A Cenozoic record of the equatorial Pacific carbonate compensation depth


Heiko Pälike, National Oceanography Centre Southampton
Mitchell W. Lyle, Texas A&M University
Hiroshi Nishi, Tohoku University
Isabella Raffi, Universitá G. DAnnunzio'
Andy Ridgwell, University of Bristol
Kusali Gamage, Texas A&M University
Adam Klaus, Texas A&M University
Gary Acton, University of California, Davis
Louise Anderson, University of Leicester
Jan Backman, Stockholms universitet
Jack Baldauf, Texas A&M University
Catherine Beltran, Sorbonne Université
Steven M. Bohaty, National Oceanography Centre Southampton
Paul Bown, University College London
William Busch, University of New Orleans
Jim E.T. Channell, University of Florida
Cecily O.J. Chun, National Oceanography Centre Southampton
Margaret Delaney, University of California, Santa Cruz
Pawan Dewangan, National Institute of Oceanography India
Tom Dunkley Jones, Imperial College London
Kirsty M. Edgar, National Oceanography Centre Southampton
Helen Evans, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Peter Fitch, Imperial College London
Gavin L. Foster, National Oceanography Centre Southampton
Nikolaus Gussone, University of Münster
Hitoshi Hasegawa, Hokkaido University
Ed C. Hathorne, GEOMAR - Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel
Hiroki Hayashi, Shimane University
Jens O. Herrle, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Ann Holbourn, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Steve Hovan, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Kiseong Hyeong, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute
Koichi Iijima, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology
Takashi Ito, Ibaraki University
Shin Ichi Kamikuri, Hokkaido University
Katsunori Kimoto, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology

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Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and climate are regulated on geological timescales by the balance between carbon input from volcanic and metamorphic outgassing and its removal by weathering feedbacks; these feedbacks involve the erosion of silicate rocks and organic-carbon-bearing rocks. The integrated effect of these processes is reflected in the calcium carbonate compensation depth, which is the oceanic depth at which calcium carbonate is dissolved. Here we present a carbonate accumulation record that covers the past 53 million years from a depth transect in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The carbonate compensation depth tracks long-term ocean cooling, deepening from 3.0-3.5-kilometres during the early Cenozoic (approximately 55-million years ago) to 4.6 kilometres at present, consistent with an overall Cenozoic increase in weathering. We find large superimposed fluctuations in carbonate compensation depth during the middle and late Eocene. Using Earth system models, we identify changes in weathering and the mode of organic-carbon delivery as two key processes to explain these large-scale Eocene fluctuations of the carbonate compensation depth. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

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