Abstract

Physical, elemental, and stable isotopic evidence documents significant syndepositional diagenesis off biogenic carbonate in modern sediment pore water. Halimeda (aragonite) and Neogoniolithon (high-Mg calcite) fragments from sediment cores and experimental substrates were compared with fresh samples to determine the magnitude of minor element (Sr, Mg), and stable isotopic (C and O) compositional shifts. Although no significant shift in bulk sediment mineralogy is apparent, experimental substrates and natural biogenic grains exhibit significant diagenetic changes. These changes include dissolution textures, net loss of mass, changes in minor element composition, and progressive evolution toward carbon and oxygen isotopic equilibrium with p ore water. Our results demonstrate that carbonate sediment can undergo rapid syndepositional dissolution and reprecipitation. Pore waters likely are buffered chemically and isotopically by most abundant carbonate grain types. In turn, compositions of less abundant carbonate grains may shift toward equilibrium with respect to pore water. Therefore, many components of shelf limestone have compositions controlled by chemically evolved pore waters rather than by seawater from which the biotic carbonate originally precipitated.

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