3D Numerical Modelling and Sensitivity Analysis of the Processes Controlling Organic Matter Distribution and Heterogeneity—A Case Study from the Toarcian of the Paris Basin

Abstract : The active debate about the processes governing the organic-rich sediment deposition generally involves the relative roles of elevated primary productivity and enhanced preservation related to anoxia. However, other less spotlighted factors could have a strong impact on such deposits, e.g., residence time into the water column (bathymetry), sedimentation rate, transport behavior of organo-mineral floccules on the sea floor. They are all strongly interrelated and may be obscured in the current conceptual models inspired from most representative modern analogues (i.e., upwelling zones and stratified basins). To improve our comprehension of organic matter distribution and heterogeneities, we conducted a sensitivity analysis on the processes involved in organic matter production and preservation that have been simulated within a 3D stratigraphic forward model. The Lower-Middle Toarcian of the Paris Basin was chosen as a case study as it represents one of the best documented example of marine organic matter accumulation. The relative influence of the critical parameters (bathymetry, diffusive transport, oxygen mixing rate and primary production) on the output parameters (Total Organic Carbon, and oxygen level), determined performing a Global Sensitivity Analysis, shows that, in the context of a shallow epicontinental basin, a moderate primary productivity (>175 gC·m −2 ·year −1) can led to local anoxia and organic matter accumulation. We argue that, regarding all the processes involved, the presence and distribution of organic-rich intervals is linked as a first-order parameter to the morphology of the basin (e.g., ramp slope, bottom topography). These interpretations are supported by very specific ranges of critical parameters that allowed to obtain output parameter values in accordance with the data. This quantitative approach and its conclusions open new perspectives about the understanding of global distribution and preservation of organic-rich sediments.
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Benjamin Bruneau, Marc Villié, Mathieu Ducros, Benoit Chauveau, François Baudin, et al.. 3D Numerical Modelling and Sensitivity Analysis of the Processes Controlling Organic Matter Distribution and Heterogeneity—A Case Study from the Toarcian of the Paris Basin. Geosciences, MDPI, 2018, 8 (11), pp.405. ⟨10.3390/geosciences8110405⟩. ⟨hal-01951468⟩

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