Determination of 88Sr/86Sr mass-dependent isotopic fractionation and radiogenic isotope variation of 87Sr/86Sr in the Neoproterozoic Doushantuo Formation

Takeshi Ohno, Tsuyoshi Komiya, Yuichiro Ueno, Takafumi Hirata, Shigenori Maruyama

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We measured both mass-dependent isotope fractionation of δ88Sr (88Sr/86Sr) and radiogenic isotopic variation of Sr (87Sr/86Sr) for the Neoproterozoic Doushantuo Formation that deposited as a cap carbonate immediately above the Marinoan-related Nantuo Tillite. The δ88Sr and 87Sr/86Sr compositions showed three remarkable characteristics: (1) high radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr values and gradual decrease in the 87Sr/86Sr ratios, (2) anomalously low δ88Sr values at the lower part cap carbonate, and (3) a clear correlation between 87Sr/86Sr and δ88Sr values. These isotopic signatures can be explained by assuming an extreme greenhouse condition after the Marinoan glaciation. Surface seawater, mixed with a large amount of freshwater from continental crusts with high 87Sr/86Sr and lighter δ88Sr ratios, was formed during the extreme global warming after the glacial event. High atmospheric CO2 content caused sudden precipitation of cap carbonate from the surface seawater with high 87Sr/86Sr and lighter δ88Sr ratios. Subsequently, the mixing of the underlying seawater, with unradiogenic Sr isotope compositions and normal δ88Sr ratios, probably caused gradual decrease of the 87Sr/86Sr ratios of the seawater and deposition of carbonate with normal δ88Sr ratios. The combination of 87Sr/86Sr and δ88Sr isotope systematics gives us new insights on the surface evolution after the Snowball Earth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-133
Number of pages8
JournalGondwana Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemostratigraphy
  • Neoproterozoic
  • Snowball Earth
  • South China

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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