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Pacific Science (1973), Vol. 27, No.3, p.

290-303
Printed in Great Britain

Calcium Carbonate and Gross-Size Analysis of Surface


Sediments, Western Equatorial Pacific I
MARK]. VALENCIA 2

ABSTRACT: Surface-sediment samples taken from the tops of 47 free-fall, trigger-


weight, or piston cores from an area in the western equatorial Pacific (long 155 0 E-
175 0 E, lat 10 0 N-10 S) were separated into three size-fractions 44 p" 44-246 p"
> 246 p,), and the calcium carbonate content of the total sample and of each size-
fraction was determined. Subaerial volcanic dilution from the direction of the
Solomon Islands prompted exclusion of some samples from carbonate and size-
fraction profiles. An abrupt decrease in carbonate content in the western equatorial
Pacific occurs at 3,500 m, whereas the compensation depth is found at 5,250 m.
Comparisons of previous works and examination of the present data prompt the
assertion that, under specified conditions, the sedimentary lysocline may be ap-
proximated by the slope-break in plots of carbonate content versus depth. A strong
positive correlation (0.92, P < 0.001) of the < 44-p, fraction with depth suggests
that anomalous values for this weight-fraction may be useful in delineating dis-
placed surface sediments in the area studied.

MURRAY AND RENARD (1891) first noted that a This work establishes for the western equa-
negative relationship exists between calcium torial Pacific the approximate depth of the
carbonate content in pelagic sediments and initial abrupt decrease in carbonate content and
water depth. This relationship has since been that of carbonate compensation for the total
more specifically documented and discussed by sediment and for three size-fractions 44 p"
Revelle (1944), Bramlette (1961), Turekian 44-246 p" > 246 p,). In addition, the relation-
(1964, 1965), Lisitzin (1970), and others. Recent ships between size-fraction, carbonate content,
investigations involving profiles of calcium foraminiferal solution indices (Berger 1968),
carbonate solution in the water column (Peter- and water depth are explored.
son 1966, Berger 1967) and detailed analyses of
solution effects on the foraminiferal component
of pelagic sediments (Ruddiman and Heezen
MATERIALS AND METHODS
1967; Berger 1968, 1970; Kennett 1966), to-
gether with a reevaluation of previous results Surface-sediment samples were extracted
(Heath and Culberson 1970, Broecker et al. from the tops of 47 free-fall, trigger-weight, or
1968, Broecker 1971), have led to the definition piston cores obtained by Hawaii Institute of
of five important conceptual horizons in pro- Geophysics personnel on cruises of the R. V.
files of calcium carbonate distribution with Mahi over a 3-year period (Fig. 1). The core
depth in the ocean; i.e., calcium carbonate tops were all of Quaternary age (]. Resig and
compensation depth, foraminiferal compensa- V. Buyannanonth, personal communication),
tion depth, critical depth, lysocline, and depth although the top few centimeters or more may
of calcium carbonate saturation (Table 1). not have been collected.
Samples were separated by U.S. standard
I Hawaii Institute of Geophysics contribution no. sieves (no. 60, 246 p,; no. 325, 44 p,) into three
529. Manuscript received 12 January 1973. size-fractions and the weight of each fraction
2 Hawaii Institute of Geophysics, University of
recorded. Weight-percent calcium carbonate
Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, U.S.A. Present
address: School of Physics and Mathematics, Universiti was determined for the total sample and for
Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinallg, Malaysia. each of the size-fractions by Hiilsemann's (1966)
290
Surface Sediments, Western Equatorial Pacific-VALENCIA 291

TABLE 1
VARIOUS CONCEPTS OF CALCIUM CARBONATE DEPTH-SOLUTION BOUNDARIES
AND THE DEPTH OF OCCURRENCE IN THE EQUATORIAL PACIFIC

