Major, trace and rare earth element (REE) geochemistry of the late Cretaceous lower Zhoutian Formation from the Jitai Basin of Southeast China were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis to infer the provenance of the sediments and to reconstruct the palaeoenvironment and palaeoclimate. The wide range of Sr/Cu ratios point to a fluctuating palaeoclimate, and the negative correlation between the FeO/MnO and Al2O3/MgO ratios and the Sr/Cu ratio indicates that the late Cretaceous climate during the lower Zhoutian Formation in the Jitai Basin can be divided into two parts. The lower part experienced two cooling periods, whilst the upper part was dominated by warm-humid climate. Mostly corresponding trends of the B/Ga, Sr/Ba and Sr/Cu ratios show that the salinity changed consistently with the late Cretaceous climate during the lower Zhoutian Formation in the Jitai Basin. During the lower part, the salinity changed from salt water to fresh/brackish water. In the upper part, water was mainly fresh/brackish, and there were many changes from fresh/brackish water to salt water. The relatively stable Ni/Co, V/Cr, V/(V + Ni) and Ce/Ce* data indicate a long period of oxic conditions. The La-Th-Sc, Th-Sc-Zr/10 and La/Th-Hf data of the silt- and sandstones of the lower Zhoutian Formation show that its provenance was mainly a mixture of felsic upper crust sediments and older sedimentary rocks.
|Publication status||Published - 5 Jul 2021|
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