EGU21-12461, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A sequence of temporally separated element peaks; the fingerprint of a biogeochemical event initiated by sedimentary exhalative (SEDEX) brine expulsion

Michiel Arts1, Bradley Cramer2, Mikael Calner3, Christian Rasmussen4,5, Alyssa Bancroft6, Stephan Oborny2, Emma Hartke2, Ellie Biebesheimer2, and Anne-Christine Da Silva1
Michiel Arts et al.
  • 1Universite de Liege, Geology, Belgium (
  • 2Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Iowa, U.S.A.
  • 3Lithosphere and Biosphere Science, Lund University, Sweden
  • 4Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 5GLOBE Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 6Indiana Geological Survey, University of Indiana, U.S.A

The Ireviken Biogeochemical Event (IBE) consists of the Ireviken Extinction Event (IEE) and is superseded by the Ireviken positive d13Ccarb Excursion (ICIE). During the Ireviken Extinction Event 80% of the conodont species and 50% of the trilobite species went extinct and Acritarchs, chitinozoans, graptolites, corals, and brachiopods communities were severely affected as well. Currently there are no indications that the Ireviken Biogeochemical event can be linked to a LIP or a bolide impact which are the usual triggers for most known biogeochemical events. The IBE has been tentatively linked to SEDEX brine expulsion, however convincing high-resolution data supporting the SEDEX brine expulsion theory was lacking.

The Altajme core from Gotland Sweden covers the entirety of the Ireviken Biogeochemical Event and using an ITRAX XRF core scanner  we were able to create a new dataset with a 1cm(~150-400 yr.) resolution. This dataset enables us to shed new light on the origin of the IBE and serves as a template for a cyclostratigraphic age model (using the detrital proxies of Ti and Al) which puts the IBE within a precise temporal framework.

The occurrence of peak values of Nb, Mn, Cu, Ba, Pb, Zn, As, Ag in the Altajme core follows the temporal sequence of element peaks which is characteristic for the cooling of a hydrothermal system. A Pb:Zn ratio of >1 and low Cu/(Zn+Pb) ratio categorises the hydrothermal system as being the sedimentary exhalative (SEDEX) brine expulsion type system. Through these results we can undoubtedly link the Ireviken Biogeochemical Event to a SEDEX brine expulsion. Numerous SEDEX style ore deposits of Proterozoic to Cenozoic age are known, but it has been difficult to connect them with similarly aged biogeochemical events.  This study demonstrates that through extremely high resolution XRF/element data we can observe the far-field signature of a SEDEX brine expulsion and thus showing us the way to recognize more biogeochemical events triggered by SEDEX brine expulsions. 

How to cite: Arts, M., Cramer, B., Calner, M., Rasmussen, C., Bancroft, A., Oborny, S., Hartke, E., Biebesheimer, E., and Da Silva, A.-C.: A sequence of temporally separated element peaks; the fingerprint of a biogeochemical event initiated by sedimentary exhalative (SEDEX) brine expulsion, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12461,, 2021.


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