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Temperature and volume of global marine sediments

Douglas E. LaRowe, Ewa Burwicz, Sandra Arndt, Andrew W. Dale and Jan P. Amend
Temperature and volume of global marine sediments
Geology (Boulder) (January 2017) 45 (3): 275-278


Marine sediments contribute significantly to global element cycles on multiple time scales. This is due in large part to microbial activity in the shallower layers and abiotic reactions resulting from increasing temperatures and pressures at greater depths. Quantifying the rates of these diagenetic changes requires a three-dimensional description of the physiochemical properties of marine sediments. In a step toward reaching this goal, we have combined global data sets describing bathymetry, heat conduction, bottom-water temperatures, and sediment thickness to quantify the three-dimensional distribution of temperature in marine sediments. This model has revealed that approximately 35% of sediments are above 60 degrees C, conditions that are suitable for petroleum generation. Furthermore, significant microbial activity could be inhibited in approximately 25% of marine sediments, if 80 degrees C is taken as a major thermal barrier for subsurface life. In addition to a temperature model, we have calculated new values for the total volume (3.01 X 10 (super 8) km (super 3) ) and average thickness (721 m) of marine sediments, and provide the only known determination of the volume of marine-sediment pore water (8.46 X 10 (super 7) km (super 3) ), equivalent to approximately 6.3% of the volume of the ocean. The results presented here can be used to help quantify the rates of mineral transformations, lithification, catagenesis, and the extent of life in the subsurface on a global scale.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 45
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Temperature and volume of global marine sediments
Affiliation: University of Southern California, Department of Earth Sciences, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Pages: 275-278
Published: 20170109
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 36
Accession Number: 2017-012086
Categories: Oceanography
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: GSA Data Repository item 2017072
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables
Secondary Affiliation: GEOMAR-Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, DEU, GermanyUniversity of Bristol, GBR, United Kingdom
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2022, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201709
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