Sedimentary Phosphate Method for Estimating Paleosalinities

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Science  17 Nov 1967:
Vol. 158, Issue 3803, pp. 917-920
DOI: 10.1126/science.158.3803.917


The widespread occurrence of sedimentary phosphate in argillaceous sediments provides the basis for a new method of paleosalinity estimation. Sedimentary phosphate contains iron- and calcium-phosphate fractions, the relative proportions of which are sensitive to salinity of the water at sites of deposition. The sedimentary phosphate method provides direct estimates of paleosalinity throughout the freshwater to marine range.