DEPTH:
DEPTH: WESTERN
EQUATORIAL EQUATORIAL
PACIFIC PACIFIC
HORIZON DEFINITION (km) (km)
Compensation Depth Depth at which the rate of calcite supply 4.7
equals the rate of dissolution (Bram- (Bramlette 1961)
lette 1961)
Planktonic Foraminiferal Depth at which whole tests of plank- 5.0
Compensation Depth tonic foraminifera are absent (Parker (Parker and
and Berger 1971) Berger 1971-
fig.,14a)
Critical Depth Depth at which the sediment contains 5:5 5.0-5.25
10 percent calcium carbonate by (Lisitzin 1970, (Lisitzin 1970,
weight (Lisitzin 1970) fig. 17) fig. 20)
Lysocline Depth of maximum rate of change in 3.8 3.75-4.0
Berger's (1968) solution index (Parker and (Berger 1968,
Berger 1971, fig. 15)
fig. 140)
Depth of Calcium Carbonate Depth at which the ratio of ion product 0.5 0.5;
Saturation in Water Column Ca++ CO a- and the concentration (Lyakhin 1968, 1.0-2.5
product of solubility equals 1 figs. 5, 6-4) (Lyakhin 1968,
(Lyakhin 1968) fig.6-4b)

rapid gas volumetric technique. In addition, hatched area are all from the region between
foraminiferal species counts were made on an the Plateau and the Islands. Microscopic exami-
approximated minimum of 300 specimens for nation of the anomalous samples revealed the
the > 246 # fraction of each sample (Table 2), presence of significant amounts of volcanic ash
and Berger's (1968) solution indices calculated. and traces of pumice incorporated in rounded
Computer correlation analysis using the Univer- calcareous pellets coarser than 246 #. These
sity of Hawaii's IBM 360 facilitated the de- observations suggested dilution by volcanic
lineation of significant relationships between material in this area, and prompted the ex-
water depth, size-fraction, carbonate content, clusion from the carbonate and size-fraction
and solution indices. profiles of 17 samples situated southwest of the
80-percent-carbonate contour.
In the plots of percent carbonate versus depth
RESULTS for the total sediment (Fig. 4) and for the three
Calcium Carbonate size-fractions (Fig. 5), the following observa-
tions are noteworthy:
A contour map of percent calcium carbonate
in the sediments superimposed on a bathy- 1. For all profiles, the initial decrease in car-
metric map of the area (Fig. 2) reveals that the bonate content occurs in the vicinity of
percent values decrease markedly offthe Ontong 3,500-m depth, whereas the compensation
Java Plateau into deeper water, presumably due depth is at about 5,250 m.
to solution of the calcium carbonate. The 2. Above 4,000-m depth, the < 44-# fraction
marked decrease in the direction of the Solo- contains less weight-percent carbonate than
mon Islands is anomalous, however, as the is contained in the other size-fractions.
values in those samples are much too low for 3. Between depths of 2,500 and 3,500 m, the
the depth of water. In the plot of percent car- < 44-# fraction exhibits a maximum weight-
bonate versus depth (Fig. 3), the values in the percent of carbonate.
292 PACIFIC SCIENCE, Volume 27, July 1973

D-
150' E 160' 170' 180'
10r------------r.------,---...,...------,-,--c:-----,---------.....---,10

N N

"59
'30

'28

0'

~
23

ZS,,o 1

10' 2 10'
S S
150' E 170' 180'

SYMBOLS
= 67 PISTON CORE 0 = 68 FREE FAll CORE
Ii = 68 PISTON CORE = 70 FREE FAll CORE
= 70 PISTON CORE 0 : 70 TRIGGER CORE
FIG. 1. Sample locations and general bathymetry of the Ontong Java Plateau area. Bathymetric contour interval:
1 km.

