Methane-Derived Marine Carbonates of Pleistocene Age

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Science  15 Aug 1969:
Vol. 165, Issue 3894, pp. 690-692
DOI: 10.1126/science.165.3894.690


In some calcium carbonate-bearing sandstones from the edge of the continental shelf off the northeast United States, the δC13 range is from -30 and -60 per mil for both aragonite and high-magnesium calcite. The δC13 of co-existing shells of Modiolus sp. is normal (+ 1.7 to -2.7 per mil). The δO18 values of around + 3.5 per mil in all samples suggest deposition at temperatures around 0°C. Quaternary methane oxidized either chemically or microbiologically to carbon dioxide is the probable source of carbon in these carbonates.

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