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Shallow marine carbonate dissolution and early diagenesis—Implications from an incubation study

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Surface carbonate sediments from sites on the Bahamas Bank with different seagrass densities were incubated across a range of O2 delivery rates, to study the controls on metabolic carbonate dissolution in these sediments. The results confirmed the 1:1 ratio between the rates of O2 consumption and carbonate dissolution, demonstrating that microbial respiration was the rate-limiting step in metabolic carbonate dissolution. Furthermore, the dissolution we observed was actually net dissolution resulting from coupled dissolution and reprecipitation. This carbonate reprecipitation occurs on the time scale of days, and significantly alters the pore water dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) stable isotopic composition. The carbonate reprecipitation/dissolution ratios observed here were similar to those reported in the literature for other sediments. Dissolution/reprecipitation appeared to involve preferential dissolution of high magnesium calcite and reprecipitation of a carbonate phase with a Mg content that was only slightly lower than that of the dissolving phase. This result agrees with conclusions in the literature that “Ostwald ripening” may be responsible for this reprecipitation.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-07-01

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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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