Carbon sequestration in an expanded lake system during the Toarcian oceanic anoxic event

Weimu Xu, Micha Ruhl, Hugh C. Jenkyns, Stephen Hesselbo, James Riding, David Selby, David Naafs, Johan Weijers, Rich Pancost, Erik Tegelaar, Erdem Idiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

125 Citations (Scopus)
382 Downloads (Pure)


The Early Jurassic Toarcian oceanic anoxic event (∼183 Ma) was marked by marineanoxia–euxinia and globally significant organic-matter burial, accompanied by amajor global carbon-cycle perturbation probably linked to Karoo–Ferrarvolcanism. Although the Toarcian oceanic anoxic event is well studied in themarine realm, accompanying climatic and environmental change on the continentsis poorly understood. Here, utilizing radioisotopic, palynological and geochemicaldata from lacustrine black shales, we demonstrate that a large lake systemdeveloped contemporaneously with the Toarcian oceanic anoxic event in theSichuan Basin, China, probably due to enhanced hydrological cycling underelevated atmospheric pCO2 . We attribute increased lacustrine organicproductivity to elevated fluvial nutrient supply, which resulted in the burialof ∼460 Gt of organic carbon in the Sichuan Basin alone, creating an importantnegative feedback in the global exogenic carbon cycle. We suggest that enhancednutrient delivery to marine and large lacustrine systems was a key component inthe global carbon cycle recovery during the Toarcian oceanic anoxic event andacted to shorten the duration of the recovery of global δ 13C values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-134
Number of pages7
JournalNature Geoscience
Issue number2
Early online date16 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • Carbon cycle
  • Environmental Impact
  • Limnology
  • Palaeoclimate


Dive into the research topics of 'Carbon sequestration in an expanded lake system during the Toarcian oceanic anoxic event'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this