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Book Chapter

Paleoenvironmental Implications of Oceanic Carbonate Sedimentation Rates

By
Thomas A. Davies
Thomas A. Davies
Department of Geology, Middlebury College
Middlebury, Vermont 05753 U.S.A.
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Thomas R. Worsley
Thomas R. Worsley
Department of Geology, Ohio University
Athens, Ohio 45701 U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 1981

Abstract

Global land-sea carbonate flux for the past 60 m.y. averages 10.3-12.5 × 1014 g/y, surprisingly close to 12.2 × 1014 g/y calculated using data from today's rivers. However, oceanic carbonate accumulation rates vary between 7.8 × 1014 g/y and 28.6 × 1014 g/y, a factor of four. Furthermore carbonate accumulation oscillates between periods of high (0-6, 22-30, 45-53 m.y.) and low deposition. Prior to 30 m.y.BP all oceans behaved in concert, but since then significant partitioning between the Pacific and Atlantic-Indian oceans has complicated the picture. Prior to 15 m.y.BP the Pacific consumed two-thirds of the total pelagic carbonate, but since that time has never consumed more than 50 percent of the total, and for the past 3 m.y. only 38 percent. This trend is related to hypsometry and changes in carbonate dissolution rates as well as to changes in relative size of the oceans resulting from seafloor spreading.

Global carbonate flux through time appears to be simply related to changing land-sea ratios as calculated from sea level curves. In this system, maximum exposed continental area correlates with high pelagic carbonate flux. Deviations from this simple relationship are attributable to changes in carbonate production-dissolution ratios, latitudinal hypsometric differences, global climatic changes, and biases introduced by the simple averaging techniques used in the calculations.

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Contents

SEPM Special Publication

The Deep Sea Drilling Project: A Decade of Progress

John E. Warme
John E. Warme
Colorado School of Mines, Golden Colorado.
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Robert G. Douglas
Robert G. Douglas
University of Southern California, Los Angeles California
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Edward L. Winterer
Edward L. Winterer
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla California
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
32
ISBN electronic:
9781565761629
Publication date:
January 01, 1981

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