Global deep-sea burial rate of calcium carbonate during the Last Glacial Maximum

Nina R. Catubig, D. E. Archer, Roger Francois, Peter DeMenocal, Will Howard, Ein Fen Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


Global databases of calcium carbonate concentrations and mass accumulation rates in Holocene and last glacial maximum sediments were used to estimate the deep-sea sedimentary calcium carbonate burial rate during these two time intervals. Sparse calcite mass accumulation rate data were extrapolated across regions of varying calcium carbonate concentration using a gridded map of calcium carbonate concentrations and the assumption that accumulation of noncarbonate material is uncorrelated with calcite concentration within some geographical region. Mean noncarbonate accumulation rates were estimated within each of nine regions, determined by the distribution and nature of the accumulation rate data. For core-top sediments the regions of reasonable data coverage encompass 67% of the high-calcite (>75%) sediments globally, and within these regions we estimate an accumulation rate of 55.9±3.6×1011 mol yr-1. The same regions cover 48% of glacial high-CaCO3 sediments (the smaller fraction is due to a shift of calcite deposition to the poorly sampled South Pacific) and total 44.1±6.0×1011 mol yr-1. Projecting both estimates to 100% coverage yields accumulation estimates of 8.3 × 1012 mol yr-1 today and 9.2 × 1012 mol yr-1 during glacial time. This is little better than a guess given the incomplete data coverage, but it suggests that glacial deep sea calcite burial rate was probably not considerably faster than today in spite of a presumed decrease in shallow water burial during glacial time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-310
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Jun 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Palaeontology


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