Cambrian high-resolution biostratigraphy and carbon isotope chemostratigraphy in Scania, Sweden: first record of the SPICE and DICE excursions in Scandinavia








Per Ahlberg [], Niklas Axheimer [], Mats E. Eriksson [], Birger Schmitz [], and Fredrik Terfelt [], Department of Geology, GeoBiosphere Science Centre, Lund University, Sölvegatan 12, SE-223 62 Lund, Sweden; Loren E. Babcock [], School of Earth Sciences, The Ohio State University, 125 South Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210, USA; manuscript received on 17/01/07, manuscript accepted on 10/12/07.


A core drilling (Andrarum-3), from the classical locality at Andrarum, Scania, southernmost Sweden, penetrated a 28.90-m-thick Cambrian succession. The core comprises dark grey to black, finely laminated mudstones and shales with early concretionary carbonate lenses (stinkstones or orsten) and a few primary carbonate beds. The middle Cambrian (provisional Series 3) part of the core comprises 17.35 m, whereas the Furongian Series (upper Cambrian) part covers the remaining 11.55 m. Nineteen trilobite and two phosphatocopine genera are present in the middle Cambrian, whereas the less diverse Furongian interval yielded four trilobite and three phosphatocopine genera. Other, less frequent, faunal elements include conodonts (s. l.), brachiopods, sponge spicules, bradoriids, and coprolites. Trilobites and phosphatocopines were used to subdivide the core into seven biozones ranging from the Ptychagnostus atavus Zone to the Parabolina spinulosa Zone (P. spinulosa Subzone). Carbon isotopic analyses (δ13Corg) through the core show two important excursions, the negative DrumIan Carbon isotope Excursion (DICE) in the Pt. atavus Zone, and the Steptoean Positive Carbon Isotope Excursion (SPICE) beginning near the first appearance of Glyptagnostus reticulatus and extending upward into the Olenus and Agnostus (Homagnostus) obesus Zone. The DICE displays a peak value, in the samples at hand, of –30.45‰δ13Corg in the lower part of the P. atavus Zone. The δ13Corg values increase through the overlying L. laevigata and A. pisiformis zones and display peak values of c. –28.00‰δ13Corg in the lowermost Furongian Olenus wahlenbergi and O. attenuatus subzones. Thereafter the values decrease significantly through the O. scanicus Subzone. Both isotopic excursions have been documented from several palaeocontinents, but never before from Baltica. Moreover, for the first time these excursions are recorded from organic matter in an alum shale setting. The recorded shift of +1.50–2.00‰δ13Corg is approximately half the magnitude of the SPICE documented from other regions. This discrepancy may be related to temporal variations in the type, origin, or diagenesis of the organic fraction analysed.