4. At depths below 4,250 m, all the carbonate lysocline and compensation depths (see Table 1
profiles except that for the > 246-,u fraction for horizon definitions) (Heath and Culberson
display a linear relationship with depth. 1970). A comparison of a theoretical profile to
Since the 44-246-,u and the > 246-,u frac- that of the observed total percent carbonate
tions comprise nearly equal proportions of (Fig. 4) (see Table 3 for calculations) will reveal
the total sediment and have equal weight- that the latter appears to decrease more rapidly
percents of carbonate above 4,250 m depth, with depth than Heath's and Culberson's model
the attenuation of the > 246-,u profile is predicts, although additional deep data would
particularly striking. strengthen this conclusion.
A profile of the weight-percent carbonate
If the rate of dissolution of carbonate (1) is contributed by each size-fraction to the total
zero above the saturation level, (2) is slow in the percent carbonate (Fig. 6) shows considerable
interval of slight undersaturation between the scatter above 2,500 m; below this depth the
saturation level and the lysocline, and (3) in- < 44-,u carbonate fraction clearly predomi-
creases linearly with depth below the lysocline, nates, reaching a maximum at about the 4,000-m
then carbonate profiles may be mathematically depth. The calcareous contribution of the other
generated from estimates of the original cal- size-fractions exhibits a relatively consistent
careous content of the settling sediment and the decrease below 2,500 m.
.......... ....., ........ .L..oI _

(fl
FORAMINIFERAL SPECIES COUNTS FOR THE> 246-1' FRACTION IN SURFACE SEDIMENT SAMPLES (::
t-t
~
Year 1967 1967 1968 1967 1967 1968 1967 1967 1967 1970 (")
(1)
Core FFC7 FFC6 PC20 FF27 FF5 PC15 FF9 FF8 FF14 PC62 (fl
(1)
Depth (m) 2,178 2,232 2,250 2,254 2,256 2,535 2,670 2,688 2,830 2,910 p...

SPECIES NUMBER OF SPECIMENS


S'
(1)

Globorotalia crassaforn,is 0 0 5 0 2 4 0 0 1 2
0
...::J
S"
Globigerina calida 6 7 7 6 0 0 3 2 0
Globorotalia Cl/ltrata 14 11 21 5 18 30 8 9 7 32 ~
Globorotalia tUl71ida
5phaeroidinella dehiscens
0
1
0
1
0
1
3
1
0
2
2
0
3
2
0
1
4
1
8
1
...'"
(1)

(1)
t-t
Globigerinoides conglobatus 23 15 22 7 75 10 31 20 17 6 ::J
Globigerinoides sacculifer 109 74 114 79 167 64 122 76 91 81 I:J1
GlolJigerinoidu ruber 169 104 148 112 238 36 123 81 97 78 ..g
Globigerina conglomerata 3 1 10 1 4 3 4 1 4 8 ...
l'>
0
Globo]uadrina dutertrei 62 37 50 25 78 37 37 36 18 44 i:!,
Globorotalia scitllia 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 e.
Globigerineila siphonifera 67 39 70 57 86 42 61 40 64 70 '"d
l'>
Candeina nitida 4 4 8 3 6 1 4 4 0 1 (")

Orbulina flniversa 5 2 5 0 2 2 4 2 1 1 Eh
Pulleniatina obliquiloculata
Globigerinoides quadrilobattls
45
64
57
58
52
78
79
54
88
108
123
53
59
94
32
46
66
66
120
58 1>
t-'
Year
Core
1967 1968 1968 1968 1967 1967 1970
pcn
1970 1967 1967
FFl
~
n
FF2 PC12 PCll PC23 FF30 FF15 FFC59 FF28
Depth (m) 3,360 3,430 3,900 3,940 4,216 4,232 4,255 4,280 4,312 4,312 >
SPECIES NUMBER OF SPECIMENS
Globorotalia crassaformis 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Globigerina calida 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Globorotalia cultrata 8 2 13 15 15 4 24 13 5 14
Globorotalia tUl71ida 5 2 10 9 4 0 2 3 4 5
5phaeroidinella dehiscens 3 2 6 0 1 1 0 2 2 4
GlolJigerinoides conglobatus 14 7 5 18 5 6 4 1 2 3
Globigerinoides sacculifer 99 136 32 62 29 60 52 13 22 15
Globigerinoides ruber 31 38 10 19 2 23 7 6 9 5
Globigerina conglomerata 14 7 6 9 3 2 10 0 2 3
Globoquadrina dutertrei 37 16 22 16 15 41 43 5 27 11
Globorotalia scitula 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Globigerinella siphonifera 12 80 27 50 9 17 21 6 16 13
Candeina nitida 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
Orbulina universa 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 N
\0
Pulleniatina ob/iquiloclliata 114 122 246 120 213 164 238 170 154 182 'JJ
Globigerinoides quadrilobatus 70 87 19 49 21 50 36 8 18 10
294 PACIFIC SCIENCE, Volume 27, July 1973

