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Calcium carbonate dissolution patterns at intermediate water depths of the tropical oceans during the Quaternary

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Title: Calcium carbonate dissolution patterns at intermediate water depths of the tropical oceans during the Quaternary
Author: Haddad, Geoffrey Allen
Advisor: Droxler, Andre W.
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy thesis
Abstract: This study presents mineralogic and stable isotopic records generated for piston cores and Ocean Drilling Program holes recovered from intermediate water depths (500 to 2500 meters) near carbonate platforms around the world. Study areas included the Bahamas (western North Atlantic Ocean), the Nicaragua Rise (Caribbean Sea), the Maldives (north equatorial Indian Ocean), and the Queensland Plateau (southwest Pacific Ocean). Mineralogic data includes percent fine aragonite content, percent fine Mg calcite content, pteropod (aragonitic holoplanktonic gastropods) abundance, percent whole pteropods, and for some cores, percent clear pteropods. Carbonate data were interpreted both in terms of carbonate input from the nearby banks and in terms of seafloor dissolution. Planktic foraminiferal $\delta\sp{18}$O records were used as the primary chronostratigraphic tool for all sites. Statistical analyses of four metastable CaCO$\sb3$ dissolution proxies yielded a composite dissolution index (CDI) that displays different dissolution histories for Bahama and Nicaragua Rise sediments over the last 200,000 years. These differences are not predicted by intermediate to deep water nutrient fractionation models (e.g., Boyle, 1988). A good correlation is observed between the Caribbean CDI record (this study) and CaCO$\sb3$ dissolution and benthic $\delta\sp{13}$C records from 4641 meters in the Venezuela Basin, Caribbean Sea (Cofer-Shabica, 1987). It is concluded that during the last 200,000 years, variable cross-equatorial flux of Antarctic Intermediate Water has strongly influenced Caribbean carbon chemistry at water depths greater than 1100 meters. The assumption, therefore, that deep Caribbean sediment cores reliably record nutrient and (CO$\sb3\sp{=}$) variations of average mid-depth Atlantic water may need re-evaluation. Over longer time scales, CaCO$\sb3$ dissolution records from intermediate water depths near the Bahamas, Maldives, and Queensland Plateau are similar to deep-water dissolution records. Dissolution occurred from thermocline to abyssal depths from 500,000 to 300,000 years ago (during the middle Brunhes Chron) and between 1,000,000 and 900,000 years ago revealing that whole-ocean changes in carbonate chemistry have occurred during the Quaternary. Enhanced CaCO$\sb3$ dissolution may be related to decreased Ca$\sp{2+}$ flux to the ocean (decreased glacial weathering) and increased neritic CaCO$\sb3$ production and accumulation during periods of elevated interglacial sea-level highstands.
Citation: Haddad, Geoffrey Allen. (1994) "Calcium carbonate dissolution patterns at intermediate water depths of the tropical oceans during the Quaternary." Doctoral Thesis, Rice University. http://hdl.handle.net/1911/16729.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1911/16729
Date: 1994

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