Oceanic redox conditions in the Late Mesoproterozoic recorded in the upper Vazante Group carbonates of São Francisco Basin, Brazil: Evidence from stable isotopes and REEs

Karem Azmy, Paul Sylvester, Tolentino F. de Oliveira

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The Vazante Group consists of a late Mesoproterozoic (∼1.0-1.1 Ga) carbonate-dominated marine platform sequence in east-central Brazil. The upper part of the sequence consists of a glaciomarine diamictite unit overlain by a cap carbonate. The δ13C profile of the upper Vazante shows significant negative plunges, one preglacial (drop of ∼5.5‰ VPDB) and two postglacial (drops of ∼9 and 5‰VPDB, respectively). The C-isotope plunge in the preglacial carbonates is correlated with low Th/U ratios (0.1-1.4) and a negative Ce/Ce* shift (∼0.4), suggesting deposition under relative reducing conditions. In contrast, the C-isotope plunges in the postglacial carbonates are associated with high Th/U ratios (>2) and positive Ce/Ce* shifts (up to ∼1.5), thus reflecting oxidizing conditions. Variations in the redox conditions of the late Mesoproterozoic ocean, reflected by changes in the Th/U and Ce/Ce* ratios, are likely attributable to a combination of both global and local climatic and oceanographic changes, similar to what has been inferred for the Neoproterozoic oceans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-270
Number of pages12
JournalPrecambrian Research
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009



  • Brazil
  • REE
  • Redox conditions
  • Th/U
  • Vazante carbonates

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