150 E 160
10 10
N N

:,.:i.:.i.:.:.. ,.:.:i.:.
.. .. ~I I
:l :l.:.:l.: :.:I:. !:'..:I::.,!. :1::.: :;:::::::::::::::::::::::::;:;::::::;::;::::::::::;:::
:.:.I :.i.: :.:I

il!il!! !IIIIIII 1IIIIIIi I illlill


1~ :::::::'i :.;.:.:.;.:::.:::.;:::::::,:,:,:::,:::,::::::::::::::.;.: .

150 E 170
2. Percent calcium carbonate in surface sediments superimposed on the bathymetry of the Ontong J
~lateau area. cont~:~
FIG.
Carbonate contour interval: 10 percent, contours dashed where approximate' bathymetric
mterval: 1 km. '

Size-Fractions
equatorial Pacific region. Solution index pro-
Weight-percent < 44 # correlates remarkably
files for my data (Fig. 10) and for data extracted
well with water depth (r = 0.92, P < 0.001),
from Parker and Berger (1971, Appendix A)
especially between depths of 2,500 to 4,500 m
for the region long 150 E-180 E, lat 10 N-
(Fig. 7). This size-fraction approaches a con-
10 S (Fig. 11) delineate a lysocline at about
stant 90 percent at about 4,750 m. Weight-
3,500 m. This depth does not agree with the
percent > 246 # shows a high negative cor-
depth range of 3,750-4,250 m which Parker's
relation .with depth (r = -0.93, P < 0.001).
and Berger's fig. 15 depicts for the western
The weight-percent of the 44-246-# fraction
equatorial Paci~c. Data from Parker and Berger
and that of the > 246-# fraction approaches a
(1971, Appendix A) for the eastern equatorial
constant 10 to 15 percent at 3,900 m and 2 to 3
Pa~ific (F~g. 12) agree with their entire equa-
percent at 4,750 m, respectively (Figs. 8 and 9).
tOrIal PacIfic depth of 3,800 m for the lysocline.
Lysocline depth is greater in the eastern than
Faunal Parameters in the western equatorial Pacific; if data from
Parker and Berger (1971, fig. 14A) indicate these ~wo regions of disparate productivity are
a lysocline depth of 3,800 m for the entire combmed, this difference is masked.


Surface Sed'I ments , W estern E quatorial PaeifiC-VALENCIA =~----------- ----
295

% CoCO:!
40 IN TOTAL SAMPLE
20 60 80

1000

...
fooO ~
~ ,

~///////////~,;;;
'000 'LY"''''TNYj--

5000
CS>~P.5~ATlON
__
---~~~
IG.3
. Percent cal clUm
. carbonate 10 --- - - - - - -
. total sample
F versus water depth

%C C .
20 40 IN TOTAL SAMPLE
a 03
60 100

1000

1500
OBSERVED CoCO
~ 2000 CONTENT 3
.... ~.
UJ

~ 2500
z
.... 3000
::I:
a..
UJ _ _ _ _LYSOClIl\JE"
03500 - "
4000 THEORETICAL-o- - - -
~ RAr~ISSOLUTION

4500 THEORETICAL
CONTENTCoC03

5000
r --.----~~~~~
296 PACIFIC SCIENCE, Volume 27, July 1973

1000

'"eo::w 2000
....
w
:E
z
J: 3000
....
e>.
w
0 - - - - - " LYSOCLlNE"-- - - - -

4000

5000

FIG. 5. Percent calcium carbonate in each size-fraction versus water depth. Open triangle = < 44 1"; open
square = 44-246 1"; open circle = > 246 It.

