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Do stable isotopes in carbonate cement of Mio-Pleistocene Himalayan sediments record paleoecological and paleoclimatic changes?

Singh, Seema and Parkash, B and Awasthi, AK and Kumar, S (2014) Do stable isotopes in carbonate cement of Mio-Pleistocene Himalayan sediments record paleoecological and paleoclimatic changes? In: PALAEOGEOGRAPHY PALAEOCLIMATOLOGY PALAEOECOLOGY, 399 . pp. 363-372.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2014.02.002

Abstract

Non-pedogenic carbonates, such as carbonate cement and nodules in the sandstones, are quite common in the terrestrial geological record. Unlike pedogenic carbonates, their stable isotope ratios lack investigations for paleo-climatic reconstructions. The present investigation therefore, explores the possibility of use of stable isotope studies of non-pedogenic carbonates from the Mb-Pleistocene Siwalik Group of sediments exposed in the Ramnagar sub-basin of the NW Himalaya. Petrographic studies reveal the dominance of micrite fabric in carbonate nodules both of pedogenic and non-pedogenic samples irrespective of specific stratigraphic unit However, calcite as cement in the sandstones shows the dominance of micrite fabric in the younger in age sediments. Seventy-two non-pedogenic carbonate samples from the carbonate nodules and cement in the Siwalik sandstones, ranging in age between similar to 1 Ma and 12.2 Ma, were analyzed for delta C-13 and delta O-18 values. The delta C-13 values vary from -24.77 parts per thousand to -1.1 parts per thousand and delta O-18 values vary from -15.34 parts per thousand to -7.81 parts per thousand. Pedogenic and non-pedogenic carbonates ranging in age between similar to 1 Ma and 6 Ma have largely similar delta C-13 values and the range of delta C-13 values indicate the dominance of C-4 type of vegetation. However, unlike pedogenic carbonates which showed the dominance of C-3 type of vegetation pre- 7 Ma on the basis of delta C-13 -depleted isotopic values (Singh et al., 2011), delta C-13 values are largely enriched in the corresponding aged non-pedogenic carbonates revealing no information on specific type of vegetation. Likewise, paleoprecipitational reconstructions from delta O-18 values in pedogenic carbonates showed a progressive increase in aridity from similar to 12 Ma to recent excluding short term increases in rainfall/monsoon intensity at around 10 Ma, 5 Ma, and 1.8 Ma (Singh et al., 2012). On the contrary, such reconstructions are not possible from the delta O-18 values of non-pedogenic carbonates and indeed the delta O-18 values of non-pedogenic carbonates are largely depleted to as much as 6 parts per thousand from the corresponding pedogenic carbonates. Such differences in delta C-13 and delta O-18 values of non-pedogenic carbonates from pedogenic carbonates are primarily due to the dependence of the former on groundwater conditions responsible for precipitating carbonate. Further, a comparison of isotopic values between non-pedogenic and pedogenic carbonates can be interpreted that post-6 Ma and pre-6 Ma non-pedogenic carbonates were largely formed by shallow and deep groundwater conditions respectively. The result of these investigative studies therefore, suggests that the stable delta C-13 and delta O-18 values of non-pedogenic carbonates, unlike the pedogenic carbonates and irrespective of nature of calcite fabric, showed their little importance in paleoclimatic and paleoecological reconstructions. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: copyright for this article belongs to ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, PO BOX 211, 1000 AE AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Keywords: Himalayan foreland basin; Siwalik Group; Stable isotope ratios; Pedogenic and non-pedogenic carbonates
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Earth Sciences
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2014 10:10
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2014 10:10
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/49189

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