Heterozoan carbonate sedimentation on a eutrophic, tropical shelf of Northwest Africa (Golfe d Arguin, Mauritania)
|Other Titles:||Rezente Karbonatsedimentation auf dem nördlichen Schelf vor Mauretanien||Authors:||Michel, Julien||Supervisor:||Westphal, Hildegard||1. Expert:||Westphal, Hildegard||2. Expert:||Henrich, Rüdiger||Abstract:||
Modern carbonate sedimentation takes place on the northern Mauritanian shelf (20°N), where typical tropical components (e.g. hermatypic reefs, calcareous green algae) are absent. Such deposits are reminiscent of extratropical sediment in the geological record. The tropical open shelf of Mauritania is influenced by large siliciclastic dust input and upwelling, highly fertilizing the ocean, as well as strongly limiting the light penetration. In this context, temperature does not appear to be the steering factor of carbonate production. This thesis describes the depositional system of the Golfe d Arguin off Mauritania and focuses on environmental conditions that control the depositional pattern, in particular carbonate production. The description of this modern analogue provides a tool for paleoenvironmental interpretation of ancient counterparts. The Golfe d Arguin is a broad shallow shelf comprising extensive shoals (<10 m water depth; i.e. the Banc d Arguin) on the inner shelf where waters warm up. The sediments collected in water depths between 4 and 600 m are characterized by mixed carbonate and siliciclastic (dust) deposits. They vary from clean coarse-grained, almost pure carbonate loose sediments to siliciclastic-dominated fine-grained sediments. The carbonate content and sediment grain size show a north-south decreasing pattern through the Golfe d Arguin and are controlled by the hydraulic regime influenced by wind-driven surface currents, swell, and tidal currents. The carbonate grain association is heterozoan. Components include abundant molluscs, foraminifers, and worm tubes, as well as barnacles and echinoderms, elements that are also abundant in extratropical sediments. The spatial distribution of the sedimentary facies of the Golfe d Arguin does not display a depth zonation but rather a mosaic (i.e. patchy distribution). The depth and climatic signatures of the different sedimentary facies are determined by taxonomic and ecological investigations of the carbonate-secreting biota (molluscs and foraminifers). While certain planktonic foraminifers and molluscs represent upwelling elements, other components (e.g. mollusc and benthic foraminifer taxa) demonstrate the tropical origin of the sediment. The nutrient-rich (and thus also low light-penetration) conditions are reflected in the fact that symbiotic and photosynthetic carbonate-producing organisms (e.g. hermatypic corals) are absent. The Mauritanian deposits represent an environment that is rare in the modern world but might have been more common in the geological past when global temperatures were higher. Taxonomic and ecological studies allow for distinguishing carbonate sediments formed under either tropical high-nutrient or extratropical conditions, thus improving paleoclimate reconstruction.
|Keywords:||Carbonate sedimentology, heterozoan, foramol, Mauritania, mollusc, mixed sedimentation||Issue Date:||10-Jun-2010||URN:||urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-00101818-18||Institution:||Universität Bremen||Faculty:||FB5 Geowissenschaften|
|Appears in Collections:||Dissertationen|
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