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Abstract

Preservation patterns of calcareous foraminifera on the deep sea floor reflect the state of saturation of the ocean with respect to calcium carbonate, which in turn is a function of overall mixing rate and fertility. Experiments in the field and in the laboratory establish the sequence in which the various species dissolve. The same sequence is evident from seafloor data. The sequence can be used to form dissolution indices. Such indices, as well as other indicators of preservation, e. g. fragmentation, are useful for mapping preservation states and for delineating the preservation stratigraphy in calcareous pelagic sediments. Preservation stratigraphy is an excellent tool for stratigraphic correlation and contains clues to the changing chemistry and fertility of the ocean. Acoustic reflectors in carbonate sequences are closely tied to preservation fluctuations.

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