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Multi-elemental composition of authigenic carbonates in benthic foraminifera from the eastern Bering Sea continental margin (International Ocean Discovery Program Site U1343)

Detlef, Henrieka, Sosdian, Sindia M. ORCID:, Kender, Sev, Lear, Caroline H. ORCID: and Hall, Ian R. ORCID: 2020. Multi-elemental composition of authigenic carbonates in benthic foraminifera from the eastern Bering Sea continental margin (International Ocean Discovery Program Site U1343). Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 268 , pp. 1-21. 10.1016/j.gca.2019.09.025

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Bering Sea sediments represent expetional archives, offering the potential to study past climates and biogeochemistry at a high resolution. However, abundant hydrocarbons of microbial origin, especially along the eastern Bering Sea continental margin, can hinder the applicability of palaeoceanographic proxies based on calcareous foraminifera, due to the formation of authigenic carbonates. Nonetheless, authigenic carbonates may also bear unique opportunities to reconstruct changes in the sedimentary redox environment. Here we use a suite of visual and geochemical evidence from single-specimens of the shallow infaunal benthic foraminiferal species Elphidium batialis Saidova (1961), recovered from International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Site U1343 in the eastern Bering Sea, to investigate the influence of authigenic carbonates on the foraminiferal trace metal composition. Our results demonstrate that foraminiferal calcite tests act as a nucleation template for secondary carbonate precipitation, altering their geochemistry where organoclastic sulphate reduction and anaerobic oxidation of methane cause the formation of low- and high-Mg calcite, respectively. The authigenic carbonates can occur as encrusting on the outside and/or inside of foraminiferal tests, in the form of recrystallization of the test wall, or as banding along natural laminations within the foraminiferal test walls. In addition to Mg, authigenic carbonates are enriched in U/Ca, Mn/Ca, Fe/Ca, and Sr/Ca, depending on the redox environment that they were formed in. Our results demonstrate that site-specific U/Ca thresholds are a promising tool to distinguish between diagenetically altered and pristine foraminiferal samples, important for palaeoceanographic reconstructions utilising the primary foraminiferal geochemistry. Consistent with previous studies, U/Mn ratios of foraminifera at IODP Site U1343 increase according to their degree of diagenetic alteration, suggesting a potential response of authigenic U/Mn to the microbial activity in turn linked to the sedimentary redox environment.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0016-7037
Funders: NERC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 October 2019
Date of Acceptance: 11 September 2019
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2023 20:37

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