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Marine Sediments CBGS 2011 Marine Sediments CBGS 2011

More than 50% of all rocks exposed on the surface of the continents are More than 50% of all rocks exposed on the surface of the continents are sedimentary rock of marine origin. They were deposited when : 1. sea level was higher - 250 million year old fossils from shale beds in the Tetons, Wyoming 2. Land was uplifted by tectonic processesuplifted coral reefs around Mt. Skukum caldera, Yukon

There are 4 main sources of marine sediments: • Lithogenous- sediments from land sources There are 4 main sources of marine sediments: • Lithogenous- sediments from land sources • Biogenous- these sediments are derived from the skeletal remains of marine organisms • Hydrogenous- form as a result of chemical reactions taking place in the water or at the sediment-water interface • Cosmogenous- these sediments have their origins in outer space- they are dust, spherules and chondrules, and meteorites.

Lithogenous or Terrestrial • Lithic - refers to rock or continental origin including: • Lithogenous or Terrestrial • Lithic - refers to rock or continental origin including: • River discharge, coastal erosion and landslides • Volcanic eruptions (ash to rock sized) • Turbidity currents (submarine canyons /continental slope) • Glacial & Iceburg debris • Aeolian (wind) transported sediments • They compose roughly 75% of marine sediments

Rivers deposit massive amounts of sediment, mostly along continental margins, Rivers deposit massive amounts of sediment, mostly along continental margins,

Ejecta from volcanic eruptions can vary in size from ash and dust to house Ejecta from volcanic eruptions can vary in size from ash and dust to house size boulders

Turbidity currents can carry fine sediment from the continental slope to edges of the Turbidity currents can carry fine sediment from the continental slope to edges of the deep ocean basin

Icebergs can form where glaciers run into the sea. • Any rocks or sedimentary Icebergs can form where glaciers run into the sea. • Any rocks or sedimentary material that has imbedded in the bottom of the ice sheet will drop out onto the sea floor as the iceberg melts at sea.

African dust storms (Aeolian (wind) Transport) • Carry fine silts and clays far out African dust storms (Aeolian (wind) Transport) • Carry fine silts and clays far out over the open ocean and deposit as abyssal clays in the deep sea.

 • Wind-swept desert sands not only produce a cooling effect due to deflection • Wind-swept desert sands not only produce a cooling effect due to deflection of incoming solar radiation, but they also deposit sand, silt and dust on the ocean surface and ultimately on the ocean floor. (Shown here is a dust storm over the Red Sea. ) Through mineralogical and chemical analysis, scientists can recreate historical patterns in climate and geological Richard W. Murray Water Encyclopedia development.

Cosmogenous Sediments • Make up only a small % of total marine sediment. • Cosmogenous Sediments • Make up only a small % of total marine sediment. • Constant bombardment by ‘space dust’ contributes a small proportion all over the globe Major impacts can cause localized sediment structure (tektities)

Hydrogenous sediments (Precipitation of dissolved materials directly from seawater due to chemical reactions) • Hydrogenous sediments (Precipitation of dissolved materials directly from seawater due to chemical reactions) • Key Mineral Resources • Manganese nodules and crusts- abundant baseball sized nodules composed of Mn, Fe, Cu, Co, and Ni. Found only in very deep ocean environment where other sediments accumulate slowly. Formation is a mystery (onion-like layers). • Massive Sulfides- (Iron, Nickel, copper, zinc, silver) - found at ocean floor hydrothermal vents

Hydrogenous sediments (cont…) • Phosphorites- deposits as the mineral, apatite, in shallow to mid-depths Hydrogenous sediments (cont…) • Phosphorites- deposits as the mineral, apatite, in shallow to mid-depths on continental shelf/slope. They grow downward into the sediment using remineralized excess phosphorous from bacteria. • Evaporites- form from evaporation of seawater, (Gypsum, Halite, other Salts)

Hydrogenous sediments (cont…) • Oolites – sedimentary rocks made of spherical ooids (concentric layers Hydrogenous sediments (cont…) • Oolites – sedimentary rocks made of spherical ooids (concentric layers of Ca. CO 3)

Ooids- shaped spheres with onion like layers form from Ca. CO 3 • Whiting- Ooids- shaped spheres with onion like layers form from Ca. CO 3 • Whiting- patches of cloudy seawater saturated with aragonite needles which lead to ooid formation

The Bahama Banks are composed of calcium carbonate ooid sands and aragonite needle muds. The Bahama Banks are composed of calcium carbonate ooid sands and aragonite needle muds. These are biological deserts because the sands are constantly shifting.