DISCUSSION TABLE 3
Lysocline and Compensation Depth CALCULATION OF THEORETICAL CaC03 CONTENT
WITH DEPTH
Although compensation depth may be
mapped on the basis of carbonate content, the d d-L R C
lysocline content, according to Berger (1968,
3,500 0 0 90*
1970), should be defined in sediments by using 3,750 250 14.3 88.6
the concentration of resistant species of for- 4,000 500 28.6 86.5
aminifera. Depending on the initial composition 4,250 750 42.9 83.7
of the sediment, a sample consisting entirely 4,500 1,000 57.1 79.5
4,750 1,250 71.4 72.3
of calcium carbonate may have undergone more 5,000 1,500 85.7 55.8
solution than one with a very small calcareous 5,250 1,750 100.0 0
component. However, an examination of the
mathematics of lysocline generation leads to NOTE: L = lysocline depth = 3,500 m; Do ~ com-
pensation depth = 5,250 m; d = a depth at or between
the possibility of delineating a depth approxi-
L and Do in meters; R ~ rate of solution expressed as a
mating the lysocline in nature and origin on percentage of the rate of supply; R = d - L/D0 - L x
profiles of carbonate content for a uniform 100; Co = carbonate content of undissolved sediment;
sedimentary regime. N = noncarbonate content of undissolved sediment;
Consider the formula (from Berger 1971): C = calcite content of sediment ~ [(1 - R/l00) x Co x
100]/[(1 - R/100) x Co + N].
L = 100 (l-R oIR) * Observed average carbonate content above 3,500
meters.
where L is the loss of sediment necessary to
increase the insoluble fraction R o to R percent. sediment dissolves as the carbonate content
If R o equals 5 percent and R equals 10 percent, decreases from 95 to 90 percent. In comparison,
loss L equals 50 percent; i.e., 50 percent of the if R o equals 50 percent and R equals 60 percent,
Surface Sediments, Western Equatorial Pacific-VALENCIA 297

%(0(3

00 20 40 60

LEGEND
_._. L
1000 ...... <44 jL
---- 44-246jL
r o ---,

- > 246jL (
V'l \
l>::
w
2000 ":::::~:;;.~N~ ,,-
I-
w
)
~
, ,~ . \.
" -0. I
z 3000 I I '
... I
I ...
::c t '. i
I- /
...... ::...::::.:::
0..
W .I
_.";-
0

. . ,: . .:;::.: .::;.::~:>;.. .... _.1'-


1...:,;:;;;;:.;.:<.::-;':'_.

FIG. 6. Weight-percent calcium carbonate contribution of each size-fraction to total (% CaCOa x wt. % size-
fraction) calcium carbonate content.

WEIGHT 1 < 441'


00-;._ ___.---=:2;.0--r-...::.;40=--r---..::6TO~---.---=8;.0--r--'il00

500

1000

1500

on 2000
...'"
w ".
~ 2500
~ 0>

~ 3000
w
o
3500


4000
. :..
4500

5000

5500IL -.l.--.l.--.l--...I.--...I--...L--'----'----L---'

FIG. 7. Weight-percent < 44 Ii versus water depth.


298 PACIFIC SCIENCE, Volume 27, July 1973

WEIGHT" 44-2461'
0 10 20 30 40 50
0

500

1000

1500


'"
C<
W
2000

:;:; 2500
.. ,

:IE
~
J: 3000

:;:
~ 3500

4000

4500
....:

5000
,
5500

FIG. 8. Weight-percent 44-246 It versus water depth.

WEIGHT" > 2461'


0i---.--.:,IO=----r---'2TO---,---=3i-0--,--~40=---_.,.__-=5iO

500

1000

1500

'" 2000
C<
e

w

i
~

t 3000
w
2500

Ci
3500

4000
.,. ..
45001-


5000
,.
55ooL--.L---'------'------L---L_--'--_-L_-L_-L_....J

FIG. 9. Weight-percent> 246 p, versus water depth.


- --------=~~=
S diments, Western Equatona
' 1 Paclfic-
'VALENCIA 299

Surface e LUTtON INDEX 30 1.50


BERGER SO 1.10 1.
.70 _~. 90,,--.--

~
0-
2000
W
::
z
;: 3000
Q..

----- ~ .
4000

O 5000 r
' d ex profile lor
I tion-In the western equa torial Pac!'fic (data from t h's
! work).
""gu 00 U X

F>G 1 UTION INOE 20 2.50


BE RGE R SOL 90 2... " :....-,-----,
o1.00 _--;..=-----,--
1.30 1.60 1.

