high− to low−energy and also facies succession from shallow to deeper shelf. The evolution should be linked with the Late Anisian regional transgressive pulse in the Boreal Ocean.
A rich collection of exceptionally preserved Lower Triassic fossil fish remains obtained during the Polish Spitsbergen Expedition of 2005 includes many isolated teeth believed to belong to a saurichthyid actinopterygian. Stable isotope analysis ( d 13 C and d 18 O) of putative Saurichthys teeth from the Hornsund area (South Spitsbergen) acting as a paleoenvironmental proxy has permitted trophic−level reconstruction and comparison with other Lower Triassic fish teeth from the same location. The broader range of d 13 C values obtained for durophagous teeth of the hybodont selachian, Lissodus , probably reflects its migratory behaviour and perhaps a greater feeding diversity. X−ray microcomputed tomography (XMT), a non−destructive technique, is used for the first time in order to elucidate de − tails of tooth histology, the results of which suggest that the method has considerable potential as a future analytical tool.
Modern hydrology of a typical Arctic fjord (Hornsund, SW Spitsbergen, Sval− bard) was investigated and compared with commonly used in paleoceanography proxies: benthic foraminiferal assemblages and their stable isotope (#2;18O and #2;13C) composition. The benthic foraminifera from Hornsund comprised 45 species and 28 genera. Their spatial variations follow the zonation pattern, resulting from the influence of Atlantic water at the fjord mouth and glacial meltwaters at the fjord head. At the mouth of the fjord, the total number of species and the contribution of agglutinating species were the highest. In the in− ner part of fjord, the foraminiferal faunas were poor in species and individuals, and aggluti− nating species were absent. “Living” (stained) foraminifera were found to be common throughout the short sediment cores (~10 cm long) studied. The stable isotope values of #2;18O and #2;13C were measured on tests of four species: Elphidium excavatum forma clavata, Cassidulina reniforme, Nonionellina labradorica and Cibicides lobatulus. The results con− firmed the importance of species−specific vital effects, particularly in the case of C. loba− tulus. The variability in the isotopic composition measured on different individuals within a single sample are comparable to isotopic composition of the same species test between sam− pling stations. The temperatures and bottom water salinities calculated from #2;18O values in different foraminifera tests mirrored those recorded for bottom waters in the central and outer fjords relatively well. However, in the case of the inner fjord, where winter−cooled bottom waters were present, the calculated values from #2;18O were systematically higher by about 2#3;C. The obtained results imply that particular caution must be taken in interpretation of fjord benthic foraminifera assemblages in high resolution studies and in selection of ma− terial for isotope analyses and their interpretation in cores from inner fjords or silled fjords, where winter−cooled waters may be present.
Pyrite framboids occur in loose blocks of plant−bearing clastic rocks related to volcano−sedimentary succession of the Mount Wawel Formation (Eocene) in the Dragon and Wanda glaciers area at Admiralty Bay, King George Island, West Antarctica. They were investigated by means of optical and scanning electron microscopy, energy−dispersive spectroscopy, X−ray diffraction, and isotopic analysis of pyritic sulphur. The results suggest that the pyrite formed as a result of production of hydrogen sulphide by sulphate reducing bacteria in near surface sedimentary environments. Strongly negative #2;34SVCDT values of pyrite (−30 – −25 ‰) support its bacterial origin. Perfect shapes of framboids resulted from their growth in the open pore space of clastic sediments. The abundance of framboids at cer− tain sedimentary levels and the lack or negligible content of euhedral pyrite suggest pulses of high supersaturation with respect to iron monosulphides. The dominance of framboids of small sizes (8–16 μm) and their homogeneous distribution at these levels point to recurrent development of a laterally continuous anoxic sulphidic zone below the sediment surface. Sedimentary environments of the Mount Wawel Formation developed on islands of the young magmatic arc in the northern Antarctic Peninsula region. They embraced stagnant and flowing water masses and swamps located in valleys, depressions, and coastal areas that were covered by dense vegetation. Extensive deposition and diagenesis of plant detritus in these environments promoted anoxic conditions in the sediments, and a supply of marine and/or volcanogenic sulphate enabled its bacterial reduction, precipitation of iron mono− sulphides, and their transformation to pyrite framboids.