Controls on authigenic carbonate precipitation at cold seeps along the convergent margin off Costa Rica

Karaca, Deniz, Hensen, Christian and Wallmann, Klaus (2010) Controls on authigenic carbonate precipitation at cold seeps along the convergent margin off Costa Rica Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 11 (8). Q08S27. DOI 10.1029/2010GC003062.

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Five sediment cores from cold seeps at the forearc off Costa Rica were used to explore the relationship between fluid advection, dissolved Ca concentrations in upward migrating fluids, and authigenic CaCO3 precipitation. A numerical transport-reaction model was used to determine rates of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), CaCO3 precipitation, and benthic fluxes of solutes. Production of carbonate alkalinity and formation of authigenic carbonates is most intense at intermediate flow rates (3–40 cm a−1) and reduced under low and high flux conditions (0.1 and 200 cm a−1). Dissolved Ca concentrations observed in the vent fluids off Costa Rica cover a wide range between 4 and 31 mM, clearly exceeding seawater concentrations at two locations. Systematic model runs showed that high Ca concentrations in ascending fluids enhance the rate of authigenic carbonate production at moderate flow rates leading to an almost quantitative fixation of deeply derived Ca in authigenic carbonates. Hence, CaCO3 precipitation is not only controlled by Ca diffusing into the sediment from bottom water, but also by the Ca concentration in ascending fluids. Thus, Ca enriched fluids offer a reason for enhanced subsurface CaCO3 precipitation and the occurrence of carbonate caps on dewatering structures in the Central American fore-arc. Based on average precipitation rates deduced from the systematic model runs it is possible to give a rough estimate of the global Ca-fixation at cold seeps (∼2·1010 mol Ca a−1), which suggests that cold seeps are most likely not of key importance with respect to Ca cycling in the ocean.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Biogeochemistry; calcium; authigenic carbonates; modeling; fluid flow; cold seeps; Central America; Cryosphere; biogeosciences; Carbon cycling; modeling
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
OceanRep > SFB 574
OceanRep > SFB 574 > B5
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2010GC003062
ISSN: 1525-2027
Projects: Future Ocean, SFB574
Contribution Number:
SFB 574197
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2010 11:08
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2018 11:07

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