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Free Content Seasonal patterns of carbonate diagenesis in nearshore terrigenous muds: Relation to spring phytoplankton bloom and temperature

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Pore water saturation state with respect to calcite and aragonite minerals in Long Island Sound sediments fluctuates from saturated and near saturated conditions during late fall, to undersaturated during winter, before slowly changing to supersaturated conditions during late spring. Undersaturation occurs during cold, winter periods when lower rates of ΣCO2 production (low rates of heterotrophic metabolism) and oxidation of reduced minerals such as FeS lower calcium carbonate saturation states. Direct evidence that dissolution of both calcites and aragonite are occurring during this season comes from the simultaneous increases in excess pore water carbonate dissolution products Ca2+, F-, and Sr2+ during periods of pore water undersaturation. Higher ΣCO2 production rates during warmer periods cause the CO32- concentration to become supersaturated for both calcite and aragonite. ΣCO2 production is controlled by both temperature and substrate availability so that benthic deposition of organic matter produced during the spring bloom accelerates the seasonal progression of pore waters to supersaturation. These patterns control carbonate dynamics in temperate, nearshore regions, and result in a regularly observed, yearly cycling of calcium carbonate dominated by alternating periods of net dissolution and net precipitation.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1998

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  • The Journal of Marine Research, one of the oldest journals in American marine science, 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. Biological studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. The editors strive always to serve authors and readers in the academic oceanographic community by publishing papers vital to the marine research in the long and rich tradition of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research. We welcome you to the Journal of Marine Research.
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