Biogenous Sediments • Macroscopic shells and skeletons of Ca. CO 3 (Shells, corals) • Biogenous Sediments • Macroscopic shells and skeletons of Ca. CO 3 (Shells, corals) • Microscopic shells of Ca. CO 3 (coccolithophores and foraminiferans for calcareous ‘ooze’) • Microscopic shells of Si. O 2 (Diatoms and radiolarians form siliceous ‘ooze’)

Stromatolites are possibly the most ancient biological rocks on earth • They are layered Stromatolites are possibly the most ancient biological rocks on earth • They are layered accretionary structures formed in shallow water by the trapping, binding, and cementation of sedimentary grains by biofilms of microorganisms, especially cyanobacteria (commonly known as blue-green algae). • The earliest stromatolite of confirmed microbial origin dates to 2, 724 million years ago. • Stromatolites are a major constituent of the fossil record for about the first 3. 5 billion years of life on earth, with their abundance peaking about 1, 250 million years ago.

Biogenous Sediments • Macroscopic shells and skeletons of Ca. CO 3 (Shells, corals) • Biogenous Sediments • Macroscopic shells and skeletons of Ca. CO 3 (Shells, corals) • Microscopic shells of Ca. CO 3 (coccolithophores and foraminiferans for calcareous ‘ooze’) • Microscopic shells of Si. O 2 (Diatoms and radiolarians form siliceous ‘ooze’)

Biogenous deposits are those which result from living things. • Massive reefs are created Biogenous deposits are those which result from living things. • Massive reefs are created by hermatypic reef building corals who secrete calcium carbonate (Ca. CO 3) from the water. In conjunction with a symbiotic alga, Zooxanthellae , which lives in their tissues.

 • In warm, tropical oceans, like that shown in (A), large numbers of • In warm, tropical oceans, like that shown in (A), large numbers of corals and other marine animals and plants make skeletons out of calcite and other carbonate minerals. These skeletons and carbonate mud make a rock called limestone like the one shown in (B) from San Salvador Island in the Bahamas. This limestone was a coral reef living under a shallow sea about 120, 000 years ago. A) Abi Howe, American Geological Institute, courtesy

Calcareous Ooze • Composed predominantly of Ca. CO 3 shells of Foraminiferans and Coccolithophores Calcareous Ooze • Composed predominantly of Ca. CO 3 shells of Foraminiferans and Coccolithophores • These plankton are dominant in warm surface waters • They compose 48% of deep ocean sediments

Coccolithophores and Foraminiferacalcareous tests Coccolithophores and Foraminiferacalcareous tests

Coccolithophores can bloom over massive areas • Coccolithophore species Emiliania huxleyi can overproduce in Coccolithophores can bloom over massive areas • Coccolithophore species Emiliania huxleyi can overproduce in blooms and often sheds excess coccoliths, these tiny particles act like sequins in the water and are very reflective, they make the sea surface “glitter”.

Carbonate Compensation Depth • At depths of >4, 500 m, the dissolved CO 2 Carbonate Compensation Depth • At depths of >4, 500 m, the dissolved CO 2 concentration is so high it causes Ca. CO 3 to dissolve. As a result, calcareous shells are not found below ~5, 000 m. • The depth where carbonate supply is equal to the rate of dissolution is the Carbonate Compensation Depth. • This occurs around 6000 m in Atlantic and 3500 -4000 m in parts of the Pacific.

