Publication details

The Devonian-Carboniferous transition at Borkewehr near Wocklum (northern Rhenish Massif, Germany) – a potential GSSP section

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HARTENFELS Sven BECKER Ralph Thomas HERBIG Hans-Georg QIE Wenkun KUMPAN Tomáš DAVID De Vleeschouwer WEYER Dieter KALVODA Jiří

Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Devonian; Carboniferous Boundary; Hangenberg Crisis; Conodonts; Stratigraphy; Geochemistry; Rhenish Massif
Description The Borkewehr section near Balve at the southeastern end of the Remscheid-Altena Anticline is currently the best and most complete Devonian/Carboniferous Boundary (DCB) succession of the Rhenish Massif, Germany. Based on a multidisciplinary approach, focusing on refined conodont and ammonoid biostratigraphy, microfacies analyses, sequence stratigraphy, carbon isotopes (C-org and C-carb), trace element geochemistry, including REE data, and cyclostratigraphy, the section is proposed as a candidate for the new basal Carboniferous GSSP. The succession represents a pelagic "seamount" setting. It spans the upper Famennian to lower Visean, with a condensed development of most Rhenish lithostratigraphic units and sedimentary sequences. It is the type-section of the oxic and strongly cyclic, fossiliferous Wocklum Limestone and of important uppermost Famennian and basal Carboniferous index species. The First Appearance Datum (FAD) of Protognathodus kockeli s.str., in a phylogenetic succession from the ancestral Pr. semikockeli n. sp., is proposed as future GSSP level. This FAD is sandwiched between many other marker levels for global correlation. Below are, from base to top, the transgressive base of the at least partly anoxic Hangenberg Black Shale (base Lower Hangenberg Crisis Interval), the Hangenberg Regression (onset of siltstones of the basal Middle Crisis Interval), the level of maximum regression, indicated by maximum Zr/Al values, and the initial transgression of the basal Upper Crisis Interval, marked by the re-onset of carbonate deposition. Above follow the locally cryptogenic FAD of Siphonodella (Eosiphonodella) sulcata s.l. at the base of the post-Crisis Interval (Hangenberg Limestone), associated with a conodont biofacies shift, the FAD of Si. (Eo.) bransoni, and, much higher, the sharp Lower Alum Shale Event at the base of the classical middle Tournaisian. The significance of the section is greatly enlarged by its precise correlation with numerous other Rhenish DCB sections that provide important additional data on faunas, geochemistry, geochronological ages, and magnetic susceptibility. The new Borkewehr data suggest changes of weathering intensity, based on Rb/K and K/Al trends, and Milankovitch cyclicity associated with the climate changes of the Hangenberg Crisis. The local conodont extinction rate at the top of the Wocklum Limestone lies at 57 % while there are no survivors in ammonoids, trilobites, or deep-water corals. Positive carbon isotopic shifts of carbonate in the Upper Crisis Interval and of C-org in the Middle Crisis Interval are decoupled, which suggests complex underlying processes that are not yet understood.
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