Neogene echinoids from the Cayman Islands, West Indies: regional implications

The first fossil echinoids are recorded from the Cayman Islands. A regular echinoid, Arbacia? sp., the spatangoids Brissus sp. cf. B. oblongus Wright and Schizaster sp. cf. S. americanus (Clark), and the clypeasteroid Clypeaster sp. are from the Middle Miocene Cayman Formation. Test fragments of the mellitid clypeasteroid, Leodia sexiesperforata (Leske), are from the Late Pleistocene Ironshore Formation. Miocene echinoids are preserved as (mainly internal) moulds; hence, all species are left in open nomenclature because of uncertainties regarding test architecture. All Miocene taxa are recorded from single specimens apart from the 27 assigned to Brissus. Schizaster sp. cf. S. americanus (Clark) is compared to a species from the Oligocene of the south‐east USA. Brissus sp. cf. B. oblongus is close in gross morphology to a taxon from the Miocene of Malta. Leodia sexiesperforata is identified from fragments with confidence, being the only extant Antillean sand dollar with elongate ambulacral petals that is limited to carbonate substrates. The Miocene echinoids of Grand Cayman, although of limited diversity, are mainly comprised of genera common in comparable mid‐Cenozoic carbonate environments. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Geochemistry, zircon U–Pb and molybdenite Re–Os dating of the Taolaituo porphyry Mo deposit in the Central Great Hinggan Range: implications for the geodynamic evolution of northeastern China

The Taolaituo porphyry‐type molybdenum deposit is located in the eastern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in China. The mineralization occurs mainly as veins, lenses and layers within the host porphyry. To better understand the link between the mineralization and the host igneous rocks, we studied samples from the underground workings and report new SHRIMP II zircon U–Pb and Re–Os molybdenite ages, and geochemical data from both the molybdenites and the porphyry granites. Five molybdenite samples yield a Re–Os isochron weighted mean age of 133.0 ± 0.82 Ma, whereas the porphyry granitoids samples yield crystallization ages of 133 ± 1 Ma and 130.4 ± 1.3 Ma. The U–Pb and Re–Os ages are similar, suggesting that the mineralization is genetically related to the Early Cretaceous porphyry emplacement. Re contents of the molybdenites range from 21.74 to 42.45 ppm, with an average of 32.69 ppm, whereas δ34S values vary between 3.7‰ and 4.2‰, which is typical of mantle sulphur. The 206Pb/204Pb, 207Pb/ 204Pb and 208Pb/204Pb vary in the ranges of 18.276–18.385, 15.566–15.580 and 38.321–38.382, respectively. The Taolaituo Early Cretaceous granitoids are A‐type granites. These observations indicate that the molybdenites and the porphyry granites were derived from a mixed source involving young accretionary materials and enriched subcontinental lithospheric mantle. A synthesis of geochronological and geological data reveals that porphyry emplacement and Mo mineralization in the Taolaituo deposit occurred contemporaneously with the Early Cretaceous tectonothermal events associated with lithospheric thinning, which was caused by delamination and subsequent upwelling of the asthenosphere associated with intra‐continental extension in northeast China. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Latest Devonian to earliest Carboniferous conodont and carbon isotope stratigraphy of a shallow‐water sequence in South China

To improve regional and intercontinental correlation of the uppermost Devonian–lowermost Carboniferous, we examined the conodont faunas and carbon isotopic records of the Tangbagou Formation in the Qilinzhai section, southern Guizhou, South China. The Tangbagou Formation is a succession of mixed carbonate–siliciclastic rocks that accumulated on a shallow‐water platform under normal marine conditions. Seven conodont zones for shallow‐water biofacies in South China, the Cl. gilwernensis–Cl. unicornis Zone, the Po. spicatus Zone, the Si. homosimplex Zone, the Si. sinensis Zone, the Si. eurylobata Zone, the Ps. multistriatus Zone and the Po. co. porcatus Zone in ascending order, are recognized in the Tangbagou Formation. Although apparently limited in its value for global correlation, this conodont zonation is more applicable to shallow‐water biofacies in South China. Carbonate samples have yielded carbon isotopic signatures consistent with those recorded in Euroamerica sections, in particular showing four distinct characteristics: (1) the peak values of Hangenberg Carbon Isotope Excursion (HICE) during the latest Devonian, (2) a minor positive shift (P1) in the Si. homosimplex Zone during the early Tournaisian, (3) a second minor positive shift (P2) in the Si. sinensis Zone and (4) the middle Tournaisian Carbon Isotope Excursion (TICE) in the middle part of the Tangbagou Formation. The similarity in peak values (~5.5‰) and magnitude of TICE for the Qilinzhai and Belgian sections indicates that the Euro‐asia δ13Ccarb trends may reflect the changes in global mean ocean δ13CDIC, rather than having been overprinted by local carbon cycling. Integration of conodont biostratigraphy and δ13C stratigraphy provides a powerful tool for stratigraphic correlation. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Dip variations of the North American and North Caribbean Plates dominate the tectonic activity of Puerto Rico–Virgin Islands and adjacent areas

