Calcium carbonate veins in ocean crust record a threefold increase of seawater Mg/Ca in the past 30 Million years.

Rausch, Svenja, Böhm, Florian, Bach, Wolfgang, Klügel, Andreas and Eisenhauer, Anton (2013) Calcium carbonate veins in ocean crust record a threefold increase of seawater Mg/Ca in the past 30 Million years. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 362 . pp. 215-224. DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.12.005.

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Supplementary data:

Abstract

Chemical (Sr, Mg) and isotopic (δ18O, 87Sr/86Sr) compositions of calcium carbonate veins (CCV) in the oceanic basement were determined to reconstruct changes in Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca of seawater in the Cenozoic. We examined CCV from 10 basement drill sites in the Atlantic and Pacific, ranging in age between 165 and 2.3 Ma. Six of these sites are from cold ridge flanks in basement <46 Ma, which provide direct information about seawater composition. CCV of these young sites were dated, using the Sr isotopic evolution of seawater. For the other sites, temperature-corrections were applied to correct for seawater–basement exchange processes. The combined data show that a period of constant/low Sr/Ca (4.46–6.22 mmol/mol) and Mg/Ca (1.12–2.03 mol/mol) between 165 and 30 Ma was followed by a steady increase in Mg/Ca ratios by a factor of three to modern ocean composition. Mg/Ca–Sr/Ca relations suggest that variations in hydrothermal fluxes and riverine input are likely causes driving the seawater compositional changes. However, additional forcing may be involved in explaining the timing and magnitude of changes. A plausible scenario is intensified carbonate production due to increased alkalinity input to the oceans from silicate weathering, which in turn is a result of subduction-zone recycling of CO2 from pelagic carbonate formed after the Cretaceous slow-down in ocean crust production rate.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: seawater evolution; mid-ocean ridges; hydrothermal circulation; carbonate veins
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.12.005
ISSN: 0012-821X
Projects: DSDP, ODP, Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2013 11:18
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 22:28
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/19922

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