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Mafic melts, methane seeps, 2 million waves, foreign magma, and the invisible hand
Date:4/11/2012

ced forcing, this study demonstrates that caution must be used when interpreting the meaning of stromatolites and stromatolitic lamination, especially with respect to ancient Earth.


Methane seeps as ammonite habitats in the U.S. Western Interior Seaway revealed by isotopic analyses of well-preserved shell material

Neil H. Landman et al., American Museum of Natural History, Division of Paleontology (Invertebrates), New York, New York 10024, USA. Posted online ahead of print 10 April 2012; doi: 10.1130/G32782.1.

Ammonites are an important component of the marine biota during the Cretaceous. They are abundant at cold methane seeps, but their role in seep ecosystems is unknown. Neil H. Landman of the American Museum of Natural History and colleagues explore a seep from the Upper Cretaceous Pierre Shale of southwestern South Dakota that contains original shell material, allowing them to investigate the isotopic composition of the ammonite shells. The ammonites consistently display light values of delta-13C ranging to approx. 14 parts per mil. In specimens sampled along the shell, light values occur throughout ontogeny. These values are generally lighter than those in non-seep specimens from age-equivalent rocks elsewhere in the basin and suggest that ammonites incorporated isotopically light methane-derived carbon in their shells because they lived in close proximity to the vent fluids and methane-oxidizing bacteria. Thus, even though they were mobile animals, ammonites were not transient visitors but long-term residents. In addition, the values of 87Sr/86Sr in the limestone and well-preserved fossils at the seep are higher than that of the open ocean at that time. These elevated values suggest that the seep fluids were imprinted with a radiogenic Sr signature, perhaps derived from equilibration with granitic deposits at depth during the initial uplift of the Black Hills.


Storm and fair-weather wave bas
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Contact: Christa Stratton
cstratton@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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