A Middle-Late Triassic (Ladinian-Rhaetian) carbon and oxygen isotope record from the Tethyan Ocean

Giovanni Muttoni, Michele Mazza, David Mosher, Miriam E. Katz, Dennis V. Kent, Marco Balini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


We obtained bulk-sediment δ18O and δ13C data from biostratigraphically-constrained Tethyan marine sections at Aghia Marina (Greece), Guri Zi (Albania), and Brumano and Italcementi Quarry (Italy), and revised the published chemostratigraphy of the Pizzo Mondello section (Italy). We migrated these records from the depth to the time domain using available chronostratigraphic tie points, generating Ladinian-Rhaetian δ13C and δ18O records spanning from ~242 to ~201Ma. The δ18O record seems to be affected by diagenesis, whereas the δ13C record appears to preserve a primary signal and shows values increasing by ~1‰ in the Ladinian followed by an ~0.6‰ decrease across the Ladinian-Carnian boundary, followed by relatively constant (but oscillatory) Carnian values punctuated by a negative excursion at ~233Ma in the early Carnian, a second negative excursion at ~229.5Ma across the early-late Carnian boundary, and a positive excursion at ~227Ma across the Carnian-Norian boundary. The Norian record is characterized by a long-term decreasing trend and a negative excursion at ~216Ma. Rapid increases and decreases in δ13C have been observed in the Rhaetian, but these may be at least in part due to mixing of different sources of carbonate carbon with different δ13C values. Our Triassic δ13C record has been compared to data from the literature, and a composite δ13C record spanning the last ~242Myr of Earth's history has been generated. This composite record shows a sequence of dated δ13C trends and events that can be used for stratigraphic correlation as well as for a better understanding of the global carbon cycle in the Mesozoic-Cenozoic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-259
Number of pages14
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Palaeontology


  • Carbon isotopes
  • Conodonts
  • Magnetostratigraphy
  • Oxygen isotopes
  • Triassic

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