High-resolution carbon isotope (δ13C) profiles from shallow- and deep-water carbonates in the South Atlantic (Campos and Santos Basins) are here correlated to stratigraphically well calibrated Tethyan sections, constraining the end of major evaporite deposition in the South Atlantic to the early Aptian Oceanic Anoxic Event (OAE) 1a interval. The unusually extensive evaporite deposition would have reduced the global dissolved sulfate inventory, possibly increasing global preservation of organic matter by decreasing sulfate reduction; this could explain the coincidence in timing between OAE 1a and the dramatic negative sulfur isotope excursion over this interval. Therefore, in addition to the coeval eruption of the Ontong Java Plateau, the opening of the South Atlantic may have played an important role in the genesis and character of OAE 1a.
- Received 12 December 2016.
- Revision received 10 February 2017.
- Accepted 13 February 2017.
- ©The Authors
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