Iron-sulfur-carbon relationships in organic-carbon-rich sequences I: Cretaceous Western Interior seaway

W. E. Dean, Michael Allan Arthur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

155 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cretaceous marine strata deposited in shallow to intermediate depths in the Western Interior seaway of North America show considerable variation in organic-carbon enrichment and degree of pyrite formation. The extreme range of paleoceanographic and depositional conditions that occurred in this seaway provide a unique opportunity to examine the effects of iron-, carbon-, and sulfur-limitation on pyrite formation in one region over about 30 my. Ternary diagrams of the system Fe-S-OC, together with some measure of the reactivity of organic matter (pyrolysis hydrogen index), provide a rapid means of recognizing iron-, carbon-, and sulfur-limitation on pyrite formation in a series of samples from a single lithologic unit. Iron limitation is indicated by a concentration of data along a line of constant S/Fe ratio on a Fe-S-OC ternary diagram. Carbon limitation is indicated by a concentration of data along a line of constant S/OC ratio. Sulfur-limitation is suggested by the lack of a systematic Fe-S-OC relationship and residual organic matter that is high in abundance and reactivity. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)708-743
Number of pages36
JournalAmerican Journal of Science
Volume289
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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