1000

5000 ' r
x profile lor the western equa torial Pac!'fic (data from Parker an d Berger 1971,
FIG.11 , Berger so lution-Inde
Appendix A),
300 PACIFIC SCIENCE, Volume 27, July 1973

BERGER SOLUTION INDEX


1.00 1.30 1.60 1.90 2.20 2.50
o I I I I

1000 f-

iQ 2000 I- -
w

.~
f-
W
:E
z
J: 3000 f- -
f-
e..
w
Cl

5000

I I I I
--
FIG. 12. Berger solution-index profile for the eastern equatorial Pacific (data from Parker and Berger 1971,
Appendix A).

loss L equals 17 percent. As the percent of 1971), and the noncalcareous fraction of the
insoluble material approaches that of the cal- shallowest samples in the investigated area also
careous component, the same amount of solu- approaches 5 percent. The initial biogenic
tion loss produces a greater decreas.e in the calcite rain as well as the deep physicochemical
percent soluble fraction. Thus, irrespective of hydrographic structure is relatively uniform
actual solution-rate variations, an abrupt change over the western equatorial Pacific. Samples
in slope in plots of carbonate content versus containing anomalous amounts of noncal-
depth would occur where the carbonate frac- careous material or exhibiting evidence of re-
tion becomes comparable to the noncalcareous working have been excluded from the car-
fraction. Minimum dissolution loss in foramini- bonate profile. Thus, for this relatively uniform
feral assemblages can be described by the same sedimentary environment, the carbonate profile
equation, if resistant forms are considered to and the solution index profile show a similar
be insoluble (Berger 1971). The solution index abrupt change of slope in the vicinity of 3,500 m
is formed by multiplying the species percent (Figs. 4, 10, and 11). The lysocline depth in the
by its solution rank, summing the products, and southeastern Pacific is also consistent with the
dividing by the average rank number. Because depth at which carbonate content abruptly
the solution indices are comparisons of resistant decreases in the equatorial Pacific (Berger 1971).
and nonresistant species, the lysocline can be Of course, wherever the two initial insoluble
thought of as a "compensation depth of easily fractions are disparate, the profile horizons
destroyed species" (Berger 1971 : 350). would not be coincident.
The initial composition of the settling for- It must be emphasized that the concept of
aminiferal assemblage in the South Pacific is the sedimentary lysocline as a measurable boun-
no more than 5-percent resistant species (Berger dary produced by a hydrographic dissolution~
Surface Sediments, Western Equatorial Pacific-VALENCIA 301

