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Diagenetic and detrital influences on clay mineralogy and carbon isotope geochemistry of Campanian–Maastrichtian sediments in the Tremp-Graus Basin (southern Pyrenees, Spain)

Influencias diagenéticas y detríticas en la mineralogía de las arcillas y en la geoquímica de los isótopos de carbono de los sedimentos del Campaniano-Maastrichtiano de la cuenca de Tremp-Graus (sur de los Pirineos, España)

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Abstract

A 1000 m-thick sequence of Upper Cretaceous sediments outcropping in the Isabena Valley (Tremp-Graus Basin, Spain) has been studied to explore the evolution of environmental conditions that prevailed in this basin. A biostratigraphic study based on calcareous nannofossils was carried out to better constraint the age of the deposits, supplemented by carbon isotope stratigraphy on bulk carbonates. Clay mineral assemblages were identified by X-Ray diffraction combined with organic matter (OM) characterisation by Rock–Eval pyrolysis. The Late Campanian Event and Campanian Maastrichtian Boundary Event are clearly identified from the new δ13Ccarb dataset. The clay assemblage is composed of a complex mixture of chlorite, illite, kaolinite and mixed-layers including illite–smectite and chlorite–smectite. A progressive illitisation of smectite is recorded from the top to the base of the section due to the increasing burial depth. This evolution is consistent with increasing Tmax values of OM evolving from 425 (immature OM) to 449 °C (mature OM) from the top to the base of the section. Thus, detrital minerals are preserved only in the upper part of the section. The clay sedimentation is dominated by smectites likely originating from the Ebro massif, while increasing proportions of kaolinite are recorded from the uppermost Campanian and during the Maastrichtian. This evolution of the clay mineral assemblage is interpreted as a result from a change of source from south to northeast, with contributions from kaolinite-rich weathering profiles (including bauxites) to the northeast of the study area, reflecting a more hydrolysing climate.

Resumen

Una secuencia de 1.000 m de espesor de sedimentos del Cretácico Superior aflorantes en el Valle del Isábena (Cuenca de Tremp-Graus, España) se fue estudiado para explorar la evolución de las condiciones ambientales que prevalecieron en esta cuenca. Un estudio bioestratigráfico basado en nanofósiles calcáreos para restringir mejor la edad de los depósitos se ha realizado, complementado con una estratigrafía isotópica del carbono en los carbonatos masivos. Los conjuntos de minerales de arcilla se identificaron a través de la difracción de rayos X combinada con la caracterización de la materia orgánica (MO) utilizando pirólisis Rock-Eval. El Evento Campaniano Tardío y el Evento Limítrofe Campaniano Maastrichtiano se identifican claramente a partir del nuevo conjunto de datos δ13C. El conjunto de arcillas está compuesto por una compleja mezcla de clorita, illita, caolinita y capas mixtas que incluyen illita-esmectita y clorita-esmectita. Se registra una progresiva ilitización de la esmectita desde la parte superior hasta la base de la sección debido al aumento de la profundidad de enterramiento. Esta evolución es coherente con el aumento de los valores de Tmáx de la MO que evolucionan de 425 (MO inmadura) a 449 °C (MO madura) desde la parte superior hasta la base de la sección. Así, los minerales detríticos se conservan sólo en la parte superior de la sección. La sedimentación de arcilla está dominada por esmectitas probablemente originadas en el macizo del Ebro, mientras que se registran proporciones crecientes de caolinita desde el Campaniense superior y durante el Maastrichtiano. Esta evolución conjunto de minerales arcillosos se interpreta como el resultado de un cambio de fuente del sur al noreste, con contribuciones de perfiles de meteorización ricos en caolinita (incluyendo bauxitas) al noreste del área de estudio, reflejando un clima más hidrolizado.

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Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the ANR Anox-Sea ANR-12-BS06-0011 coordinated by E. Pucéat. We are grateful to Philippe Joseph and Emmanuelle Chanvry for their help in the field and Mathieu Thévenot for his help in laboratory. N. Thibault and M.J. Razmjooei acknowledge Carlsbergfondet grant CF16-0457. The constructive reviews by two anonymous reviewers and by the associate editor, Javier Luque, have greatly contributed to the study. We also thank them and Sebastien Potel for helpful suggestions about mineralogical expertise.

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Supplementary file 1. Geochemistry and clay mineralogy database (XLSX 55 KB)

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Supplementary file 2. Examples of diffractograms of bulk sediments (PDF 3529 KB)

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Supplementary file 3. Examples of diffractograms of clay minerals (PDF 835 KB)

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Supplementary file 4. Calcareous nannofossil pictures (PDF 2371 KB)

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Chenot, E., Deconinck, J.F., Baudin, F. et al. Diagenetic and detrital influences on clay mineralogy and carbon isotope geochemistry of Campanian–Maastrichtian sediments in the Tremp-Graus Basin (southern Pyrenees, Spain). J Iber Geol 48, 29–43 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41513-021-00180-1

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