Biogeochemical Evolution of the Western Interior Basin of North America during a Kasimovian Highstand and Regression
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The purpose of this study is to identify and analyze the geochemical facies of the Hushpuckney Shale using XRF scanning data and the bioturbation indices, which will contribute to a better understanding of the biogeochemical environment prevalent during the deposition of the Hushpuckney Shale. The Hushpuckney Shale Member of the Swope Formation (Kasimovian Stage) preserved in KGS Spencer core 2 - 6, consists of a black shale submember overlain by bioturbated gray shale. Millimeter-scale core description and analysis of XRF scanning data enables identification of geochemical facies within the study core and contributes to understanding the environment of shale deposition. The XRF spectrometer produces X-ray image of the core and abundance values of selected major and trace elements, including iron (Fe), calcium (Ca), sulfur (S), molybdenum (Mo), zinc (Zn), vanadium (V), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), titanium (Ti), zircon (Zr), potassium (K) and phosphorous (P). Canfield and Thamdrup's (2009) classification of geochemical environments is used to recognize oxic/aerobic, manganous-nitrogenous, ferruginous and sulfidic facies within the black shale submember. A modification of Droser and Bottjer's (1986) semi-quantitative field classification of bioturbation is used to identify facies variations within the gray shale submember. Abundance of apatite nodules and lamina in the black shale submember of the study core suggest that black shale sediments accumulated slowly in a sediment-starved basin. A high abundance of sulfide-scavenged elements, including Mo, Zn, V, Ni and Cr, identifies the sulfidic facies in the black shale submember, and indicates deposition in an oxygen-depleted environment with a high concentration of hydrogen sulfide. The overlying ferruginous facies has lower abundances of sulfide-scavenged elements and lacks cryptic Fe-laminations. The uppermost black shale submember facies, the manganous-nitrogenous facies, has cryptic Fe laminations and a relatively high P/Ca ratio. Abundance of cryptic iron laminations and apatite nodules and lamina indicates the syngenetic deposition of iron and phosphate due to Fe-P coupling mechanism. The gray shale submember is burrowed, indicating deposition under oxygenated conditions. Bioturbation indices reveal the variations in the intensity and nature of burrows within the gray shale, which corresponds to the changes in the depositional environment that may be related to the rise and fall of sea-level.
Banerjee, Sikhar (2011). Biogeochemical Evolution of the Western Interior Basin of North America during a Kasimovian Highstand and Regression. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from