Global Ocean Sediment Composition and Burial Flux In the Deep Sea


Christopher T. Hayes, University of Southern MississippiFollow
Kassandra M. Costa, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Robert F. Anderson, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia UniversityFollow
Eva Calvo, Institut de Ciències del Mar
Zanna Chase, University of Tasmania
Ludmilla L. Demina, Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Jean-Claude Dutay, Université Paris-Saclay
Christopher R. German, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Lars-Eric Heimbürger-Boavida, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography
Samuel L. Jaccard, University of Bern
Allison Jacobel, Brown University
Karen E. Kohfeld, Simon Fraser University
Marina D. Kravchishina, Russian Academy of Sciences
Jörg Lippold, Heidelberg University
Figen Mekik, Grand Valley State University
Lise Missiaen, University of New South Wales
Frank J. Pavia, California Institute of TechnologyFollow
Adina Paytan, University of California, Santa Cruz
Rut Pedrosa-Pamies, The Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory
Mariia V. Petrova, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography
Shaily Rahman, University of Southern MississippiFollow
Laura F. Robinson, University of BristolFollow
Matthieu Roy-Barman, Université Paris-Saclay
Anna Sanchez-Vidal, University of Barcelona
Alan Shiller, University of Southern MississippiFollow
Alessandro Tagliabue, University of LiverpoolFollow
Allyson C. Tessin, Kent State University
Marco van Hulten, University of Bergen and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research
Jing Zhang, Shanghai Jiao Tong UniversityFollow

Document Type


Publication Date



Ocean Science and Engineering


Quantitative knowledge about the burial of sedimentary components at the seafloor has wide-ranging implications in ocean science, from global climate to continental weathering. The use of 230 Th-normalized fluxes reduces uncertainties that many prior studies faced by accounting for the effects of sediment redistribution by bottom currents and minimizing the impact of age model uncertainty. Here we employ a recently compiled global dataset of 230 Th-normalized fluxes with an updated database of seafloor surface sediment composition to derive global maps of the burial flux of calcium carbonate, biogenic opal, total organic carbon (TOC), non-biogenic material, iron, mercury, and excess barium (Baxs). The spatial patterns of burial of the major components are mainly consistent with prior work, but the new quantitative estimates allow evaluations of global deep-sea burial. Our integrated deep-sea burial fluxes are 136 Tg C/yr CaCO3, 153 Tg Si/yr opal, 20Tg C/yr TOC, 220 Mg Hg/yr, and 2.6 Tg Baxs/yr. Sedimentary Fe fluxes reflect a mixture of sources including lithogenic material, hydrothermal inputs and authigenic phases. The fluxes of some commonly used paleo-productivity proxies (TOC, biogenic opal, and Baxs) are not well-correlated geographically with satellite-based productivity estimates. Our new compilation of sedimentary fluxes provides more detailed information on burial fluxes, which should lead to improvements in the understanding of how preservation affects these paleoproxies.

Publication Title

Global Biogeochemical Cycles

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