The M 7.0 Haiti earthquake of 2010 in the Greater Antilles is a reminder that the northeastern Caribbean is at a high risk for seismic and tsunami hazards. The Greater Antilles consist of the Hispaniola microplate to the west and Puerto Rico–Virgin Islands to the east and are situated between two subduction zones with the Puerto Rico Trench to the north and the Muertos Trough to the south. Although there is no active volcanism on Puerto Rico, earthquake depths and previous seismic tomography results imply that the slabs of Caribbean and North American Plates exist at depth. However, how far the east Muertos Trough subduction of the North Caribbean Plate has extended has not been fully addressed. In addition, the Puerto Rico–Virgin Islands are bounded by extensional regimes to both the west (Mona Rift) and east (Anegada Passage). The cause of the extension is still under debate. In this paper, we use new 3D seismic tomography and gravity data to carry out an integrated study of the geometry of the subducting slabs of the North American and North Caribbean Plates in the Puerto Rico–Virgin Islands area. The results indicate that both slabs have an increase of dip westward, which is strongly controlled by the subduction rollback of the North American Plate. These variations affected the tectonic evolution of the Puerto Rico–Virgin Islands. Thus, the results of this research advance our understanding of the kinematic evolution of the Puerto Rico–Virgin Islands and associated natural hazards. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Hydrocarbon generation and expulsion characteristics of Lower Permian P1f source rocks in the Fengcheng area, northwest margin, Junggar Basin, NW China: implications for tight oil accumulation potential assessment

Combined with the actual geological settings, tight oil is the oil that occurs in shale or tight reservoirs, which has permeability less than 1 mD and is interbedded with or close to shale, including tight dolomitic oil and shale oil. The Fengcheng area (FA), at the northwest margin of the Junggar Basin, northwest China, has made significant progress in the tight oil exploration of the Fengcheng (P1f) Formation recently, which indicates that the tight oil resources have good exploration prospects. Whereas the lack of recognition of hydrocarbon generation and expulsion characteristics of Permian P1f source rocks results in the misunderstanding of tight oil resource potential. Based on the comprehensive analysis of geological and geochemical characteristics of wells, seismic inversion, sedimentary facies, tectonic burial depth, etc., the characteristics of P1f source rocks were investigated, and the horizontal distributions of the following aspects were predicted: the thickness of source rocks, abundance and type of organic matter. And on this basis, an improved hydrocarbon generation potential methodology together with basin simulation techniques was applied to unravel the petroleum generation and expulsion characteristics of P1f source rocks in FA. Results show that the P1f source rocks distribute widely (up to 2039 km2), are thick (up to 260 m), have high total organic content (TOC, ranging from 0.15 to 4 wt%), are dominated by type II kerogen and have entered into low mature–mature stage. The modeling results indicate that the source rocks reached hydrocarbon generation threshold and hydrocarbon expulsion threshold at 0.5% Ro and 0.85% Ro and the comprehensive hydrocarbon expulsion efficiency was about 46%. The amount of generation and expulsion from the P1f source rocks was 31.85 × 108 and 15.31 × 108 t, respectively, with a residual amount of 16.54 × 108 t within the source rocks. Volumetrically, the geological resource of shale oil is up to 15.65 × 108 t. Small differences between the amounts calculated by the volumetric method compared with that by hydrocarbon generation potential methodology may be due to other oil accumulations present within interbedded sands associated with the oil shales. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Analysis of geological effects on methane adsorption capacity of continental shale: a case study of the Jurassic shale in the Tarim Basin, northwestern China

