Title

Global Ocean Sediment Composition and Burial Flux In the Deep Sea

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-8-2021

School

Ocean Science and Engineering

Abstract

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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