Glacial-to-Holocene Redistribution of Carbonate Ion in the Deep Sea

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Science  07 Dec 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5549, pp. 2152-2155
DOI: 10.1126/science.1064171

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We have reconstructed the glacial-age distribution of carbonate ion concentration in the deep waters of the equatorial ocean on the basis of differences in weight between glacial and Holocene foraminifera shells picked from a series of cores spanning a range of water depth on the western Atlantic's Ceara Rise and the western Pacific's Ontong Java Plateau. The results suggest that unlike today's ocean, sizable vertical gradients in the carbonate ion concentration existed in the glacial-age deep ocean. In the equatorial Pacific, the concentration increased with depth, and in the Atlantic, it decreased with depth. In addition, the contrast between the carbonate ion concentration in deep waters produced in the northern Atlantic and deep water in the Pacific appears to have been larger than in today's ocean.

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