A JOINT XRF-δ13Ccarb CHEMOSTRATIGRAPHIC APPROACH FOR CHARACTERIZING PALEO-ENVIRONMENTAL PROCESSES IN THE MUDSTONE-DOMINATED WOLFCAMP FORMATION OF WEST TEXAS
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Year of Publication
Master of Science (MS)
Arts and Sciences
Earth and Environmental Sciences (Geology)
Dr. Andrea Erhardt
The Late Paleozoic Ice Age represents a dynamic period in Earth system history recording a shift from icehouse to greenhouse conditions. Concomitant with this change was a series high-frequency, high-amplitude sea level fluctuations leading to the deposition of “Kansas type” cyclothems in the Mid-Continent, and a similar rhythmic expression of interbedded shales and carbonates in the Midland Basin. Stable isotope geochemistry is a particularly powerful tool when examining these mud-rich successions because changes in organic matter partitioning may be recorded first in δ13CDIC of sea-water and consequently in δ13Ccarb of marine rocks. The δ13Ccarb record may also illuminate early and late-stage diagenetic processes and associated destruction of organic matter.
This study used high-resolution x-ray fluorescence (XRF) and δ13Ccarb measurements to analyze paleo-environmental conditions in two cores within the Midland Basin Wolfcamp Formation. Using this approach, the combination of more positive δ13Ccarb measurements and enrichment of redox-sensitive elements reflect conditions more favorable for organic matter enrichment in the distal core. Additionally, four (< 6 in.) early-diagenetic intervals have been identified representing prolonged periods of reduced or non-deposition based on sharp negative δ13Ccarb excursions. These horizons are proposed as potential chronostratigraphic tie-points between the two core localities.
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Funding for this research was provided by Pioneer Natural Resources USA, Inc.
Funding for this research was provided by the Geological Society of America.
Tamakloe, Frank, "A JOINT XRF-δ13Ccarb CHEMOSTRATIGRAPHIC APPROACH FOR CHARACTERIZING PALEO-ENVIRONMENTAL PROCESSES IN THE MUDSTONE-DOMINATED WOLFCAMP FORMATION OF WEST TEXAS" (2019). Theses and Dissertations--Earth and Environmental Sciences. 69.