The use of paleoceanographic proxies in carbonate periplatform settings - opportunities and pitfalls

Reuning, L. and Reijmer, J. J. G. and Betzler, C. and Swart, P. K. and Bauch, T. (2005) The use of paleoceanographic proxies in carbonate periplatform settings - opportunities and pitfalls. Sedimentary Geology, 175. pp. 131-152. DOI 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2004.12.026

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Abstract

In a sediment core from the leeward side of the Great Bahama Bank (Ocean Drilling Program ODP-Leg 166, 1006A- 24H, early Pliocene) several paleoceanographic proxies were compared with carbonate mineralogy. The proxies measured on the planktonic foraminifera species Globigerinoides sacculifer are Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca elemental ratios, and d18O values. These proxies are widely used in pelagic sediments to derive parameters of water masses, such as paleo-temperature and -salinity. To produce quantitative estimates it is necessary to verify that the primary shell mineralogy of the foraminifera was not altered diagenetically. Diagenetic alteration can be rapid in periplatform settings relative to pelagic deep-sea sediments, since the meta-stable carbonate phases provide an additional driving force for recrystallisation. We show that the Sr/Ca ratio of foraminiferal calcite can be used to assess the degree of diagenetic alteration of their shell chemistry. Using this method, we demonstrate that the primary signal in the oxygen-isotope ratios is preserved in the studied core. In the Mg/Ca record, the relative change of foraminiferal Mg/Ca ratios seems to be preserved, but absolute values are influenced by diagenesis. The second set of proxies comprises d13C and C/N ratios of organic carbon. These are used in pelagic sediments in order to assess the origin of organic carbon (terrestrial or marine phytoplankton). It is demonstrated here that a simple two-end mixing model cannot explain the observed co-occurrence of relatively high d13Corg and C/N values. As the d13Corg values co-vary with the aragonite content, we attribute this signature to varying contribution of organic carbon from benthic algae, which are also the major aragonite producers on the platform top.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2005 AREP 2005 P IA48
Subjects: 04 - Palaeobiology
Divisions: 04 - Palaeobiology
Journal or Publication Title: Sedimentary Geology
Volume: 175
Page Range: pp. 131-152
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2004.12.026
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2010 12:04
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 09:59
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/1795

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