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ABSTRACT

Application of various micropaleontological techniques and δ18O stratigraphy to cores from the tropical east Pacific reveals the record of temporal variations in CaCO3 solution intensity in the area. In general, the solution intensity increased approximately 115,000–65,000 years BP, but according to the location with respect to the lysocline the information registered in the cores varies. Below the lysocline the magnitude of the fluctuations in the solution intensity is large. Near the lysocline the changes are relatively small. The increased solution intensity results in higher relative abundance of resistant planktonic foraminifera, but does not have an apparent effect on the percent CaCO3. Above the lysocline effects of increased solution are evident only at the end of the high solution period, and as in the previous case, the magnitude of the fluctuations is small and the percent of CaCO3 is not affected.

Comparison of the solution record of the equatorial Pacific with the record of CaCO3 accumulation in high latitudes reveals that in general the solution intensity increases when more carbonate is deposited. There are some discrepancies however. The major changes in the solution occur several thousand years after the major changes in accumulation. It is theorized that the solution changes are driven by the variations in accumulation in the high latitudes, produced by climatic change. Since the amount of carbonate available for deposition in the ocean is limited, fluctuations in carbonate accumulation in the high latitudes are compensated by changes in the solution intensity. The timing discrepancy between the cause, climatic change, and the resulting solution may be due to the slow response time of the oceanic carbonate system.

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