The Jurassic shale is an important source rock for the found gas reservoirs in the Tarim Basin, northwestern China, but has never been researched for shale gas potential. The geological effects on methane adsorption capacity for the gas shale have been investigated in this paper through the geochemical, mineralogical and adsorption analyses on samples from wells and sections. The methane adsorption capacity ranges from 0.58 to 16.57 cm3/g, and the total organic carbon (TOC) content is between 0.5 and 13.5 wt%. The organic maturity measured by Tmax is between 410 °C (immature) and 499 °C (overmature). The methane adsorption capacity of the Jurassic continental shale in the Tarim Basin is affected by many geological factors, including the TOC content, organic matter maturity, mineral composition, surface area and pore size distribution. The TOC content is the most significant factor with a positive effect on the adsorption capacity of the Jurassic shale, and the influence varies piecewise according to the TOC content. The TOC content contributes much more to the methane adsorption capacity of organic‐rich shale samples (TOC content > 0.7 wt%) than to the organic‐lean samples (TOC content < 0.7 wt%). The mineral composition is a secondary factor, and the abundance of clay content has a positive effect on the methane adsorption capacity despite its relatively weaker adsorption ability compared to TOC. The pore size distribution has different effects on surface area and pore volume. Mesopores and micropores provide the major surface area and are mainly derived from TOC and illite, which has a positive influence on the adsorption capacity. Mesopores and macropores offer the major pore volume and are mainly formed by illite, which is the major contributor for pore volume rather than surface area. In addition, the TOC and illite contents of the Jurassic shale in the Tarim Basin are closely related to the origin, maturity and diagenesis evolution of the shale: (1) both TOC and illite content variations are related to the different provenances and depositional environments of shale; (2) the decrease of TOC content with increasing maturity is also partly attributed to hydrocarbon generation; and (3) the increase of illite content with increasing maturity is due to illitization in the diagenesis of shale. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Magmatic source and metamorphic grade of metavolcanic rocks from the Granjeno Schist: was northeastern Mexico a part of Pangaea?

The geochemistry of the metavolcanic rocks from the Granjeno Schist in northeastern Mexico indicates an origin in different tectonic environments: mid‐ocean ridge and ocean island. High ratios of Hf/Th and Th/Nb (4.4–14 and 0.08–0.15), low ratios of LaN/YbN and LaN/SmN (0.74–1.7 and 0.60–1.4) and depleted LREE patterns in metabasalt display mid‐ocean ridge characteristics. In contrast, the pattern of trace‐element ratios and REEs in metabasalt and metapillow lava 60 km to the west indicates a magma source with ocean‐island basalt characteristics. Both areas were metamorphosed during the Late Carboniferous (300 ± 4 Ma). Estimated metamorphic conditions deduced from white mica and chlorite compositions, distinguish greenschist facies (350 °C and 4 kbar) for the mid‐ocean ridge basalt, and prehnite–pumpellyite facies (250 °C and 2.5 kbar) for the ocean‐island‐type basalt. This metamorphism took place at an active continental margin during Pennsylvanian time. Our new tectonic model, which differs from earlier models, suggests that the origin of the Granjeno Schist is related to a subduction zone located at the western margin of Pangaea, active after Laurentia–Gondwana collision. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Science Book Review: Introduction to Applied Geophysics: Exploring the Shallow Subsurface by HR.. This is the summary of Introduction to Applied Geophysics Exploring the Shallow Subsurface by H. Robert Burger, Anne F. Sheehan, Craig H. Jones. Video Rating: 0 / 5 The Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics uses Avizo Fire software and XLab Hydro to visualize and understand complex pore networks, and …

Researchers provide highest-resolution observations yet of the complex 2012 …

Researchers provide highest-resolution observations yet of the complex 2012 … "Based on our previous understanding, you wouldn't predict that the rupture would take these bends, which were almost right angles," says Victor Tsai, an assistant professor of geophysics at Caltech and a coauthor on the new paper. The team also …