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https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2019-121
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2019-121
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  03 Jan 2020

03 Jan 2020

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This preprint has been withdrawn by the authors.

Bottom-water temperature controls on biogenic silica dissolution and recycling in surficial deep-sea sediments

Shahab Varkouhi and Jonathan Wells Shahab Varkouhi and Jonathan Wells
  • Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Abstract. This study calculated the dissolution rates of biogenic silica deposited on the seafloor and the silicic acid benthic flux for 22 Ocean Drilling Program sites. Simple models developed for two host sediment types – detrital and carbonate – were used to explain the variability of biogenic opal dissolution and recycling under present-day low (−0.3 to 2.14 °C) bottom-water temperatures. The kinetic constants describing silicic acid release and silica saturation concentration increased systematically with increasing bottom-water temperatures. When these temperature effects were incorporated into the diagenetic models, the prediction of dissolution rates and diffusive fluxes was more robust. This demonstrates that temperature acts as a primary control that decreases the relative degree of pore-water saturation with opal while increasing the silica concentration. The correlation between the dissolution rate and benthic flux with temperature was pronounced at sites where biogenic opal is accommodated in surficial sediments mostly comprised of biogenic carbonates. This is because the dissolution of carbonates provides the alkalinity necessary for both silica dissolution and clay formation; thus strongly reducing the retarding influence of clays on opal dissolution. Conversely, the silica exchange rates were modified by presence of aluminosilicates, which led to a higher burial efficiency for opal in detrital- than in carbonate-dominated benthic layers. Though model prediction of first-order silica early transformation suggests likely effects from surface temperatures (0–4 °C) on opal-CT precipitation over short geological times (< 4 Ma) near seabed in the Antarctic Site 751, the relationship between silica solubility and surface area variability in time is a more critical control. Since silica solubility and surface area decrease with time, a < 4 Ma elapsed time aged opal-A to the point that changes in specific surface area caused minor effects on solubility, allowing for formation of opal-CT at low temperature settings near the seabed.

This preprint has been withdrawn.

Shahab Varkouhi and Jonathan Wells

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Shahab Varkouhi and Jonathan Wells

Shahab Varkouhi and Jonathan Wells

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