Stable isotope record of the Eifelian-Givetian boundary Kacak-otomari Event (Middle Devonian) from Hungry Hollow, Ontario, Canada Academic Article uri icon


  • The Kak Event in the Middle Devonian (EifelianGivetian (EG) boundary) is a period of apparent global anoxia coincident with widespread deposition of black shale in hemipelagic, pelagic, and some neritic facies. Conodont biostratigraphy in the North American Appalachian Basin has proven to be problematic in precisely demarcating the EG boundary. In this study, we show that the EG boundary may be defined more accurately through isotope stratigraphy (13C) in conjunction with a conodont faunal change across this boundary, identified as the Kak otomari Event. The Canadian Hamilton Group outcropping in Hungry Hollow, Ontario, is a 22m sedimentary succession spanning the Middle Devonian. Conodont biostratigraphy for this section makes it difficult to define the EG boundary, but the otomari Event can be detected. High-resolution isotopic analysis of bulk sedimentary carbonate and organic matter for this succession records a significant negative 13C excursion (13Ccarb = up to 2; 13Corg = 3.0) that is synchronous with total organic carbon (TOC) values up to 12.5%. We identify this negative 13C excursion as a result of marine anoxia associated with the Kakotomari Event and suggest that the excursion is a global event driven by a source of isotopically light carbon, followed by a productivity event, similar to Mesozoic oceanic anoxic events. Such similarities between Devonian and Mesozoic oceanic anoxic events may become more evident with increased high-resolution isotopic and geochemical investigations of Devonian successions.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • van Hengstum, P. J., & Groecke, D. R.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • van Hengstum, Peter J||Groecke, Darren R

publication date

  • March 2008