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Accession Number PB2014-104548
Title Oceanographic Controls on Sedimentary and Geochemical Facies on the Peru Outer Shelf and Upper Slope
Publication Date 2013
Media Count 43p
Personal Author M. A. Arthur W. E. Dean
Abstract Concentrations and characteristics of organic matter in surface sediments deposited under an intense oxygen-minimum zone (OMZ) on the Peru margin were mapped and studied in samples from deck-deployed box cores and push cores acquired by submersible on two east-west transects spanning depths of 75 to 1,000 meters (m) at 12DGS and 13.5DGS. On the basis of sampling and analyses of the top 1-2 centimeters (cm) of available cores, three main belts of sediments were identified on each transect with increasing depth: (1) muds rich in organic carbon (OC); (2) authigenic phosphatic mineral crusts and pavements; and (3) glaucony facies. Sediments rich in OC on the 12DGS transect were mainly located on the outer shelf and upper slope (150-350 m), but they occurred in much shallower water (approximately 100 m) on the 13.5DGS transect. The organic matter is almost entirely marine as confirmed by Rock-Eval pyrolysis and isotopic composition of OC. Concentrations of OC are highest (up to 18 percent) in sediments within the OMZ where dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations are <5 micromoles per kilogram (M). Even at these low concentrations of DO, however, the surface sediments from within the OMZ are dominantly unlaminated. Concentrations of DO may have the dominant effect on organic matter characteristics, but reworking of fine-grained sediment and organic matter by strong bottom currents with velocities as high as 30 centimeters per second (cm/s) on the slope between 150 and 300 m and redeposition on the seafloor in areas of lower energy and higher DO concentration also exert important controls on OC concentration and degree of oxidation in this region. Phosphate-rich sediments and crusts occurred at depths of about 300 to 550 m on both transects. Nodular crusts of sediment cemented by carbonate-fluorapatite (CFA; phosphorite) or dolomite form within the OMZ. These phosphorite crusts evolve through cementation from light olive-green, stiff but friable, phosphatized claystone protocrusts through dense, dark phosphorite crusts, cemented breccias, and pavements. The degree of phosphatization and thickness of the crusts depend on the rates of sediment supply and on the strength and frequency of currents that re-expose crusts on the seafloor. Phosphorite crusts and pavements on the Peru margin can only become buried and incorporated into the geologic record once bottom currents slacken sufficiently to allow fine-grained sediment to accumulate.
Keywords Continental slope
Data collection
Environmental condition
Geochemical datats
Gulf of Mexico
Hard bottom seafloor
Oceanographic data
Seafloor maps
Sediment trapping
Time series monitoring

Source Agency US Geological Survey
NTIS Subject Category 47E - Marine Geophysics & Geology
48A - Mineral Industries
97G - Policies, Regulations & Studies
97K - Fuels
Corporate Author Geological Survey, Reston, VA.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1411
Contract Number N/A

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