Abstract

Local dissolution observed at the base of the Florida Escarpment appears to result from acid generated by sea-floor oxidation of dissolved sulfide species carried in brines that seep from the base of the escarpment. The extent of seep corrosion depends upon the amount of sulfide that has exited the platform and the efficiency with which the acid attacks the limestones of the escarpment. Calculations suggest that brine seepage influences the shape of these escarpments by undercutting and steepening the carbonate continental margin edges. Other processes competing for the dissolved sulfides are bacterial chemosynthesis and sulfide mineralization, which produces organic-carbon- and sulfide-mineral-rich deposits along the unconformity that separates the buried escarpment from onlapping abyssal sediments.

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