Various parameters of deep-sea sediments from the western Gulf of Mexico which are generally accepted as indicators of calcium carbonate dissolution were subjected to a multivariate statistical analysis in order to determine the amount of variance in each parameter down core attributable to dissolution. Benthonic foraminiferal abundance and foramini-feral test fragmentation proved to be most indicative of dissolution during the late Quaternary. In contrast to earlier studies, calcium carbonate concentration proved to be the least reliable variable. Ecologic and dynamic processes, such as productivity and lateral transport, also have a significant effect on each of the parameters.

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