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Carbonate mound evolution and coral diagenesis viewed by U-series dating of deep water corals
Frank, N.; Ricard, E.; Blamart, D.; van der Land, C.; Colin, C.; Foubert, A. ; van Rooij, D.; van Weering, T. (2007). Carbonate mound evolution and coral diagenesis viewed by U-series dating of deep water corals. Eos, Trans. (Wash. D.C.) 88(52): B31C-0507
In: Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union. American Geophysical Union: Washington, etc.. ISSN 0096-3941, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
Document type: Conference paper

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Frank, N.
  • Ricard, E.
  • Blamart, D.
  • van der Land, C.
  • Colin, C.
  • Foubert, A., more
  • van Rooij, D., more
  • van Weering, T., more

Abstract
    U-series dating of constructional deep sea corals is a powerful tool to reconstruct the evolution of carbonate mound sediments driven by coral growth, sediment trapping and diagenesis. Here we have investigated in great detail the time framework of constructional corals such as L. pertusa and M. oculata on 5 different mounds of the eastern North Atlantic (on Rockall Bank and in Porcupine Seabight) taken at variable depth and location (610 to 880m water depth). Periods favorable for coral growth are the Holocene and prior interglacials such as marine isotope stage 5 and 7, while glacial coral growth seems inhibited or extremely reduced. Coral development is almost continuous throughout the Holocene since mound re-colonization about 10,500 years ago. Mound accumulation rates vary between 20 and 220 cm/kyr determined from the coral age - depth relationship in each core. Those changes are most likely driven by changes between horizontal and vertical mound accumulation, food supply and ocean circulation. In addition, coral dating allowed to identify an important erosional event recorded in core MD01-2455G from Rockall Bank. Here a 1m thick sediment layer containing ancient corals likely from the start of Holocene re-colonization was displaced (collapsed) from further upslope on top of younger corals of ~2500 to 3000 years age. Prior to the initiation of coral growth diagenesis occurred frequently resulting in (1) the construction of so called carbonate hardgrounds and/or (2) the dissolution of the pre-Holocene coral framework. Solely, the deepest selected core in Porcupine Seabight (MD01-2463G at 880m depth) reveals coral re-colonization on an undisturbed ancient reef structure that dates back to 250,000 years. Diagenesis of earlier coral reef generations leading to coral dissolution leads to a loss of magnetic susceptibility and open system behavior of the coral skeletons with respect to U-series dating. While the processes causing such diagenetic layers are barely understood the disappearance of the magnetic susceptibility can be used to trace such phenomena and a conserved magnetic susceptibility allows sampling of well preserved corals.

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