Cyclic Sedimentation in the Mississippian Pride Shale: Quantitative Paleoenvironmental Analysis of Tidal Rhythmites Using X-Ray Fluorescence Scanning and Advanced Spectral Methods Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Larkins, Kristin Heather
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Geological Sciences
  • Tidal rhythmites offer an opportunity to constrain the orbital dynamics of the Earth-Sun-Moon system, and potentially provide high-resolution paleoclimate archives. In this study, we develop a new methodology for the investigation of ancient tidal rhythmites, using high-resolution X-ray fluorescence (XRF) scanning and advanced spectral methods. Importantly, the XRF-scanning technique provides the opportunity to evaluate multiple paleoenvironmental signals (e.g., detrital, biogenic, and authigenic contributions) preserved within these deposits, and thus allows a more complete analysis of their mechanism of formation. Assessment of the individual paleoenvironmental proxy records using advanced spectral methods permits evaluation of their linkage to specific tidal and climatic forcing agents. As a case study, we investigate the Mississippian Pride Shale of West Virginia, an unusually thick tidal rhythmite deposit (~60 m), representing hundreds to thousands of years of sedimentation. Our analyses suggest robust detrital, biogenic, and redox proxies, with variable sensitivity to the individual forcing mechanisms.
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  • Meyers, Stephen
  • Open access

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