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Free Content Recent turbidite deposition in the eastern Atlantic: Early diagenesis and biotic recovery

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An interface core taken in Capbreton canyon shows a succession of sedimentary facies interpreted as classical Bouma turbiditic sequences. Activities of 234Th and 210Pb suggest that the deposition of the most recent turbidite was triggered by the violent storm that affected the Atlantic coast of southern France on the 27th of December 1999, about four months before the sampling of the core. This turbidite allows us to study the ongoing diagenesis of the new sediment layer and of the previous sediment-water interface, which has been buried and only slightly eroded. A study of benthic foraminiferal populations informs us about the rate of benthic ecosystem recovery after such a major ecosystem disturbance event. The composition of the benthic foraminiferal fauna suggests that the benthic ecosystem in Capbreton canyon remains in an early stage of colonization. The rare agglutinant taxon Technitella melo appears to be the first colonizing species. It is suggested that Technitella melo is advantaged by the food-impoverished conditions in the days following turbidite deposition. Almost all of the turbidite layer and the previous oxic sediment-water interface contain reduced dissolved metal species and were anoxic. The buried interface contains Fe- and Mn-oxides inherited from its recent oxic past. The reduction of manganese oxides was in progress at the time of core collection. The reduced Mn remained trapped in the sediment as Mn-containing carbonates. Iron-oxides did not undergo significant reductive dissolution. The top of the newly deposited turbidite formed an oxic layer, which was rapidly enriched in metal-oxides. The enrichment of manganese oxides was mostly due to the oxidation of dissolved Mn2+, which diffused from below. The enrichment of iron oxides is explained both by the oxidation of the upward flux of dissolved Fe2+, and by the input of detrital iron oxide after, or as a result of the turbidite deposition.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2002-11-01

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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