Journal of Earth Science

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 342–352 | Cite as

Trace Elements Characteristics of Black Shales from the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation, Hubei Province, South China: Implications for Redox and Open vs. Restricted Basin Conditions

  • Bi Zhu
  • Shaoyong Jiang
  • Daohui Pi
  • Lu Ge
  • Jinghong Yang
Petroleum Geology


In the present study, we carried out trace element analyses of black shales of the Ediacaran Doushantou Formation from two sections (Jiulongwan, Baiguoyuan) in Hubei Province, South China. Mo-U characteristics of black shales from the two sections and compiled Mo-U data of Doushantuo black shales from sections of a variety of sedimentary facies described the temporal/spatial variability in the redox conditions of paleo-seawater during deposition of the Doushantuo Formation. Changes in Mo-U patterns of the Doushantuo Member II (DST2) shales of open marine environments are consistent with a shift from a predominately oxic to a predominately anoxic ocean during their deposition. Mo-U patterns of the DST2 black shales from intra-shelf sections reflect basin restriction may have happened in the intra-shelf basin and are compatible with the redox-stratified model of the intra-shelf basin. Mo-U patterns of black shales of the Doushantuo Member IV (DST4) reveal that the shales from intra-shelf sections have more pronounced Mo enrichment and more significant enrichment of Mo over U than the slope shales, indicating the operation of a Mn particulate shuttle in the intra-shelf basin. High Mo/TOC ratios of the DST4 at the intra-shelf sections, in combination with similar Mo-TOC patterns of the DST4 from both intra-shelf and slope sections, indicate the intrashelf basin was well connected to the open ocean during deposition of the DST4.

Key words

Doushantuo Formation Mo-U covariation Mo/TOC South China 


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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41302018, 41230102, 41203021), the National 973 Project (No. 2013CB835000), the Foundation of State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, China University of Petroleum, Beijing (No. PRP/open-1305) and the PhD Programs Foundation of Ministry of Education of China (No. 20130094120008). The final publication is available at Springer via

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Copyright information

© China University of Geosciences and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Isotope Hydrology, School of Earth Sciences and EngineeringHohai UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources, Faculty of Earth Resources, Collaborative Innovation Center for Exploration of Strategic Mineral ResourcesChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory for Mineral Deposits Research, School of Earth Sciences and EngineeringNanjing UniversityNanjingChina

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