Integration of geophysical logs with sedimentological, biostratigraphic, and physical properties data from poorly recovered chert-rich sequences at Ocean Drilling Program Leg 198 Sites 1207 and 1213 allows us to propose an Aptian-Albian (Early Cretaceous) depositional history for Shatsky Rise (North Pacific Ocean). The logs indicate that the lower Aptian and lower Albian deposits are relatively lithified and unporous compared to contiguous sediments. These characteristics are best explained by increased siliceous cementation that resulted from an elevated flux of radiolarians to the seafloor. The intervals of increased biosiliceous production may record a biotic response to enhanced nutrient delivery, coeval with (but longer in duration than) oceanic anoxic events (OAEs) 1a (early Aptian) and 1b (early Albian). On Shatsky Rise, OAE 1a is represented by organic-carbon-rich sediments, but OAE 1b is not. Thus "black shale'' deposition in the Pacific Ocean was only possible when a "carbon-burial threshold'' was crossed. We speculate that this threshold was related to the balance between productivity and carbon oxidation and that, ultimately, the supply of biolimiting nutrients through hydrothermal alteration of basalt may have been the key to the development of "black shale'' in the Pacific basin.
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