Neogene Carbonate Burial in the Pacific Ocean

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I have compiled CaCO3 mass accumulation rates (MARs) for the period 0–25 Ma for 144 Deep Sea Drilling Project and Ocean Drilling Program drill sites in the Pacific in order to investigate the history of CaCO3 burial in the world's largest ocean basin. This is the first synthesis of data since the beginning of the Ocean Drilling Program. Sedimentation rates, CaCO3 contents, and bulk density were estimated for 0.5 Myr time intervals from 0 to 14 Ma and for 1 Myr time intervals from 14 to 25 Ma using mostly data from Initial Reports volumes. There is surprisingly little coherence between CaCO3 MAR time series from different Pacific regions, although regional patterns exist. A transition from high to low CaCO3 MAR from 23–20 Ma is the only event common to the entire Pacific Ocean. This event is found worldwide. The most likely cause of lowered pelagic carbonate burial is a rising sea-level trend in the early Miocene. The central and eastern equatorial Pacific is the only region with adequate drill site coverage to study carbonate compensation depth (CCD) changes in detail for the entire Neogene. The latitude-dependent decrease in CaCO3 production away from the equator is an important defining factor of the regional CCD, which shallows away from the equatorial region. Examination of latitudinal transects across the equatorial region is a useful way to separate the effects of changes in carbonate production (“productivity”) from changes in bottom water chemistry (“dissolution”) upon carbonate burial.