A new method to evaluate quantitatively the degree of calcium carbonate preservation and dissolution in high-latitude marine sediments is proposed on the basis of relative abundance of CaCO3 shells and organic linings of benthic foraminifers. This method was applied to a late Quaternary sequence from Davis Strait in the northwest North Atlantic and shows that CaCO3 dissolution in sediments has increased since the last glacial maximum (ca. 18,000 B.P.) and peaked when subpolar interglacial conditions were established in surface waters. The dissolution in Davis Strait sediments appears to be closely related to organic biogenic production in surface waters, with a regional pattern of bottom-water formation and circulation.