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Central European Geology
Authors: István Vető, Katalin Báldi, Stjepan Ćorić, Magdolna Hetényi, Attila Demény, and István Futó

This study is intended to clarify the depositional environment of a 180-m-thick, immature, limy Middle Miocene oil source rock interval, cored in the Zala Basin, western Hungary. For this purpose, a highly interdisciplinary approach was applied combining simple, standard micropaleontological, isotopic, and organic geochemical methods, rarely applied together. Foraminifera were studied for estimating bottom oxygenation and water depth, while nannoplankton biostratigraphy permitted for estimating the rate of sedimentation. The studied source rocks were deposited in a rather shallow sea, below well-oxygenated bottom water. The abundant epiphytic foraminiferal fauna proves that the bottom was densely inhabited by benthic algae, while the high δ13Corg (>–22‰) clearly indicates massive benthic algal contribution to the kerogen. Mass accumulation rate of the limy upper part of the NN5 nannoplankton biozone, the oil source interval included, was very high (551 t/m2/Ma). In spite of moderate productivity and good oxygenation of the bottom, rapid accumulation of carbonate, produced partly by benthic algae, assured both the great relative weight of the marine organic components and their good preservation. Our results provide the first proof for the possibility of a major contribution of benthic algae to oil-prone kerogen.

Open access
Central European Geology
Authors: Attila Demény, Gabriella Schöll-Barna, Pál Sümegi, Péter Sipos, István Fórizs, Brigitta Réka Balázs, Bernadett Bajnóczi, and Gordon Cook


In this paper we present sedimentological and geochemical data for a section of fluvial deposits from SE Hungary covering the period from about 20 to 5 ky BP. Major and trace element geochemistry of bulk sediments as well as stable C and O isotope compositions of the carbonate content indicate significant changes in depositional facies and/or sediment provenance as well as climate conditions. Variations in bulk sediment Sr, TiO2 and P2O5 concentrations were correlated with major climate change events following the Late Glacial Maximum that support the age model established on the basis of AMS 14C age data. Bulk sediment Sr concentrations and stable C and O isotope compositions of bulk sediment carbonate were determined by changes in denudation of carbonate rocks in the recharge area. The Sr and C-O isotope patterns show correlations with global temperature changes during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. However, TiO2 and P2O5 contents show correspondence with humidity changes, suggesting variations in chemical weathering. In addition to the sedimentological effects, C and O isotope compositions of Unio crassus shell fragments show strong changes at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, indicating that the bivalve shells can reflect climate conditions. On the other hand, shorter climate change events were difficult to track in the isotope records due to the competing fractionation processes. The combined evaluation of chemical and isotopic compositions revealed that beside the globally important Younger Dryas and Bølling/Allerød periods, the Ságvár-Lascaux interstadial was of local importance, in accordance with earlier studies.

Restricted access
Central European Geology
Authors: Attila Demény, Alexandra Németh, Zoltán Kern, György Czuppon, Mihály Molnár, Szabolcs Leél-Őssy, Mihály Óvári, and József Stieber

Determination of the long-term behavior of cave systems and their response to changing environmental conditions is essential for further paleoclimate analyses of cave-hosted carbonate deposits. For this purpose, four actively forming stalagmites were collected in the Baradla Cave where a three-year monitoring campaign was also conducted. Based on textural characteristics and radiocarbon analyses, the stalagmites are composed of annual laminae, whose counting was used to establish age–depth relationships. Fast and slowly growing stalagmites have different stable carbon and oxygen isotope compositions as well as trace element contents that could be attributed to differences in drip water migration pathways. The stable isotope compositions were compared with meteorological data of the last ∼100 years indicating that carbon isotope compositions of the stalagmites may reflect changes in precipitation amount, while oxygen isotope compositions are more related to temperature variations. The combined textural–geochemical–meteorological interpretation lead us to select the isotope record that can best reflect variations in environmental conditions and can be used for further evaluation of the climate–proxy relationships.

Open access