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Publication Detail
Abnormal carbonate diagenesis in Holocene-late Pleistocene sapropel-associated sediments from the Eastern Mediterranean; Evidence from Emiliania huxleyi coccolith morphology
Abstract
In studying the Holocene-late Pleistocene record of the Eastern Mediterranean, considerable Emiliania huxleyi size/shape variation not clearly assignable to primary or secondary calcification was observed. Accordingly, different morphotypes were distinguished by light microscope (LM). A subsequent scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis of selected samples has indicated that Emiliania huxleyi coccoliths are variably affected by carbonate diagenesis in these sediments. A series of diagenetic stages were qualitatively defined, comprising well-preserved specimens, three overgrowth (OG1 to OG3) and one etching (E1) stage. Comparing SEM and LM observations, a tentative correlation between the E. huxleyi calcified LM-morphotypes and E. huxleyi SEM-overgrowth stages is proposed here. Our study not only indicates that Emiliania huxleyi coccoliths are strongly influenced by carbonate diagenesis, but also that they show effects of carbonate precipitation and dissolution much more clearly than other coccoliths. The relative abundances of the different LM-morphotypes were used to define an E. huxleyi overgrowth index (EXO) that qualitatively estimates carbonate precipitation/dissolution on coccoliths in this sediment. This resulted in definition of five "Diagenetic" intervals (D1 to D5). Deposition of sapropel S1 was a time of good preservation with variable dissolution and no overgrowth of E. huxleyi coccoliths, whereas calcite overgrowth was high during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and interglacial period and, to a lesser extent, during the Younger Dryas and through the last 5 ka. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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