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ABSTRACT

The foraminiferal lysocline, defined as the boundary zone between well-preserved and poorly preserved foraminiferal assemblages on the sea floor, is not by necessity a level of accelerated dissolution or “lysocline” in a general sense, such as found by Peterson (1966). The foram lysocline has the properties of a compensation depth, in that it can exist independently of the particular shape of a dissolution profile as long as rates increase with depth. There is considerable evidence for pronounced dissolution above the foram lysocline in the area just south of Peterson’s experiment. Detailed stratigraphic work and quantitative modeling of progressive dissolution of foram assemblages is necessary to establish to what degree the hydrographic lysocline (Peterson’s level) leaves a trace on the sea floor, in the form of a sedimentary lysocline; that is, a marked decrease in the rate of sedimentation.

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