Early Aptian bay deposits at the southern margin of the lower Saxony Basin: Integrated stratigraphy, palaeoenvironment and OAE 1a

Jens Lehmann, Oliver Friedrich, Dieter von Bargen, Thomas Hemker


The present study establishes a lithostratigraphic subdivision, a bio- and chemostratigraphy and describes the sedimentology of the Alstätte Bay at the southern margin of the Lower Saxony Basin in northern Germany. The socalled Fischschiefer is developed in the lower part of the section, a 2.1 m thick laminated interval that shows TOC values of up to 2 % and is interpreted as local expression of the global Oceanic Anoxic Event 1a (OAE 1a). The basal part of the Fischschiefer is fairly continuously laminated, whereas its upper part is characterized by an alternation of laminated and non-laminated beds. Stable carbon isotopes (d13Ccarb) show a characteristic pattern for the Fischschiefer interval that can be correlated with sections from the Tethyan Realm. Immediately above the Fischschiefer, however, the studied section might reveal a diagenetic overprint as indicated by very negative carbon stable isotope values. The remaining part of the section is characterized by a rather monotonous claystone succession, terminated by a greenish layer rich in glauconite overlain by glacial till of Pleistocene age. 

The fauna is typically Boreal in the lower part of the section, but changes around 2 m above the Fischschiefer towards an assemblage indicating a distinct Tethyan influx. The faunal shift is considered to be due to the maximum flooding of the continuous, long-term sea level rise of the Early Aptian which led also to a supposed shift from a restricted to open bay environment.

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