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Paleoenvironmental reconstruction of deep-water carbonate mound initiation in the Porcupine Seabight, NE Atlantic
Raddatz, J.; Rüggeberg, A.; Liebetrau, V.; Margreth, S.; Eisenhauer, A.; Dullo, C. (2009). Paleoenvironmental reconstruction of deep-water carbonate mound initiation in the Porcupine Seabight, NE Atlantic. Eos, Trans. (Wash. D.C.) 90(52): PP13E-07
In: Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union. American Geophysical Union: Washington. ISSN 0096-3941; e-ISSN 2324-9250, more

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Document type: Meeting report


Authors  Top 
  • Raddatz, J.
  • Rüggeberg, A., more
  • Liebetrau, V.
  • Margreth, S.
  • Eisenhauer, A.
  • Dullo, C.

    The understanding of the paleoenvironment during initiation and early development of deep-water carbonate mounds in the NE Atlantic is still under debate. The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 307 sailed in 2005 to the Porcupine Seabight in order to investigate for the first time sediments from the base of a giant carbonate mound (155 m, Challenger Mound). First results indicate initiation and start-up phase of this carbonate mound coincides with the beginning of the Northern Hemisphere Glaciation (NHG) at around 2.7 Ma. Further carbonate mound development seems to be strongly dependent on rapid changes in paleoceanographic and climatic conditions at the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary, especially characterized and caused by intermediate water masses. To investigate this specific time interval of ~2.7 Ma we use well-developed proxies such as d18O and d13C of planktonic (Globigerina bulloides) and a collection of benthic foraminifera (Fontbotia wuellerstorfi, Discanomalina coronata, Lobatula lobatula, Lobatula antartica, and Planulina ariminensis) as well as grain size analysis. Additionally we provide d88/86Sr paleotemperatures from cold water coral Lophelia pertusa. This multi proxy approach made it possible to determine the paleoenvironmental and paleoecological setting favourable for the initial coral colonization. Stable oxygen and carbon isotope records of the benthic foraminiferal assemblages indicate that Lobatula lobatula provides a reliable isotopic signature for paleoenvironmental reconstructions and that enhanced bottom currents of intermediate water masses of southern origin (Mediterranean, Bay of Biscay) intensified at the start-up of the NHG. During initiation and early mound development, temperatures of these intermediate waters decreased to favourable 9 °C and reconstructed current strength and nutrient concentrations (phosphate and nitrate) stayed in the range of reported tolerance supporting the rapid growth of cold-water corals and mounds.

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