Can deep ocean carbonate preservation history inferred from atmospheric pCO2 account for 14C and %CaCO3 profiles on the Ontong-Java Plateau?

Katsumi Matsumoto, Wallace S. Broecker, Elizabeth Clark, Daniel C. McCorkle, William R. Martin, Irka Hajdas

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3 Scopus citations


Bulk 14C and 210Pbexcess measurements were made on box cores from water depths of ~ 2300 and ~ 4200 m from the equator on the Ontong-Java Plateau. A sediment mixed layer thickness of approximately 6 cm and a mixing rate of 20-45 cm2/kyr are inferred from these radionuclide measurements and model simulations of their depth profiles. Using these sediment mixing characteristics, the model is then forced with a deep sea carbonate preservation history derived from an ice core atmospheric pCO2 record, in order to examine whether the derived history can account for depth profiles of 14C age and CaCO3 content from the deep western equatorial Pacific. Results show that 14C and %CaCO3 data from the deep site can be simulated simultaneously with some success using the assumed carbonate preservation history and a time-varying non-carbonate flux function. However, the model is unable to use the same forcing functions to simulate the 14C and %CaCO3 data from the shallower core. These results suggest that local carbonate accumulation is not driven simply by generalized deep water carbonate chemistry inferred from atmospheric pCO2. Potentially important local processes and aspects of the model that may have contributed to the results are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-329
Number of pages11
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank M. Fleisher, T.-H. Peng, and J. Shepherd for useful discussions at early stages of this study. Robert F. Anderson kindly provided unpublished sediment trap 210 Pb data from JGOFS Equatorial Pacific study and was very helpful in explaining subtle aspects of 210 Pb to the senior author. We thank Robin Keir and an anonymous reviewer for critical reading of the manuscript. Financial support was provided by NSF Grants ATM9730546 to W.S.B., OCE9730932 to D.C.M., and OCE9810962 to W.R.M. This is LDEO contribution 6170 and WHOI contribution 10434. [EB]


  • Bioturbation
  • C-14
  • Deep-sea environment
  • Deglaciation
  • Ontong-Java Plateau
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Pb-210
  • Sediments


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