rate change (hydrographic lysocline) is open to daries is also correct, and if surface production
question. In fact, marked dissolution occurs at is a locally dominant controlling factor, then
depths as shallow as 3,000 m in the equatorial the lysocline should be deeper and the com-
Pacific (Berger 1971). Tentative associations by pensation depth shallower in the western equa-
Berger (1968) of the sedimentary lysocline with torial Pacific than they are in the eastern
the actual levels at which solution rates increase equatorial Pacific. The greater interval between
-in the water column, as documented by the lysocline and the compensation depth
Peterson (1966) and Berger (1967), remain coupled with lower production in the western
unsupported. equatorial Pacific contradicts this hypothesis.
The extrapolated compensation depth of The biological, physical, and chemical pro-
5,250 m for the western equatorial Pacific is cesses leading to local hydrographic and sedi-
similar to other previously reported depths for mentary lysocline-depth variations obviously
the central equatorial Pacific, whereas the lyso- require further elucidation.
cline depth of 3,500 m is at the shallower end A linear increase in the dissolution rate be-
of the range of previously reported data for the low the lysocline as postulated by Heath and
equatorial Pacific. The depth and sharpness of Culberson (1970) is perhaps inconsistent with
the compensation level depend on the rate of the observed percent carbonate profile (Fig. 4).
supply of calcium carbonate, the hydrographic Berger's (1967) finding of successive doublings
lysocline depth, and the slope of the dissolution- of foraminiferal ooze weight-loss between 2,750
rate curve below the lysocline (Heath and and 5,250 m also supports the theory of non-
Culberson 1970). The general pattern of the linear increase of the dissolution rate. It should
lysocline is primarily controlled by the mass be noted, however, that Heath's and Culber-
balance of calcium carbonate (Broecker et al. son's model assumes that all dissolution occurs
1968), thermodynamics (Sillen 1967), and deep at the depth of deposition. Actually, the biogenic
circulation (Berger 1970); but this general pat- particles may undergo some dissolution during
tern is supposedly altered by geographically settling (Peterson 1966), possibly decreasing
variable rates of surface production of organic the carbonate content in a nonlinear manner,
carbon (Heath and Culberson 1970, Berger and thus accounting for the observed dis-
1970). An increase in surface production would crepancy between the theoretical and observed
raise the lysocline by supplying more oxidizable profiles.
organic matter for carbon dioxide formation
and, at the same time, would depress the com-
Size-Fractions
pensation depth by supplying more calcareous
tests (Heath and Culberson 1970). However, If slumping and turbidity flows are dis-
Kroopnick (1971) reports that oxygen con- regarded, the grain size of the carbonate frac-
sumption is not limited by a lack of carbon. tion of pelagic sediments is a function of its
Most of the dissolved oxygen is probably con- original biogenic constituents and dissolution
sumed in the oxidation of organic matter to history. The < 44-,u fraction exhibits a high
form carbon dioxide which, in turn, increases positive correlation with depth, and Fig. 6
the undersaturation of the water with respect confirms that a dominant solution effect above
to calcium carbonate. If oxygen consumption 4,000 m is the fragmentation of particles
in the formation of carbon dioxide is limited coarser than 44,u. Berger (1967) has also found
by kinetics rather than by a lack of carbon, local that, in foraminiferal ooze, preferential frag-
lysocline depth may not be greatly affected by mentation of larger (> 125,u) specimens tends
surface productivity. to increase the finer fraction weight-percent.
Surface production in the investigated area Calcareous particles of > 246 ,u show greater
is less than 100 mgCfm2 per day, as compared resistance to solution than do the other size-
with that of 100-250 mgCfm 2 per day for the fractions (Fig. 5), presumably due to the greater
eastern equatorial Pacific (Koblentz-Mishke resistance of some species of large foraminifera,
et al. 1970, fig. 1). If the inverse relation of e.g., Pulleniatina obliquiloculata.
production with these carbonate profile boun- Because the weight-percent of the > 246-,u
302 PACIFIC SCIENCE, Volume 27, July 1973

fraction is composed almost entirely of for- of a Ph.D. dissertation which was submitted to
aminifera and because the decrease of this frac- the University of Hawaii, August 1972.
tion with depth is linear (Fig. 9), its potential
usefulness as a solution index within a par-
ticular core is obvious; although climatically
LITERATURE CITED
induced variations in the production ratios of
large foraminiferal tests and coccoliths may BERGER, W. H. 1967. Foraminiferal ooze: solu-
confuse the interpretation. Similarly, anomalous tion at depths. Science 157: 383-385.
values for this fraction or for the < 44-,u frac- - - - . 1968. Planktonic foraminifera: selec-
tion in surface sediments for a given depth may tive solution and paleoclimatic interpretation.
indicate recent tectonic or sediment movements. Deep-Sea Res. 15: 31-43.
- - - . 1970. Planktonic foraminifera: selec-
tive solution and the lysocline. Mar. Geol. 8:
111-138.
CONCLUSIONS
- - - . 1971. Sedimentation of planktonic
1. Subaerial volcanics reduce the calcium car- foraminifera. Mar. Geol. 11: 325-358.
bonate content of surface sediments on the BRAMLETTE, M. N. 1961. Pelagic sediments.
western margin of the Ontong Java Plateau. Pages 345-366 in M. Sears, ed. Oceano-
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
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assistance. This research was supported by the Sciences, Washington, D.C.
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principal investigators; and by the National as tracers for consumption, production, and
Science Foundation grant GA-11412, J. Resig, circulation models. Ph.D. Dissertation. Uni-
principal investigator. It constitutes a portion versity of California at San Diego. 230 pp.
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