Siliceous Ooze • Composed predominantly of Si. O 2 shells of Diatoms and Radiolarians Siliceous Ooze • Composed predominantly of Si. O 2 shells of Diatoms and Radiolarians • These plankton are dominant in cold surface waters or areas of upwelling near equatorial landmasses • They compose 14% of deep ocean sediments

Diatoms and Radiolarians- glass frustules Diatoms and Radiolarians- glass frustules

3 types of sediment cover most of the deep ocean floor: • Abyssal clay- 3 types of sediment cover most of the deep ocean floor: • Abyssal clay- covers most of the deep ocean floor, accumulates at <1 mm/1000 yr. Source is continent and cosmogenic, carried by ocean currents and aeolian transport. • Oozes- must be composed of >30% biogenic material (tiny skeletons of plants and animals) mixed with clay. Rate of deposition of oozes depends on: – Productivity of area – Destruction by chemical dissolution – Physical dilution- mixing with other sediments

Sedimentary processes in the open ocean Sedimentary processes in the open ocean

Calcareous Ooze From J. Noyes El Camino College Calcareous Ooze From J. Noyes El Camino College

Calcareous ooze • The dominant deep ocean sediment in low latitudes above the CCD. Calcareous ooze • The dominant deep ocean sediment in low latitudes above the CCD. • Along the mid-ocean ridges, seamounts and other peaks

Siliceous Ooze From J. Noyes El Camino College Siliceous Ooze From J. Noyes El Camino College

Siliceous Ooze • The dominant deep ocean sediment in high latitude regions, below the Siliceous Ooze • The dominant deep ocean sediment in high latitude regions, below the CCD and surface current divergences near the equator (where cold water is upwelling)

Red Clay From J. Noyes El Camino College Red Clay From J. Noyes El Camino College

Abyssal Clays • Dominant in deep ocean basins in areas where oozes are absent Abyssal Clays • Dominant in deep ocean basins in areas where oozes are absent • Especially below CCD in warmer oceans

Global Distribution of Marine Sediment Types Global Distribution of Marine Sediment Types

Diagram illustrating the ocean’s biological pump. (1) Carbon dioxide is fixed by photosynthesis, (2) Diagram illustrating the ocean’s biological pump. (1) Carbon dioxide is fixed by photosynthesis, (2) this organic matter sinks into deeper waters, (3) bacterial decay releases carbon dioxide and other nutrients, making them available to be used again by phytoplankton, until (4) ultimately deposition locks away the carbon in ocean sediments.

The depth of the CCD varies as a function of the chemical composition of The depth of the CCD varies as a function of the chemical composition of the seawater and its temperature. Furthermore, it is not constant over time, having been globally much shallower in the Cretaceous through to Eocene. If the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide continues to increase, the CCD can be expected to rise, along with the ocean's acidity. Ca. CO 3(s) + H 2 O + CO 2 → Ca 2+(aq) + 2 HCO 3 -(aq).

CO 2 Concentration in the Atmosphere is increasing CO 2 Concentration in the Atmosphere is increasing

Carbon is stored in several pools on Earth • • Atmospheric Carbon CO 2 Carbon is stored in several pools on Earth • • Atmospheric Carbon CO 2 - 720 Gt Seawater Carbonate System 37400 Gt Terrestrial Biosphere 800 Gt Dead Terrestrial Biomass 1200 Gt Marine Biosphere 2 Gt Dead Marine Biomass 1000 Gt 1 Gt=1015 grams (1015 = 1 million billion) • To maintain current ocean p. H, fluxes must be balanced CO 2 in=CO 2 out, not currently the case

In Terms of Climate Change and CO 2 cycles, ocean sediments are by far In Terms of Climate Change and CO 2 cycles, ocean sediments are by far the most significant carbon sink on Earth. What happens when we start to liberate that stored carbon?

 • Up to one half of the CO 2 released by burning fossil • Up to one half of the CO 2 released by burning fossil fuels over the past 200 years has been absorbed by world's oceans. • This has lowered its p. H by 0. 1 • Seawater is mildly alkaline with a "natural" p. H of about 8. 2 • The IPCC forecasts that ocean p. H will fall by "between 0. 14 and 0. 35 units over the 21 st Century, adding to the present decrease of 0. 1 units since pre-industrial times"

Acidification affects Corals Acidification affects Corals

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