Articles | Volume 4, issue 6
12 Nov 2007
12 Nov 2007

Early diagenetic overprint in Caribbean sediment cores and its effect on the geochemical composition of planktonic foraminifera

M. Regenberg, D. Nürnberg, J. Schönfeld, and G.-J. Reichart

Abstract. Early diagenetic features are noticed in the vicinity of carbonate platforms. Planktonic foraminifera of two tropical Atlantic deep-sea sediment cores show the strict relation between micro-scale euhydral crystallites of inorganic precipitates, higher oxygen isotope values and Mg/Ca ratios, and lower Sr/Ca ratios than expected for their pelagic environment in the time interval of ~100 000–550 000 calendar years before present. Laser ablation Mg/Ca (Sr/Ca) of crystallite-bearing foraminiferal chamber walls revealed 4–6 times elevated (2–3 times depleted) ratios, when ablating the diagenetic overgrowth. Crystalline overgrowth in proportion of 10–20% are estimated to cause the observed geochemical alteration. The extent of foraminiferal Mg/Ca alteration, moreover, seems to be controlled by the composition of the bulk sediment, especially the content of high-magnesium calcite. Anomalous ratios of >6 mmol/mol only occur, when high-magnesium calcite has dissolved within the sediment. The older parts (back to ~800 kyrs) of the records are characterized by similar trends of Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca. We discuss possible scenarios to accommodate the obtained geochemical information.

Final-revised paper