A silicon depleted North Atlantic since the Palaeogene: Evidence from sponge and radiolarian silicon isotopes
2016 (English)In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 453, 67-77 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Despite being one of Earth's major geochemical cycles, the evolution of the silicon cycle has received little attention and changes in oceanic dissolved silica (DSi) concentration through geologic time remain poorly constrained. Silicon isotope ratios (expressed as delta Si-30) in marine microfossils are becoming increasingly recognised for their ability to provide insight into silicon cycling. In particular, the delta Si-30 of siliceous sponge spicules has been demonstrated to be a useful proxy for past DSi concentrations. We analysed delta Si-30 in radiolarian tests and sponge spicules from the Blake Nose Palaeoceanographic Transect (ODP Leg 171B) spanning the Palaeocene-Eocene (ca. 60-30 Ma). Our delta Si-30 results range from +0.32 to +1.67 parts per thousand and -0.48 to +0.63 parts per thousand for the radiolarian and sponge records, respectively. Using an established relationship between ambient dissolved Si (DSi) concentrations and the magnitude of silicon isotope fractionation in siliceous sponges, we demonstrate that the Western North Atlantic was DSi deplete during the Palaeocene-Eocene throughout the water column, a conclusion that is robust to a range of assumptions and uncertainties. These data can constitute constraints on reconstructions of past-ocean circulation. Previous work has suggested ocean DSi concentrations were higher than modern ocean concentrations prior to the Cenozoic and has posited a drawdown during the Early Palaeogene due to the evolutionary expansion of diatoms. Our results challenge such an interpretation. We suggest here that if such a global decrease in oceanic DSi concentrations occurred, it must predate 60 Ma. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 453, 67-77 p.
silicon isotopes, palaeogene, radiolarians, sponges, odp leg 171b, deep-water circulation, last glacial maximum, southern-ocean, thermohaline circulation, neodymium isotopes, mass spectrometry, thermal maximum, stable-isotopes, marine diatoms, natural-waters
Research subject The changing Earth
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-2361OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-2361DiVA: diva2:1089709
Dw8uz Times Cited:0 Cited References Count:752017-04-202017-04-202017-04-20Bibliographically approved