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Organic facies variation in the late Kimmeridgian of the Boulonnais area (northernmost France)

Abstract : Recent studies of the upper Kimmeridgian of the Boulonnais area (northernmost France) have provided a sequence-stratigraphical framework that is here used to help interpret variations in sedimentary organic matter (OM) content and composition in response to fluctuations in relative sea-level. The organic facies are characterised using a combination of palynofacies, bulk organic geochemistry (TOC, Rock Eval pyrolysis, and sulphur data), and the particle-size distribution of the total palynological residues. The organic facies show a good correlation with the sequence stratigraphy, exhibiting peak TOC, HI, total S and Sorg values in the lithofacies deposited around the two MFS. The palynofacies in these intervals is characterised by a high content of fluorescent, orange, marine AOM. There is a strong correlation between the orange AOM and the total and organic sulphur contents. Similar positive correlations between orange AOM and organic sulphur have previously been observed in the distal organic-rich sediments of the Kimmeridge Clay Formation of Dorset (lateral time equivalents of the Boulonnais facies), but there the sulphur contents are lower, indicating that organic sulphur content of orange AOM is not fixed, suggestive of preservation-related parallel but not intrinsically related trends. The S data can be used to estimate an apparent burial efficiency and hence the proportion of the primary productivity preserved; this allows a rough estimate of palaeoproductivity. Model calculations suggest that for a sulphide retention of 30–70% and uncompacted sedimentation rate estimates in the range 5–10 cm/ka, the mean palaeoproductivity was in the range 52–175 gC/m2/a (up to 6% of which was preserved). Thus, if the preservation is high, as is the case for MFS, the palaeoproductivity does not need to be above average for shelf waters to produce a given TOC.
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Nicolas Tribovillard, Anne Bialkowski, R. Tyson, Elisabeth Lallier-Vergès, J.F. Deconinck. Organic facies variation in the late Kimmeridgian of the Boulonnais area (northernmost France). Marine and Petroleum Geology, Elsevier, 2001, 18, pp.371-389. ⟨10.1016/S0264-8172(01)00006-X⟩. ⟨hal-00089826⟩

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